After a two-month hiatus, Monster Energy Honda Team returns once more to competition. The Honda CRF450 RALLY will be back in the fray this week with the dispute of the first World Rally Raid event, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
The 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship opens this week with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the first date on the calendar which the Monster Energy Honda Team will take part in.
Team HRC is gunning this year, more than ever, for the world championship, with the participation of its full arsenal of official riders: Portuguese Paulo Gonçalves, winner in the 2014 edition, and Argentine Kevin Benavides, current world champion runner-up, will spearhead the effort. They will be supported by American Ricky Brabec, Frenchman Michael Metge and the squad’s latest signing Chilean Nacho Cornejo. Joan Barreda will not be in the race as he is still on the road to recovery after his wrist operation in mid-February.
There will be some thirty competitors on the start-line for the race, all going in search of victory, in the six-day competition covering more than 2000 kilometres.
24 March – SSS Stage 1
25 March – Stage 2 – 418.38 km
26 March – Stage 3 – 519.71 km
27 March – Stage 4 – 372.55 km
28 March – Stage 5 – 390.66 km
29 March – Stage 6 – 356.06 km
Cross-Country Rallies World Championship
24-29 March – Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Abu Dhabi
17-22 April – Sealine Qatar – Qatar
29 July - 5 August – Baja Inka – Peru
11-19 August – Atacama Rally – Chile
25-31 August – Desaf