The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is the second round of the FIM Rally-Raid World Championship, following the Dakar Rally. Monster Energy Honda Team, the current competition leaders, will seek to bolster their top position in the championship with a win.
This coming Saturday the start of round two of the FIM Rally-Raid World Championship – the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – will feature the presence of the Monster Energy Honda Team.
Seven weeks after finishing the Dakar Rally, the riders at the head of the overall world championship table will be back in action. This is the second of five scheduled events this season.
The Monster Energy Honda Team participants lining up for the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge are American Ricky Brabec, alongside Chilean riders Pablo Quintanilla and José Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cornejo. All look set to be in contention for the victory after displaying their abilities earlier in January. Joan Barreda will sit out the race while he continues to convalesce after injuries sustained during the most recent Dakar Rally. Pablo Quintanilla currently holds second place in the overall world championship standings, while Barreda lies in fifth, Cornejo sixth and Brabec seventh.
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge gets underway on Friday, March 4 with the administrative and technical scrutineering. A prologue or ‘Super Special Stage’ of less than three kilometres will be held on Saturday 5 in the vicinity of the Yas Marina circuit. The most decisive stages, which will play out in the vast Liwa desert, will commence on Sunday 6 with the first timed special stage. The rally will feature a marathon stage over stages 2 and 3, where the bikes will be left in a parc fermé at the Qsar Al Sarab bivouac, during which period they will be unable to receive any outside mechanical assistance. The race wraps up on Thursday, March 10, once again at the Yas Marina circuit after a total 1945-kilometre trek which will include 1344 kilometres of timed special stages.
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
Rally-Raid World Championship Teams provisional standings
Monster Energy Honda Team
Gas Gas Factory Racing
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Hero Motorsports Team Rally
Husqvarna Factory Racing
Rally-Raid World Championship Riders provisional standings
A. VAN BEVEREN