Stage 4
W2RC 2023
Round 4

The battle for the Desafío Ruta 40 intensifies on the penultimate stage

ar Desafio Ruta 40

Stage four of the Desafío Ruta 40 was another long day for the riders with Tosha Schareina going on the attack to take victory in an epic battle between Honda team mates Dakar winner Ricky Brabec and Adrien Van Beveren.

The battle for the Desafío Ruta 40 intensifies on the penultimate stage

Stage four of the Desafío Ruta 40 was another long day for the riders with Tosha Schareina going on the attack to take victory in an epic battle between Honda team mates Dakar winner Ricky Brabec and Adrien Van Beveren.

Starting off with a dune section, a favourite of the riders, the stage took in chotts, tarmac, a river section to then finish off with a gravel track heading into the final bivouac of the rally at La Rioja.

The day began with Adrien Van Beveren looking to cut his 3’38” time difference to leader Ricky Brabec on the 280km stage and that he did quickly as he took the lead by the first waypoint.  Brabec though had other ideas, despite having the arduous task of leaving the start line first.  A mistake by Van Beveren then led to the American clocking the fastest time 88km in but this time he had another Monster Energy Honda Team rider to contend with in the form of Tosha Schareina.  Brabec kept him at bay for the majority of the stage but a determined Schareina, who was looking to add to his prologue win, managed to reduce a 55 second gap right down to 7 seconds.  

With a 110km road transfer to break up the timed section, they were back on the gas for a final 100km dash to the finish with just one second separating them at the final time split.  Come the finish there were just seven seconds splitting them as Schareina notched up his sixth World Rally-Raid Championship stage win.

As they head into the final day tomorrow, Schareina will have to not only make up nearly a minute and a half on Brabec to take a second consecutive Desafío Ruta 40 win but he’ll also have to open the stage, something that may hand the American rider an advantage. Adrien Van Beveren helped the team to another Honda 1-2-3, finishing just 57 seconds back as he made up time towards the end of the stage to cement his third position in the overall standings.

Skyler Howes finished the day four minutes down in fifth due to a couple of mistakes and sixth placed Pablo Quintanilla fell victim to a navigation error which took him off piste costing him valuable time too. 

Tomorrow’s final stage will head from La Rioja to Córdoba where the rally started last weekend with a 218km stage that will dictate who the winner of the 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 will be.

Ruben Faria
Ruben Faria
Monster Energy Honda Team
We’ve arrived to La Rioja, the last bivouac of this rally after a long day for the riders.  It was a cold morning and the stage started on a very difficult track with many bumps, which suits Ricky and Adrien so they were the strongest on the first part of the stage.  After that Tosha started to push more and he started to catch Ricky and in the end it was a strong day for us as Tosha won, just seven seconds ahead of Ricky and 57 seconds in front of Adrien.  Skyler had a crash and Pablo had dust to contend with, so they lost time but are still in the game.  The riders are highly motivated and will need to stay focussed until the last kilometre of this rally.  They are feeling very comfortable on their CRF450 RALLY bikes.

Pablo Quintanilla
Pablo Quintanilla 7
Monster Energy Honda Team
It was the longest time on the bike of the rally today and the stage was tough.  The first 50km was very physical riding in the sand, after that we rode through a dry chott with very tricky navigation and I made a small mistake which took me off piste so I lost some minutes there and after that it was quite fast, WRC style.  I was feeling quite good on the bike but it was a tough stage, a bit like the Dakar so I was happy to finish one more day of the rally.

Ricky Brabec
Ricky Brabec 9
Monster Energy Honda Team
It was the second special of the rally I opened so I think that’s about 700km opening the Desafío Ruta 40, but it was fun today.  We started out in the stones then got to the sand section, which for me is like home so I was really confident and comfortable in this terrain on the special.  Just before the transfer there was a fast lake bed chott and navigation got tricky there for a moment but I just stayed calm to navigate through it and get to the transfer.  There’s been a back and forth battle between myself and Tosha all day which has been really cool, so this has made the rally really interesting. 

Skyler Howes
Skyler Howes 10
Monster Energy Honda Team
Today was a really challenging day for me, I really enjoyed the special a lot as it was actually a lot of fun.   We had sand whoops, like San Felipe minus the rocks, so it was a really nice stage but I didn’t really nail it, I had some issues here and there and made a couple of mistakes so I could have done a better job.  When you’re pushing for these tight times you just have to be on it all the time, tomorrow is a new day and I’ll try to do better.

Adrien Van Beveren
Adrien Van Beveren 42
Monster Energy Honda Team
It was a really good rally stage again, we had a lot of sandy tracks at the beginning which I enjoyed a lot.  I pushed hard but got some arm pump so tried to relax and get myself back in the rhythm.  I was not slow today but Ricky and Tosha were pushing hard and I realised when I was at the neutralisation point that I was losing time to them.  I pushed in the last 100km and although I couldn’t make back all the time I’m happy with how the rally is going and enjoyed riding on the different terrain today. 

Tosha Schareina
Tosha Schareina 68
Monster Energy Honda Team
Today was so hard again but the positive was a first stage victory for me at this rally.  I tried to push in the first part as Ricky was opening the stage but he was super fast again, so I tried to push again after the refuelling to close the seven second gap.  Tomorrow is the final push for the win.

RallyGP Provisional Standings after Stage 4












Monster Energy Honda Team







Monster Energy Honda Team







Monster Energy Honda Team




HOWES Skyler



Monster Energy Honda Team







Hero Motorsports Team Rally







Monster Energy Honda Team



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