Stage 11
W2RC 2023
Round 1

Playing Hard At the Empty Quarter

sa Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia

It is the highlight of a week of action in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. The Dakar Rally 2023 finally reached today the immense sea of dunes known as the Empty Quarter.

Playing Hard At the Empty Quarter

With a special reddish-orange color, this is the largest continuous sand territory in the world – with its 1000 kilometers long and 500 km wide. This was the landscape to the marathon stage of this year’s race (stage 11), starting early this morning from Shaybah and arriving less than three hours later in the heart of this region.

This morning the counter of the Honda’s CRF450 RALLY marked 4,000 kilometers of specials right after the start, with 273 km of the selective section (added by a liaison of 151 km) to complete during the marathon stage. On the arrival our riders were their own in terms of assistance, since they won’t have any mechanics or external help.

Monster Energy Honda Team riders are fighting to evolve in the top standings. Today the best was Pablo Quintanilla, with a fifth place 2:54 minutes off the pace. This performance meant a step up in the overall standings to fourth position. Second was José Ignacio Cornejo, who finished in 14th place 8:36 minutes off the pace (8th overall). Adrien Van Beveren was opening the track and reached the end in 17th place, meaning a 5th place overall.

The second part of the marathon stage will take place tomorrow with the return to Shaybah on stage 12. Along the 185 km of this selective section (added by a liaison of 188 km) there will be a focus on the tactical acumen of the riders. With just three days to go in this Dakar Rally 2023 it is certainly time to attack in every dune!

Ruben Faria
Ruben Faria
Monster Energy Honda Team
Today we had a very hard stage, the biggest one in the Empty Quarter with the first part of the marathon. We are behind the top 3 but I believe we are still in contention to change that. In the previous days we have been losing and gaining time like it is normal, but we lost too much time in the first six days. We lost Ricky Brabec, a Dakar winner, quite early and that was also a blow to our aspirations. About today’s stage, Adrien was great opening the track - he lost some time but that we already expected like it is normal. Nacho got lost in the middle of the special stage. Pablo also had a good stage but will be in front tomorrow. All riders arrived well and the Honda CRF450 RALLY is also perfect to continue. This is the Dakar Rally and we have to fight and believe until the end of the race!

Pablo Quintanilla
Pablo Quintanilla 7
Monster Energy Honda Team
It was not an easy day, the sand was too soft and sometimes it was hard to climb the dunes. Anyway I was at a good pace and I think I did a good stage. The first part of the marathon stage is done and my Honda CRF450 RALLY is without any damage, so I am ready to continue tomorrow.

José Ignacio Cornejo
José Ignacio Cornejo 11
Monster Energy Honda Team
I made some navigation mistakes and lost around eight minutes. I am not happy about that, but that's what it is. I will stay focused on climbing on the overall standings and keep fighting until the end. This is Dakar and I have to maintain my goal.

Adrien Van Beveren
Adrien Van Beveren 42
Monster Energy Honda Team
It was a good day, I caught Ross at kilometer 40 then I opened almost all the stage. I feel good and I feel fast on this terrain but when you open you always lose time. For sure I am doing my best every day and every minute and we will see how it goes.

Stage Result

177Luciano BenavidesHusqvarna Factory Racing02:57'59--
218Daniel SandersRed Bull GasGas Factory Racing02:59'37+00:01'38-
38Toby PriceRed Bull KTM Factory Racing02:59'55+00:01'56-
410Skyler HowesHusqvarna Factory Racing03:00'08+00:02'09-
57Pablo QuintanillaMonster Energy Honda Team03:00'53+00:02'54-
614Sebastian BühlerHero MotoSports Team Rally03:03'05+00:05'06-
1411Jose Ignacio CornejoMonster Energy Honda Team03:06'35+00:08'36-
1742Adrien Van BeverenMonster Energy Honda Team03:07'09+00:09'10-

Overall Result

110Skyler HowesHusqvarna Factory Racing38:47'43-00:01'00
28Toby PriceRed Bull KTM Factory Racing38:48'11+00:00'2800:01'00
347Kevin BenavidesRed Bull KTM Factory Racing38:50'27+00:02'4400:03'00
47Pablo QuintanillaMonster Energy Honda Team39:01'57+00:14'1400:02'00
542Adrien Van BeverenMonster Energy Honda Team39:03'07+00:15'24-
677Luciano BenavidesHusqvarna Factory Racing39:05'49+00:18'06-
811Jose Ignacio CornejoMonster Energy Honda Team39:13'23+00:25'40-

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