Stage 7San Juan de Marcona - San Juan de Marcona

  • Brabec Regains Overall Lead after Stage 7

    After completing one of the most demanding stages, Monster Energy Honda Team Ricky Brabec has regained the overall lead in the 2019 Dakar with a 7 minutes 47 seconds advantage over its nearest rival.

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Brabec Regains Overall Lead after Stage 7

January 14, 2019


DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Stage 7

DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Behind the Scene Stage 7

Into its second week, the Dakar 2019 is heating up with riders vying for the lead, chasing small time differences. After completing one of the most demanding stages today, Monster Energy Honda Team Ricky Brabec has re-captured the overall lead with a 7 minutes 47 seconds advantage over its nearest rival. Tomorrow's stage is named the “Super Ica,” an even tougher and demanding stage, to stay true to being the most demanding race in the world.

January 14: The 7th stage of the Dakar was set in a loop, starting and finishing in San Juan de Marcona.

The start was delayed by 30 minutes due to thick fog, and kicked off at 6:45am on its 331km run. The route included parts where the rally had taken place in earlier stages, and was full of ruts left by cars and trucks. The Monster Energy Honda Team fought hard despite these difficult conditions.

José Ignacio Cornejo was the team rider who shone the most today. Starting from 10th position, he managed to validate a way-point where other riders were having difficulty, gaining enough ground to ride with the top riders. He marked the team's best result with a 2nd place finish, the second time in his Dakar carrier.

Ricky Brabec started from 6th position and got off to a good pace. He took some time finding a way-point but other than that it went well for him, bringing his CRF450 RALLY to 3rd place, 6 minutes 30 seconds behind the stage winner. Overall, he's back in the lead with a 7 minute 47 second advantage over Adrien Van Beveren (YAMAHA) in 2nd position.

It turned out to be a tougher stage for Kevin Benavides who started the stage from 2nd position. He managed to overtake Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) ahead and opened the track with care maintaining a fast pace, however lost some minutes locating Way-point 5 and finished the stage 12th, dropping his overall standing to 6th position.

Tomorrow's stage start will be unique: the top ten contenders in the bike and car categories, and the top five drivers in the truck category will start the stage together. Benavides, starting from 12th, will have to deal with ongoing vehicles in this “Super Ica” stage.

The 9th day and the 8th stage of the Dakar will head to Pisco over 575km with a long 360km special stage. Another stage over 300km and with the unpredictable starting system, it's sure to corrupt the leaderboard, making it another challenge for the competitors.

Comments

José Ignacio Cornejo, Stage: 2nd Overall: 12th

It was a tough but good day for me. Earlier parts of the stage had broken up tracks because we had used the same route in previous stages, but the pace was good and it turned out to be a fast stage. The second part was mainly sand and dunes. Ongoing riders were having difficulties finding a way-point so I decided it was an opportunity to push hard for a good position. I kept the errors at a minimum and maintained a good pace, resulting in a 2nd place finish. I would of liked a stage victory, but I'd prefer not to open up the track tomorrow so I think 2nd was OK.

Ricky Brabec, Stage: 3rd Overall: 1st

After yesterday's mess-up, I needed a good day like this. It was more like my style and the terrain I'm used to, and we also rode together with the other bikes a lot so it was fun and I felt good. It's going to be hard to maintain the gap tomorrow so I'm glad some riders finished in front and I don't have to open the track. We'll just see how it goes.

Kevin Benavides, Stage: 12th Overall: 6th

This stage had the most complicated navigation so far. I started from 2nd position and caught up with Quintanilla (Husqvarna) , and rode together opening most of the track. However towards the end of the stage in the dunes, there were other riders who caught up with us which made finding a way-point difficult, costing us to lose a few minutes. The final part of the stage was with fesh-fesh, dust and strong wind making it dangerous. I finished in 12th place, but considering tomorrow's stage with cars and trucks ahead, a 12th position start will be ideal. A concern is that if the stage has a lot of fesh-fesh it will be difficult to overtake.

Taichi Honda, Monster Energy Honda Team Rally Large Project Leader

The 7th stage was a loop, where the riders started off from the bivouac of San Juan de Marcona early in the morning and returned back to the same bivouac in the evening. The team was not able to support the riders on the route so we just crossed our fingers and stayed in the bivouac all of the long day. The stage was said to have tricky navigation, but Benavides managed to catch up with Quintanilla ahead and opened the track from there on. He proceeded with care and finished in a position where he can fight hard tomorrow. Brabec kept a good pace throughout the stage, finishing 3rd and back in the overall lead. He has a comfortable pace with a good rhythm so we hope to support him the best we can. It was a happy day for Cornejo who scored his second 2nd place finish, and also caught up and almost overtook the leader. We are as happy as he is and will continue to support him in aim to finish in the overall top ten. Three more stages to go, the competition is tight and the standings can change every day. We will stay focused on the overall Dakar victory. The Monster Energy Honda Team appreciates your support.

Results

Dakar Rally 2019 Stage 7

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Sam Sunderland (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
2 José Ignacio Cornejo (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
3 Ricky Brabec (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
4 Adrien Van Beveren (YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM)
5 Luciano Benavides (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
6 Andrew Short (ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING)
12 Kevin Benavides (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
16 Daniel Nosiglia (MEC HRC)

Overall

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

Photos