Still anyone’s game at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge halfway point

With the race at its halfway point, tomorrow sees the penultimate stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with a 243-kilometre special stage in the Liwa desert.

HRC in Abu Dhali Desert Challenge it's still anyone's game
HRC in Abu Dhali Desert Challenge
Still anyone’s game at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge halfway point

As the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge reaches its mid-point, Monster Energy Honda Team look set to be in the battle for the final podium.

Stage three of the rally returned to the dunes of the Empty Quarter in Abu Dhabi in Al Dhafra desert. The race set off from the bivouac at Qsar al Sarab before starting the 255-kilometre timed special on a sand and dune-filled route.

Today, Pablo Quintanilla battled throughout the stage to keep up with the main group who will eventually be in the fight for the final victory. The rider set a swift pace and reached the finish in fourth place, four minutes behind the day’s winner, leaving him in forth overall spot, four minutes fifty seconds adrift of the leader.

Ricky Brabec also had a noteworthy day, despite starting in fourth place among the group that opened the track. During the second half of the special, the American moved into the head, opening the way, which logically led him to shed time to the rest of the chasing pack. Nevertheless, the American holds fifth in the overall standings, sixt minutes behind the leader.

Nacho Cornejo was able to finish a special that got off to a complicated start. However, he managed to drop just a few minutes which he should be able to make up tomorrow as he will be starting from a rear position.

With the race at its halfway point, tomorrow sees the penultimate stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with a 243-kilometre special stage in the Liwa desert.

Pablo Quintanilla 7

STAGE: 5th Provisional: 4th

We finished the third stage and the truth is that I am very happy with today’s performance. We tried to push as hard as we could during the whole day to try to reduce the gap. The general standings are very tight and it will be that way until the final kilometre. We have to stay focused. The feeling with the bike is getting better and better. I’m very happy.

José Ignacio Cornejo 11

STAGE: 9th Provisional: 8th

Today was a difficult day for me: I lose some minutes at the beginning of the stage, but after that, I decided to attack, to keep pushing at a good pace. It wasn’t bad, I felt comfortable on the bike and I was able to make up some of the lost time. We made it through the day and we still haven’t lost anything.

Ricky Brabec 2

STAGE: 8th Provisional: 5th

Stage three was great. I started fourth on the day. I was thinking that I would catch Kevin later in the special and that I would have been able to push all day, but unfortunately I caught Kevin and the front group before refuelling, then right after refuelling Kevin made a mistake. I was really hoping Kevin would stay in front all day and open as I know he is fast in the sand dunes, but after refueling he had a small crash and from there I took turns opening the special with Luciano. I lost a bit of time but all in all it was good. We’re healthy. We are happy. There are two days left so we’ll go back and recharge for the next couple of days.

2022 Season
Stage Round WORLD2   Abu Dhabi

Results Stage 3

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Walkner Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 3:24'13
2 Sunderland Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas +1'01
3 Howes Skyler 5 USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +2'30
4 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4'07
5 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'09
6 Rodrigues Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +4'42
7 Caimi Franco 6 ARG Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +7'17
8 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'35
9 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +10'05
10 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +11'14
2022 Season
Stage Round WORLD2   Abu Dhabi

Provisional Standings after Stage 3

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Sunderland Sam 3 GBR Gas Gas Factory Team Gas Gas 11:23'47
2 Walkner Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4'24
3 Benavides Kevin 1 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4'28
4 Quintanilla Pablo 7 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'49
5 Brabec Ricky 2 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6'12
6 Price Toby 18 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'40
7 Rodrigues Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +7'42
8 Cornejo José Ignacio 11 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'23
9 Caimi Franco 6 ARG Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +9'56
10 Benavides Luciano 77 ARG Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +16'47
Location Information

The erstwhile UAE Desert Challenge, one of the world’s most prestigious international cross country rallies, entered a new era in March 2009 when it was renamed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with the five-day motor sport spectacular being staged in its entirety across Abu Dhabi emirate under the auspices of the Abu… read more.

Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates – View in Google Maps

Records

2021 Matthias Walkner (KTM)
2019 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2018 Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna)
2017 Sam Sunderland (KTM)
2016 Toby Price (KTM)
2015 Marc Coma (KTM)
2014 Paulo Gonçalves (Honda)
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