Desafio Ruta 40 Monster Honda : Prologue win for Van Beveren

It was a great start for the Monster Energy Honda Team! Adrien Van Beveren dominated the prologue (6:48 minutes) and confirmed his great momentum, while Dakar winner Ricky Brabec was third just two seconds away. Pablo Quintanilla made the 7th best score of the day (6:53minutes) and his companion from Chile José Ignacio Cornejo finished in the 13th position (7:16 minutes).

Desafio Ruta 40 YPF, the fourth and penultimate stop of the World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC) is finally on the road! This epic comeback to Argentina, a playground very well known by all off-road lovers after one decade of Dakar Rally in the country, is for now focused on La Rioja. This Sunday was time to decide the standings for Stage 1 during a prologue with around nine kilometers long (added by a road connection of 29 km).

The prologue track was situated around Los Sauces Dam, very close to the city center of La Rioja. Quite spectacular and sinuous, this warm-up was the first chance for the local fans to meet the best rally-raid specialists in full action.

Tomorrow the race will remain in the province of La Rioja, with a long day for the riders. The first stage will complete a circuit of nearly 700 km with start and arrival in La Rioja: 362 km of liaison and 334 km of Special Stage. At this point, gravel will dominate the menu – with 85% of the track. This means that the sand specialists will have only 15% of their favorite ingredient.

Ruben Faria – General Manager : « This was a technical prologue with two kinds of terrain, between the mountain and a dry river bed with sand. It was a short distance and the gap between the first riders was short. The team has done well and tomorrow the ones that could chose their starting order will start from behind, except for Nacho Cornejo – he will open the stage. I’m not worried about this, because he is an excellent navigator. We will attack no stage 1 and do all to keep Honda’s dominance. »

Adrien Van Beveren #42 : « Overall I had a good feeling during this prologue. I enjoy this kind of track, it’s technical and slippery. It was easy to make mistakes, I made only one when I entered too fast on a corner. my Honda CRF 450 Rally is going really well in these extreme conditions and this makes me feel even more confident. »

Ricky Brabec #2 : « This was the first day of the race and things worked out well. I am really excited for what we did. Now I am looking forward to racing for the next five days. I think we will have a good starting position, so I am happy to see us opening the rally on a positive note. »

Pablo Quintanilla #7 : « The prologue is already behind us. These nine kilometers were good to release the tension and anxiety. The track was really slippery and sinuous, so we had to be extremely careful with the curves and breaking. It was not a bad day and now I will start tomorrow in a relatively good position. »

José Ignacio Cornejo #11 : « Our first impact in Desafio Ruta 40 is done and I felt quite well. I made some mistakes and rode in a conservative way because the track was really slippery. Now my mind is already in the next five days. I am sure it will be a hard journey but I feel quite motivated and prepared to face it. »

Rider Standings
Provisional Standings Prologue Desafio Ruta 40
1. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 06:48
2. Benavides Luciano – ARG – Husqvarna Factory Racing, 06:49
3. Brabec Ricky – USA – Monster Energy Honda Team, 06:50
4. Walkner Matthias – AUT – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 06:50
5. Schareina Tosha – SPA – Honda Team, 06:51
6. Price Toby – AUS – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, 06:51
7. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 06:53
8. Evan Branch Ross – BWA – Hero Motorsports Team Rally, 06:56
9. Bühler Sebastian – GER – Bühler Racing Team, 07:03…
13. Cornejo José Ignacio – CHI – Monster Energy Honda Team, 07:16…