Rallye

One-two for Monster Energy Honda in 2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge second stage

Posted:

Monster Energy Honda's Jos̩ Ignacio Cornejo set off at a swift pace to claim the second stage win. Photo: RallyZone - Edoardo Bauer
The Monster Energy Honda Team riders turned out a fine performance in the dunes of Liwa for the second stage of the 2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge taking the top two spots.

Jos̩ Ignacio Cornejo and Joan Barreda finished first and second on the day, while the fastly improving American Andrew Short crossed the line third.

The heat and wind were once again the key climatic elements of stage two. The 222 kilometres of special timed stage proved to be a physical test for the riders once more. Yet in spite of the soft dunes and scorching temperatures on the course, riders finished the day reporting back good sensations.
Jose Ignacio Cornejo prepares for the day in the dunes. Photo: RallyZone - Edoardo Bauer
JosÌ© Ignacio Cornejo set off at a swift pace, catching the two riders ahead before finishing amongst the front-runners at the end of the special. The Chilean rider pulled off an important stage victory, his second in the World Championship. ‰Û÷Nacho‰Ûª now lies in second in the general standings, less than a minute behind the leader Sam Sunderland.

"Today I improved the pace with the bike in the dunes, I went a lot faster and I pulled back a bit of time before the refuelling," Cornejo explained. "In the second part I was pushing harder and I was able to catch up with the front-runners. Furthermore, I won the stage, so I am very happy, and the intention from now on is to continue along the same track and try to hold onto the second position in the general standings."
Joan Barreda made it a Honda 1-2 with second place. Photo: RallyZone - Edoardo Bauer
Joan Barreda was today able to resume the race after yesterday‰Ûªs mechanical hitch. The Spanish rider was surprised to arrive at refuelling with the best provisional time. He would have been the best on the day too had it not been for a fall in the second part of the special which saw him drop precious seconds. He did, however, finish the stage in second place behind his team-mate.

"I was feeling pretty good. It was an important, yet tough day for me," Barreda shared. "In the earlier part I didn‰Ûªt feel so confident, but things improved and I was able to reach a good race pace. Pity about the final part, where I got stuck in a dune and my ribs were hurting. I decided to slow down a bit to make it safely to the finish-line. Anyway, I am pleased with how I led the day in spite of the difficulties."
With only one set of tracks ahead of him in the sand, Short had to rely on his ever-increasing rally experience to navigate through the featureless Liwa desert. Photo: RallyZone - Edoardo Bauer
Andrew Short continues to impress posting the third fastest time on a tricky stage. As the second rider to head into the timed special, the American rider immediately set about chasing down the leader.

With only one set of tracks ahead of him in the sand, Short had to rely on his ever-increasing rally experience to navigate through the featureless Liwa desert. Ultimately catching the leading competitor 20 kilometres before the stage finish posting a stage time less than three minutes down on the day two winner. Despite incurring a one-minute speed penalty ‰ÛÒ his first ever in rally competition ‰ÛÒ Short still lies third in the provisional overall standings.

‰ÛÏToday‰Ûªs stage was very similar to yesterday, but I was riding by myself for the majority of the day," Short said. "I was able to use the tracks in the sand to my advantage and managed to keep to a good pace. It was a bit tough out there battling against the wind once again but I‰Ûªm happy with how I rode. It seems I got my first speed penalty today since I started rally, which isn‰Ûªt good. Hopefully as the days continue, I can push the tracks and gain more positions.‰Û
Luciano Benavides impressed once again finishing stage two fourth fastest. Photo: RallyZone - Edoardo Bauer
Luciano Benavides matched his fourth-place finish from the opening day, the 23-year-old successfully navigated his own way through the expansive dunes. Ultimately, he posted a stage time of three-hours-and-16-minutes, less than four minutes from the stage winner.

