This was certainly a good day for the Monster Energy Honda Team: Adrien Van Beveran was the winner of the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally 2023! But that was not all, since José Ignacio Cornejo – the Chilean known by all as Nacho – was also second in this special section. Pablo Quintanilla was 10th, but his time can be revised due to his assistance to Joan Barreda after the crash of the Spaniard.
Van Beveren and Nacho finished the 374 kilometers of special stage circuit Ha’il-Ha’il just separated by 13 seconds, dominating clearly on a very demanding terrain composed of small dunes with camel grass.
In the overall standings, the competition is still very close between the main contenders. Adrien Van Beveren – who has 4th as his personal best in the Dakar Rally – is in fifth position just four minutes and 22 seconds from the current leader. Pablo Quintanilla is in 7th position, with 9 minutes and 55 seconds to the leader. Finally, José Ignacio Cornejo is now ranked in 9th place and has 17 minutes and 32 seconds of delay.
Tomorrow the sixth stage from this year’s Dakar Rally will leave the Ha’il region in the direction of Riyadh – meaning a last minute change by ASO due to the weather conditions. This special stage will have 367 kilometers (less 100 than initially foreseen) and a liaison of 300 km. The route will continue to travel from coast to coast with the longest stage of this Dakar, which also contains the longest special stage. Speedometers will easily hit triple digits on the fast ample tracks that take the first half of the course through extensive plateaus. A sequence of dunes will bring some variety and ramp up the suspense in the final third of the stage. By the end of this day, riders and machines will have already completed nearly 2500 kilometers of specials.
Our riders are doing a good job. This first week has been one of the longest in recent years of the Dakar Rally. I know we will still have to face some more hard journeys before the rest day, but we are here to resist and play the game. Our riders remain strong and motivated and our Honda CRF 450 Rally also ready to face the challenges ahead
Adrien Van Beveren
This stage win was a late anniversary present! It feels great to reach this performance, I am really happy! I did a good navigation at the beginning, then I opened around 200 kilometers. The terrain was really difficult but I could reach my goal.
José Ignacio Cornejo
This was a great stage overall for the team, I am quite happy to contribute to this good result. I think I have found my rhythm and that is also the consequence of the permanent improvements our team is working on in our Honda CRF 450 Rally
The stage was more or less similar to the one we faced yesterday. I started the stage with a good pace, I was riding together with Joan Barreda and just before the finish he had a bad crash and I had to stop to assist him. The navigation was tricky and I think many of the riders had problems with it.
- From Monster Energy Honda Team