Monster Energy Honda Team – all set for the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
2019 Cross-Country Rallies Round WORLD1 , Scrutineering
Only the ceremonial starting ramp remains:
Monster Energy Honda Team is all ready to face the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the first round of the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, which kicks off tomorrow at the Yas Marina circuit.
Everything is on standby at the Yas Marina Circuit as the teams await the starting gun which will get the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge underway tomorrow. Monster Energy Honda Team have successfully made it through the preliminary tests, with riders, assistance and motorcycles getting the green light after the administrative and technical checks, prior to tomorrow’s ceremonial starting arch of the twenty-fifth edition of the longest-running Middle Eastern rally.
The riders Kevin Benavides, Joan Barreda and José Ignacio Cornejo got their first taste of the Abu Dhabi dunes yesterday as they put their Honda CRF450 RALLYs through their paces in the testing zone. The session proved to be highly positive and the crew are now poised to tackle the arduous five-day race.
Kevin Benavides, who a few days ago suffered an accident in training and dislocated a shoulder, has undergone an intense recuperation process to be able to compete in the race. Joan Barreda likewise finds himself in similar physical conditions after a heavy blow left the Spaniard with a damaged shoulder and three ribs. The game plan for both will be to finish the rally whilst endeavouring to gain competitive pace.
Once the protocol start tomorrow (Saturday) is out of the way, the race moves inland with the action set to take place in the middle of the Liwa desert. On the final day of racing, riders will once again be back at the Yas Marina Circuit where the winners of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will be garlanded. Before making it there, there will be some 1,900 kilometres of Emirati desert and dunes to be endured.
José Ignacio Cornejo