Stage 4Arequipa - Moquegua

  • Stunning Marathon Stage Win gives Brabec the Lead

    Passing all the checkpoints with the fastest times, Ricky Brabec convincingly won Stage 4, the first half of the Marathon stage where teams are not allowed to assist their riders.

Report

Stunning Marathon Stage Win gives Brabec the Lead

January 10, 2019


DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Stage 4

DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Behind the Scene Stage 4

Passing all the checkpoints with the fastest times, Ricky Brabec convincingly won Stage 4. Other Monster Energy Honda Team members also finished the first half of the marathon stage safely, securing places amongst the top ten.

January 10: The 41st Dakar Rally's 4th stage was set from Arequipa to Moquegua over 511km. Combined with Stage 5, the Marathon stage is uniquely difficult as riders are not able to receive any support from the team at the bivouac of Moquegua: riders have to maintain and prepare their own bikes for the next day after the long and intense Stage 4.

The 124 riders who started off from Arequipa rode an 85km Liaison before approaching the Special Stage which was set in two parts covering a total of 405km. The first part was 205km, and beyond the 54km neutral zone in between, the latter 146km awaited.

Starting from 13th position, Ricky Brabec was exceptionally fast right from the beginning, passing all the way-points and check-points with top times, and and finished the stage with a massive 6 minutes 19 seconds lead over his closest contender. This is his second stage victory since 2017 at the stage between La Paz and Uyuni, and this result has placed him at the top of the leaderboard, the first time for Brabec.

Fellow Monster Energy Honda Team riders on their CRF450 Rallys have also finished this first half of the Marathon in good shape. Paulo Goncalves, still recovering from a spleen operation only a month ago, was careful in the earlier stages but is now more confident about his physical condition and is steadily improving, finishing today's stage in 6th, placing him 8th on the leaderboard. A harder day for Kevin Benavides had some trouble finding a way-point and finished 9th, some 15 minutes 40 seconds behind the winner. Despite his drop from 2nd yesterday to overall 6th, he is still only 9 minutes 1 second off race leading Brabec. Young Jose Ignacio Cornejo finished in 8th position, and looks forward to the sandy route he is fond of set in tomorrow's stage.

Stage 5 brings the riders back to Arequipa over a total of 776km. The Special Stage is 345km long and the start will be in a motocross style with the bikes lined up side by side, all storming away into the dunes together rather than the rally stile where each rider starts off with a time gap, fighting the clock. With still a lot of ground to clear before the rest day, the competition is sure to heat up on the second day of the Marathon.

Comments

Ricky Brabec, Stage: 1st, Overall: 1st

I needed a victory like that! It went well on terrain I felt comfortable on and I was not only able to win the stage but with a large time margin which has put me in the overall lead. Tomorrows start is going to be in a motocross style so today's victory will help for I wouldn't have to take risks opening the track. I have a 6 minute 19 seconds lead and I hope to control this gap in tomorrow's stage.

Paulo Goncalves, Stage: 6th, Overall: 8th

I'm happy with what we have done so far. With the 4th stage over, we have finished 40 percent of the Dakar. In this stage I rode hard up to the refueling where there was plenty of stones in the river area, where I had to be more careful and dropped my pace. My physical condition is improving daily and that is giving me confidence to continue the oncoming stages.

José Ignacio Cornejo, Stage: 8th, Overall: 15th

It was a long and fast stage but I think I maintained the speed well. Both myself and the bike's in good condition and that's most important in this marathon stage. I'm happy with Stage 4 but since I lost some time yesterday, I'll have to continue to ride hard to make it up.

Kevin Benavides, Stage: 9th, Overall: 6th

What with hard tracks, stony areas, and even some fesh-fesh, today's route was with a variety. It went OK but I lost some time trying to find a way-point. The dust from the riders ahead was so intense, trying to pass them was difficult and dangerous. I decided to take care of the bike and keep my position, and strike when I find the right opportunity.

Taichi Honda, Monster Energy Honda Team Rally Large Project Leader

We have spent time preparing for this stage and are happy and relieved that the first part of the Marathon Stage is over without any issues, with the added bonus of great results. Tomorrow's start is going to be in a motocross style and a hard battle between the top riders is expected. The team hopes all the riders will complete this long stage and make it back safely to the bivouac without any injuries. Tomorrow will be the last of the first half of the 2019 Dakar and we will be able to have a break the next day. We shall make sure the team is fully functional, revise our tactics and prepare to fight the latter half of the rally, and also take care of the physical condition of all the team members. The Monster Energy Honda Team appreciates your continuous support.

Results

Dakar Rally 2019 Stage 4

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Ricky Brabec (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
2 Matthias Walkner (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
3 Toby Price (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
4 Adrien Van Beveren (YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM)
5 Sam Sunderland (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
6 Paulo Goncalves (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
8 José Ignacio Cornejo (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
9 Kevin Benavides (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
22 Daniel Nosiglia (MEC HRC)
39 Diego Martin Duplessis (MEC HRC)

Overall

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Ricky Brabec (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
2 Pablo Quintanilla (ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING)
3 Toby Price (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
4 Sam Sunderland (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
5 Adrien Van Beveren (YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM)
6 Kevin Benavides (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
8 Paulo Goncalves (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
15 José Ignacio Cornejo (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
17 Daniel Nosiglia (MEC HRC)
35 Diego Martin Duplessis (MEC HRC)

Photos