DAKAR ’24 – Monster Energy Honda Team one-two finish
José Ignacio Cornejo took a second stage victory at this year’s event with a dominant performance into Al-Hofuf.
Having narrowly missed out on a maiden podium at the Dakar Rally in 2020, the 29 year old has his eyes on the top prize. The Chilean notched up his eighth Dakar stage victory, flying across stage four to propel him to the top of the overall standings now leading Ross Branch by over a minute.
After being separated from the team last night after just a two hour service followed by camping under the stars, the conditions didn’t deter the riders from finding their rhythm and putting in another assault on the general standings.
Making sure to rest up with an early night in his tent, a re-invigorated Ricky Brabec made it a one-two on the podium for the Monster Energy Honda Team as he accumulated a minute in bonuses on the shorter 299 km special stage. It was a great result for the American rider as he opened the way with Kevin Benavides on what promised to be a day with very tricky navigation.
Fifth placed Adrien Van Beveren has now got himself dialled in with his Honda CRF450 RALLY and with dunes coming up tomorrow in the hostile Empty Quarter, the three-time Le Touquet beach race king will be on the hunt for his first stage victory this year on his favourite terrain, aiming to rise up the overall standings from his current fifth position.
After his initial shaky start to the 2024 Dakar, Skyler Howes has made huge improvements to be in the top ten since stage two. The American has been enjoying the rocky stages so far although he did struggle to find a hidden waypoint today. His ninth position today has moved him up to twelfth overall.
Pablo Quintanilla had a stage to forget as 100 km in to the day’s action a parked up truck created some confusion on the route. What he thought was a navigational error was actually the correct way and this lost him over eighteen minutes to Cornejo. This has now dropped him down to seventh overall, so the six time Dakar stage winner will be one to keep an eye on in the coming days as he reclaims that deficit.
As the 48 Hour Chrono gets ever closer riders will have to muster up all their energy for stage five tomorrow. Although it’s only 118 km against the clock in the dunes, a very early start will see them covering a 527 km road section as they head towards the Red Sea and the city of Shubaytah.