Stage 6Arequipa - San Juan de Marcona

  • Brabec, Benavides Remain Top Contenders after Stage 6

    After completing Stage 6 of the 2019 Dakar Rally, Ricky Brabec is 2nd overall, 4 minutes 38 seconds behind the leader, while Benavides sits 8 minutes and 1 second behind, climbing two positions to 4th.

Report

Brabec, Benavides Remain Top Contenders after Stage 6

January 13, 2019


DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Stage 6

DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Behind the Scene Stage 6

On the evening of the rest day, contenders covered some of 839km from a high-altitude Arequipa to warm and windy San Juan de Marcona to prepare for Stage 6, the longest stage of the 2019 Dakar.

January 13: The Dakar is in its 6th stage set from Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona over a total of 839km, the longest of the 2019 edition. The competitors headed out to the town of Camana on the coast on the evening of the rest day, covering 180km before facing the Liaison which started at 4am the next morning. The Special Stage was set in two sections, first a 84km warm up, followed by a long 232km stretch, with a 18km natural zone in between, adding up to a total distance of 334km.

Stretching over four dune areas including the dunes of Tanaka on the coast, 75 percent of this Special was contested over sand making it a tough day. Kicking off at 8am, the leading riders had difficulty finding the first of seven way-points, slowing the pace down for the leading group. Monster Energy Honda Team Kevin Benavides passed the first way-point in 3rd position, and from there on pushed hard to score a close second place finish. Ricky Brabec also had difficulties with navigation at the start but regained pace to finish 7 minutes 30 seconds off the stage winner. Jose Ignacio Cornejo who started from 2nd position opened the track in parts and despite the disadvantage, managed to secure 9th position, 15 minutes 13 seconds behind.

Brabec is now 2nd overall, 4 minutes 38 seconds behind, while Benavides sits 8 minutes and 1 second behind, climbing two positions to 4th overall. The leading group of the bike category is tight with only 10 minutes 46 seconds separating the top six riders, making the competition more complex and exciting.

Tomorrow’s stage will be the first of the two loop stages set in the 2019 edition, where competitors will return to where they started from. This will mean less Liaison and more racing. The Special Stage covers 323km of the 387km total, but it will not be easy for it is set in an area where the 6th stage took part, meaning that the route will be broken up with even more complicated navigation games set. With the goal in sight, the latter half of the 2019 Dakar is going to be tougher, more exciting, and more entertaining.

Comments

Kevin Benavides, Stage: 2nd, Overall: 4th

The strategy for the second week is to up the pace and push for the lead. I carried out this strategy and although I lost a few minutes in the latter part of the stage, I was able to finish in 2nd. I need to be careful not to waste any time at all in the following stages, so I’ll have to think carefully, and also be sure to take care of my health.

Ricky Brabec, Stage: 6th, Overall: 2nd

The wind was a factor today. Temperatures were comfortable but riding in the wind for so long was tiring. At one stage I was worried that I might run out of fuel. I was sure I had filled up at the neutralization but one of my fuel tanks was empty earlier than I expected which worried me for a while. But other than that it was a good day and I’m happy to be in the bivouac, even if it’s messy with fesh-fesh. My physical is at 100 percent and I’m ready to take on the remaining four stages.

José Ignacio Cornejo, Stage: 10th, Overall: 12th

It was another tough day with a lot of stone, sand, and difficult soft dunes in the early parts, but it turned out to be a good day for me. I was opening the track at parts where I had the pace and it felt good and am happy about that. We have four more days to go and I’m going to push to the end.

Taichi Honda, Monster Energy Honda Team Rally Large Project Leader

We are now in the second week of the 2019 Dakar, and are back in San Juan de Marcona having finished the 6th stage. Today’s stage was in very soft sand for the first half, unique to Peru, making it a difficult stage. It was said that the first miles of the stage will be where it counts, and it turned out to be just so. With the strong wind and tricky navigation, it was a tough stage for the riders. Brabec had difficulties keeping a fast pace in the earlier part and finished 6th, dropping to 2nd overall with a 4 minutes 38 second-gap. Benavides dealt with the stage well and gained positions to 4th overall.  It was also a good day for Cornejo, for he passed Sanderland (KTM) ahead of him and had the experience of opening the track. Not many riders get to do this and this experience will sure to be an advantage for his future career. We hope he will keep in the overall top 10. The overall standings show that the top 5 riders are separated by less than 10 minutes and from now on the order is sure to change daily. The team is not allowed to be provide support in tomorrow’s stage so we’ll just sit tight and wait for the riders here in the bivouac of San Juan de Marcona. We have Special Stages of over 300km long to tackle ahead of us. We will give the riders the best support possible and fight the remaining four stages with all we’ve got.

Results

Dakar Rally 2019 Stage 6

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Pablo Quintanilla (ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING)
2 Kevin Benavides (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
3 Matthias Walkner (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
4 Toby Price (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
5 Adrien Van Beveren (YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM)
6 Ricky Brabec (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
10 José Ignacio Cornejo (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
14 Daniel Nosiglia (MEC HRC)

Overall

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Pablo Quintanilla (ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING)
2 Ricky Brabec (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
3 Toby Price (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
4 Kevin Benavides (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
5 Adrien Van Beveren (YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM)
6 Matthias Walkner (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
12 José Ignacio Cornejo (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
14 Daniel Nosiglia (MEC HRC)

Photos