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Van Beveren extends Abu Dhabi Challenge lead | Price slips to P6

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Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023
fourth stage


A thick fog shrouded the penultimate stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on Thursday morning, delaying the start by two hours, but that didn’t stop Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna Factory Racing) from dominating the wow.

Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Energy Honda), who won the championship two days ago, was 3’22” ahead of Ross Branch (Hero MotoSports) who finished third with 4’06” on the day.

Pablo Quintanilla started the stage second overall but is now out of contention after his Honda gave up on the Wraith 250km into the special. His teammate Adrien Van Beveren remains at the top of the leaderboard.

Ruben Faria – General Manager, Monster Energy Honda

Today, our team was reduced to three drivers due to Pablo’s waiver. The race at the top is very close, with very little gap between all eight drivers at the front, so now we have to stay focused to achieve our goals. Adrien Van Beveren led the race with Nacho on the podium followed by Ricky. The race is not over until the finish line.I know it’s going to be a big fight till the end

Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) finished seventh with 9’01″ after opening the track on Thursday morning. Due to the morning fog and wet sand, there was a clear trail of his opponent behind Toby – the pair who were chasing A huge advantage for the wolves.

Price made it through the stage with almost six minutes of bonus time, which helped him finish seventh on the stage. Now sixth, the Australian will make the most of his late start position in tomorrow’s fifth and final stage as he aims to buy the most time for those ahead.

toby price

After Thursday’s win, Luciano Benavidez’s overall rankings soared and he is now Van Beveren’s closest chaser at 2-foot-58.

Chile’s Nacho Cornejo finally put his Honda on the provisional podium, 6ft 14in behind his teammate. Ross Branch (Hero MotoSports) was fourth at 6-foot-38. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna Factory Racing) was fifth at 7ft 16in.

Toby Price slipped to sixth with a time of 8:35. Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda) was seventh at 8’52”. The gap between the top 7 is less than 9 minutes.

Benavidez will start Friday’s stage ahead of the general manager – an enviable position for the Argentine.

The race remains wide open between the top 7, who will resolve their differences in a final over 200km long.

In the Rally 2 category, Paolo Lucci, who had dominated the race from day one, lost a lot of time when he crashed with 20km to go. The BAS World KTM Racing rider ceded the lead to Jean-Loup Lepan (Dust Diverse Racing) and is now nearly 11 minutes behind.

Adrien Van Beveren – Overall P1

I knew today was the day to push, so I did it from the beginning. I was able to get to Nacho at about 100km and ride with him – it was nice to have him by my side because when you’re riding alone it’s harder to maintain a high cadence. We did a great job together and I couldn’t be happier with my day.Our goal is to have fun and that’s what we’ve achieved

Adrian van Beveren
Luciano Benavides – 2nd Overall

For me, a really good day out in the desert. After the delays this morning, I was really motivated to do my best from the start and make up as much time as possible for those ahead. This stage of last year’s race was the first stage I won, so it’s great to be at the top again this year. The bike works really well and I’m very happy with what the team has done here. Another day, I’m going to start.My goal is to win the championship, it’s not easy, but I will definitely do my best

Luciano Benavides
Jose Ignacio Cornejo – 3rd overall

I finished stage 4 in sixth and didn’t feel as good as I did the other day. But it was still a good stage and I rode as fast as I could but inevitably lost some time. Now I am standing on the podium.Tomorrow I’ll do my best to keep this position, the day won’t be that long so we’ll have to give it our all and be consistent until the end

Jose Ignacio Cornejo
Skyler Howes – Overall P5

The start of the day was very interesting – we had fog at the start of the stage and it took a long time to clear because it was blowing in a particular direction. It also gets hotter over time. It was a long stage, the fog made the sand wet, and for those of us who started, we left the perfect track for everyone behind to follow. They can even see where we’re refueling or slamming on the brakes. The dunes are really technical, but with the sun so much higher it’s hard to see and read the terrain properly. Definitely not an opening day, we lost a lot of time, but I think we did a good job up front.That’s racing so we regroup now and try hard again tomorrow in the final stages

skyler house
Toby Price – Overall P6

Unfortunately, today wasn’t the best day for me. We were delayed for about two hours waiting for the fog to clear, and then when we finally started, the sun was so high in the sky that it was hard to see when the stage opened. I did my best and didn’t make big mistakes anywhere, but in these conditions, on the longest stage of the race, it was hard to lead. Pablo (Quintanilla) caught up to me at about 80km and led for a while, it was much easier to follow someone else’s track.I brought it home safely and that’s all that matters, now there’s the fifth and final stage to go and I’ll give it my all as usual

toby price

Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023
Phase 4 Results

  1. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 3:47:08
  2. Adrien Van Beveren (France), Honda, 3:50:30 +3:22
  3. Ross Branch (BWA), hero, 3:51:14 +4:06
  4. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 3:51:25 +4:17
  5. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 3:52:41 5:33
  6. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:53:44
  7. Toby Price (Australia), KTM, 3:56:09 +9:01
  8. Mason Klein (USA), KTM, 3:57:00 9:52

Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023
Provisional Population After Phase IV

  1. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 14:45:32
  2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 14:48:30
  3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 14:51:46
  4. Rose Branch (Hero) 14:52:10
  5. Schuyler House (Husqvarna) 14:52:48
  6. Toby Price (KTM) 14:54:07

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