The Sonora Rally 2023 has come to an end today with the arrival in San Luis, Colorado. Stage 5 left Puerto Peñasco in the first light with a 139 km of special stage and a liaison of 259 km. Some dunes pleased all the riders for this goodbye to Mexico, added by the usual gravel and sand tracks.
Monster Energy Honda Team rider Ricky Brabec was the 4th to arrive, with a 3:02 minute gap to the leader. The American finished the Sonora Rally in 8th overall. He was followed today by Jose Ignacio Cornejo in 7th place with a gap of 06:06 minutes. Nacho was 11th in the overall standings. Adrien Van Beveren was 9th today with a gap of 06:45 minutes to the leader. The Frenchman leaves Mexico ranked in 6th place. Finally, Pablo Quintanilla was 11th today with a gap of 9:21 minutes to the leader. The Chilean finished 9th in the overall standings.
The fourth and penultimate round of the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship will make our team travel to Argentina next August. The Desafio Ruta 40 is also new in the W2RC, beginning on August 28th in La Rioja – an area well known by off road lovers after holding several stages of the Dakar Rally in the past.
Ruben Faria – General Manager : « The Sonora Rally is over today with the last stage. It was a short stage with 139 Km, very very fast with almost no navigation. Just close to the end there was just a small section of km, a little bit more complicated, but there was no way riders could get lost even if they went off piste. The outcome of the race was not the one we wanted, since we arrived here after winning the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Anyway this was a new race and a new experience and we didn’t fit well. On the other hand I am happy because all riders reached the end without any injuries. Now we will try to bring some learnings to the next race – the Ruta 40 – that will be next August in Argentina. The team worked really hard and this was an exhausting race. »
Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « This was a tough rally for me but I am happy to finish, I know I gave my best. I have no regrets about my performance. It was hard but I am sure I gave it all. It was nor easy to deal with the road book and this was kind of frustrating for me. Some dangers were missing in the road book and this affected my confidence. In rally when you don’t have all your confidence you’re not so fast. When I arrived here some weeks ago after winning the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge I wanted to do it again. Unfortunately we could not do it, but this is part of the sport. I have to thank the great support from the team and get back to work soon to make sure we improve in Argentina. »
Ricky Brabec #2 : « It’s the end of the rally and I am super happy to be here. Sonora is a good rally for me, it’s my hometown and it’s always a pleasure to be here. We reached the end of the competition and the most important thing is that we are all safe. It was good to see that Tosha Schareina got a podium also riding a Honda. »
Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « We have finished the race and things didn’t turn out the way I wanted, but this is part of racing. We have to look to the positive side – we have made a lot of kilometers in the desert and we have gained experience. It was good to be here and I think this place has a lot of potential. I am happy to finish and I want to thank all the team for their hard work. Now we have a small break until the next race. We will rest and come back stronger for the next race. »
José Ignacio Cornejo #11 : « We have completed the Sonora Rally, this one was a hard one for me because I didn’t ride how I wished. Anyway I am happy that I have reached the end in one piece. Hopefully I can come back in the future and can redeem myself in this desert. So overall it was another race in the body, now it’s time to move on and start thinking about the next two rounds of the world championship. »
Provisional Standings after Stage 5 Sonora Rally
1. Sanders Daniel – AUS – Gas Gas Factory Team, 11:01:09
2. Schareina Tosha – SPA – Honda Team, 11:09:32
3. Benavides Luciano – ARG – Husqvarna Factory Racing, 11:18:25
4. Price Toby – AUS – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 11:20:52
5. Walkner Matthias – AUT – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 11:24:09
6. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 11:28:23
7. Evan Branch Ross – BWA – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 11:31:16
8. Brabec Ricky – USA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 11:33:01
9. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 11:38:42…
11. Cornejo José Ignacio – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 11:47:09…