The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is the second round of the World Rally-Raid Championship, in which Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Energy Honda Team) won the race today with Honda – something the japanese manufacturer hadn’t achieved since 2014 with Paulo Gonçalves. With the end of this second round, riders and teams are already preparing the third round of the championship with their eyes on the league table.
Starting in the riders’ championship, Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) took the lead. The australian, who won this fifth stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, is now at the top of the table after having finished the Dakar Rally in second place and having concluded this ADDC in third place. In this way, the consistency earned Price the place of leader of the championship with 46 points held.
In second place is Adrien Van Beveren. This triumph earned the frenchman a total of 25 points and he is now behind the leader by a small difference of four points. Kevin Benavides (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) is in third place, eight points behind Price, after winning the Dakar and missing the second round due to injury.
The top five is also completed by the Husqvarna Factory Racing duo: Luciano Benavides – Kevin’s brother – and Skyler Howes. In this way, the two men are just behind the third classified with 11 and 12 points less, respectively, compared to the leader.
As far as manufacturers are concerned, KTM is the best manufacturer with a total of 84 points. The fact that Price was the only one of the three riders on the official team to race in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge didn’t help – both Benavides and Matthias Walkner are injured – and that brought Honda closer together. However, the two brands are separated by nine points, with KTM holding 84 points at this point. Third place is occupied by Husqvarna which is 15 points away from KTM.
Off the podium are Hero and GASGAS. With Franco Caimi and Joaquim Rodrigues injured, the indian manufacturer went to this race with Ross Branch and the Luso-German Sebastian Bühler. However, only the Botswana driver made it to the end and collected 11 points for the championship – Bühler had to retire after a mechanical problem. GASGAS, on the other hand, did not race because both drivers were injured. Thus, Hero is 31 points away from the top and GASGAS 70 points away from KTM.
The next championship race takes place in Mexico with the Sonora Rally. This third race is scheduled to take place between the 22nd and 28th of april.