With the bonus of starting the Dakar Rally a little later this year on January 5th, the Monster Energy Honda Team riders convened at the enormous bivouac in AlUla to get themselves prepared for this year’s adventure through the desert. After a positive shakedown on Tuesday morning for all the riders on the new Honda CRF450 RALLY, attention turned today to administrative and technical checks as the final preparations got underway while the team also made time to celebrate team rider, Adrien Van Beveren’s birthday in the bivouac, ahead of his ninth Dakar Rally start.
With scrutineering checks passed for the entire team at this year’s opening round of the 2024 World Rally-Raid Championship, the Monster Energy Honda Team can now prepare themselves for the monumental task that lies ahead; two weeks of spectacular racing across Saudi Arabia.
With 179 riders in total, 23 of them in the RallyGP class, they’ll be ready for mountains, dunes and 1000s of kilometres of desolate desert as they tackle unfamiliar terrain aiming to be the fastest to the waypoints along each stage, of which there will be twelve across Saudi Arabia’s magnificent landscapes.
Action kicks off tomorrow with a prologue loop around AlUla which is a 28km test and a liaison of 130km with the results setting the starting order for stage one the following day. Organisers have promised that this opener will be pushing competitors to the limit from the get-go with sand, rocks and off-track sections on the menu, in what is a real test before the rally gets underway for the first big stage of 405 kms on January 6th.
Ruben Faria – General Manager : « We’ve been in Saudi Arabia for a week which has given the riders and team members a chance to acclimatise ahead of the toughest round on the 2024 calendar. With the final checks passed today the team is motivated and ready for the Dakar Rally, so now it’s time for the action to begin. A lot can happen over the next fifteen days, but our team is ready to fight for the victory! »