Stage 08
RallyGP 2022
Round 1

Quintanilla, runner-up in the eighth stage, closes in on the rally lead

sa Saudi Arabia

Pablo Quintanilla posted second place today at the finish-line in Wadi Ad-Dawasir, clawing back time and setting up the chance of making the top step of the final podium. Monster Energy Honda Team’s American rider Ricky Brabec was fourth on the day.

Quintanilla, runner-up in the eighth stage, closes in on the rally lead

The Dakar Rally heads into its final stretch and today, with the lengthiest stage of this edition, at 830 km, the mileage count takes a hefty leap forward. On the agenda were 395 kilometres of special stage across the southern part of Saudi Arabia, with plenty of sand and a lot of dunes to be tackled. From Al Dawadimi it was on to Wadi Ad-Dawasir, on a day featuring more kilometres of link section than special stage. The most southerly located bivouac in this Dakar will be the destination for two stages: tomorrow, a new looping stage will see competitors charter territory in the vast Empty Quarter.

Pablo Quintanilla was the best placed representative from the Monster Energy Honda Team on today’s stage, although most of the riders performed well on the eighth stage of the Dakar 2022. Pablo reached the bivouac in second place, less than three minutes behind the day’s winner. Ricky Brabec also set a fierce pace, registering the day’s fourth best time, 6’44” behind Sunderland. Tomorrow, the American should be able to use tomorrow’s position to his advantage to gnaw into the time of his direct rivals.

Nacho Cornejo got lumbered with the unpleasant task of opening the track today after winning yesterday’s stage. The young Chilean rode well until the latter part of the day, when a minor navigation error caused him to slip back, losing a little more time than expected. Monster Energy Honda Team team-mate Joan Barreda took a tumble on a dune early in the special that left him in some pain throughout the day. The rider still managed to finish ninth in RallyGP with a 12 minutes deficit. The Spaniard is fifth overall, 14’38” behind the race leader.

Tomorrow’s stage

The Wadi Ad-Dawasir loop, some 491 kilometres in total, including 287 kilometres of timed special stage, will pass through a fairly unfamiliar area: the Arabian Peninsula’s Empty Quarter. Mountains and tracks between canyons will require a radically different riding style to the approach used until now. Less sand, but higher difficulty level, especially regarding the navigation.

Ricky Brabec
Ricky Brabec 2
Monster Energy Honda Team
Today's route was good, it was very fast and the longest day of this Dakar. The first part was a lot of dunes, the second part was very fast. I rode alone all day, hoping to catch the group, but I couldn't. I wish I was at the front... I wish I was up front battling with the top five. The first seven are within six minutes of each other! For our part, we'll keep pushing for the remaining days; tomorrow could be a good day. We'll see what happens... anything can happen in this Dakar.

Pablo Quintanilla
Pablo Quintanilla 7
Monster Energy Honda Team
Today was a good day for me. I took advantage of the starting position that I had and I finished the stage second and knocked off some time in the general standings. I'm very pleased. In the second part of the race we have been taking it day by day and reducing the time. The times are very tight and there are still four special stages to go. I'm calm, enjoying myself and focused on having a good race each day.

José Ignacio Cornejo
José Ignacio Cornejo 11
Monster Energy Honda Team
Today was a tough stage, I knew it would be difficult because I had to open the track, but I think I was doing well until about kilometre 333, where I entered a track in a valley that was not the right one. I lost a lot of time to get back in the right place and I'm a bit upset about that because I dropped a little bit of time to the rest of the guys behind. Anyway, I still have the same attitude, the same desire for the remaining days of the race. We'll go out with the same pace and the same concentration as in the last few days.

Joan Barreda
Joan Barreda 88
Monster Energy Honda Team
The stage was difficult. The first part had a lot of sand and I had a fall when I jumped over a dune. I tried to stay with Nacho, who kept a very high pace today, and in the final part, with a lot of navigation, I managed to catch him. We made a mistake on a note with about 40 kilometres to go, where we lost quite a few minutes. It's a pity because otherwise it would have been a really good stage. We have to fight every day, giving it our best. There are still days to go, so we have to grit our teeth.

Stage Result

13Sam SunderlandGAS GAS Factory Racing03:48'02--
27Pablo QuintanillaMonster Energy Honda Team03:50'55+00:02'53-
352Matthias WalknerRed Bull KTM Factory Team03:52'13+00:04'11-
42Ricky BrabecMonster Energy Honda Team03:54'46+00:06'44-
543Mason KleinBas Dakar KTM Racing Team03:56'10+00:08'08-
618Toby PriceRed Bull KTM Factory Team03:56'41+00:08'39-
1088Joan BarredaMonster Energy Honda Team03:59'45+00:11'43-
1511José Ignacio CornejoMonster Energy Honda Team04:05'24+00:17'22-

Overall Result

13Sam SunderlandGAS GAS Factory Racing27:38'42--
252Matthias WalknerRed Bull KTM Factory Team27:42'27+00:03'45-
342Adrien Van BeverenMonster Energy Yamaha Rally Team27:43'25+00:04'43-
47Pablo QuintanillaMonster Energy Honda Team27:44'12+00:05'30-
588Joan BarredaMonster Energy Honda Team27:53'20+00:14'3800:01'00
61Kevin BenavidesRed Bull KTM Factory Team27:53'29+00:14'47-
1211José Ignacio CornejoMonster Energy Honda Team28:17'03+00:38'21-
132Ricky BrabecMonster Energy Honda Team28:18'40+00:39'5800:02'00

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