And, just like that, we have a winner for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge!
The lucky champ biting down on gold is none other than Honda’s Adrien Van Beveren – a Frenchman celebrating victory number two after his successes in last year’s Andalucia Rally.
This means that, as of now, Van Beveren sits with 42 points and a strong second place for the World Rally Raid Championship title. Another 5 of those pretty points, and he’ll be first for the next biggie: The Dakar Rally.
“It feels really good to win, for me as a rider and also for the team that invested in me,” comments the man himself in a recent press release from Monster Energy Honda.
“It was a bit frustrating not to be in the podium in the last Dakar, being so close. Now coming here and winning the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge just some weeks after the Dakar is a great feeling.”
“Really happy with the atmosphere and spirit in the team, it is fantastic when you can win and have fun at the same time.”
Here’s a glimpse at the current provisional standings after stage 5:
|42||FRA||Monster Energy Honda Team||17:13:39|
|77||ARG||Husqvarna Factory Racing||17:17:57|
|18||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||17:18:52|
|11||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||17:18:54|
|16||BWA||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||17:19:56|
|10||USA||Husqvarna Factory Racing||17:20:02|
|2||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||17:23:44|
Who do you think will win Dakar?