‰ÛÏIt was a good day for me today," Benavides enthused. "I rode alone for the whole stage so I was able to learn a lot about this desert and how to read the dunes. I was able to maintain a good rhythm and I‰Ûªm not too far away from the top guys so I‰Ûªm happy with that. My pace is getting better and that‰Ûªs very encouraging for the days ahead. My plan is to continue like this without any mistakes and arrive healthy at the end.‰Û
Stage one winner Sam Sunderland finished 5th on stage two after leading the field away, he still holds the overall lead. Photo: RallyZone - Edoardo Bauer
Following on from his day one win, Sam Sunderland was the first to enter today‰Ûªs stage. Navigating through the looped timed special that took riders around the Liwa oasis area, Sunderland led the majority of the route, only to be caught close to the finish. Despite the conditions being less than perfect, the 2017 Abu Dhabi winner showed excellent pace, posting the fifth fastest time for the day.

‰ÛÏStarting first on the route is always going to be a disadvantage obviously, but I‰Ûªm pleased with how I rode and believe I did a good job of opening the stage," Sunderland said. "I set a good pace all day and only got caught by Andrew at around kilometre 200, which is really good for leading out here in Abu Dhabi as it‰Ûªs always quite tricky to navigate and easy to lose time when riding at the front. I am very pleased with how everything is going at the moment ‰ÛÒ the bike is perfect and the team are doing great. Hopefully the wind eases off a little as it makes everyone‰Ûªs job a little harder, but it‰Ûªs the desert and it can be expected. Looking forward to getting going again tomorrow.‰Û

Share Article:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Tumblr
Pinterest
Reddit
Email
Print
Action Sports Decals

More News: Latest Headlines

More News: Latest Headlines

Industry

Australian Motorcycle Sales Decline In January–March 2024 Quarter

Motocross

Kirk Gibbs Eyes More ProMX Podiums After Third Overall At Horsham

Motocross

Jobe Dunne Expected To Make Full Recovery After Nasty Horsham Crash

Motocross

Jed Beaton Takes ProMX Championship Lead With Round Two Win

Hard Enduro

Anthony Solar Wins 2024 Australian Hard Enduro Championship Opener

Motocross

Koby Hantis Maintains Control Of ProMX MX3 Championship

Motocross

Levi Rogers And Beta Continue Moving Forward At Horsham ProMX

Motocross

Nathan Crawford Notches Up Maiden ProMX MX1 Moto Win

Rallye

Tosha Schareina Takes First FIM World Rally Raid Championship Round Win In Portugal

Enduro

Steve Holcombe Takes EnduroGP Win On Day Two At GP Of Portugal

Motocross

Lotte van Drunen Dominates Sardinia to Take WMX Championship Lead

MXGP

Jorge Prado and Kay de Wolf Keep Win Streak Going At MXGP Of Sardegna

What's On This Week

MXGP - R4
MXGP of Trentino (ITA) - Pietramurata
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
AMA GNCC - R5
The Old Gray, Monterrey, TN
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
Gippsland Region MX - R3
Bairnsdale
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
AORC - R3
Enfield, Vic
Saturday, April 20th, 2024
NZ Motocross Championships - R4
Taranaki
Saturday, April 13th, 2024
SA Motocross Championships - R1
Gillman – SA
Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Featured:

Time to Pivot with Pivot Pegz?

First Look At The All New 2024 Beta 450RX

2024 Yamaha YZ250F Review

Enhance Your Bike’s Protection With Force Accessories Custom Clutch Cover

2023 Sherco 300 SE Factory Ride Review

Michelin StarCross 6 – Inspected

What's On This Week

MXGP - R4
MXGP of Trentino (ITA) - Pietramurata
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
AMA GNCC - R5
The Old Gray, Monterrey, TN
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
Gippsland Region MX - R3
Bairnsdale
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
AORC - R3
Enfield, Vic
Saturday, April 20th, 2024
NZ Motocross Championships - R4
Taranaki
Saturday, April 13th, 2024
SA Motocross Championships - R1
Gillman – SA
Sunday, April 14th, 2024