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Desafio Ruta 40 | Stage 3

Published On:: 31/08/2023

Tosha Schareina takes 1st at all three stages and continues to sit in 1st place overall with 2 more stages to go.

With three of five stages complete in the 2023 World Rally Raid Championship tour stop at the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina, Monster Energy’s Tosha Schareina (Team Honda) remains undefeated. On Wednesday’s Stage 3 – featuring a 268 km Special stage that sent the world’s premier off-road motorcycle racers above the tree line, some 8,000 feet above sea level – the Spaniard captured his third-straight victory, advancing his 1st place standing ahead of 2nd place overall Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) by 6 minutes and 30 seconds and 3rd place Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy/Honda HRC) by 22:03.

Stage 3 would see Brabec actually putting up the fastest ‘raw time,’ ahead of both Benevides and Schareina. But it would be Schareina that’d put in all the work up front, starting for the second-straight stage as the very first rider out. And in doing that, and holding onto his lead, the WRRC bonus points allotted for the effort gave Schareina the stage victory, with Brabec placing 3rd.

Said Schareina: “Another good day at the office! Same mission as yesterday. I’ve been opening the stage again and was able to lead all day. A few mistakes with my navigation, but yeah, I’m really happy and here we are in front of the overall.”

For Brabec, his 3rd place run, ahead of Monster Energy/Honda HRC teammate Adrien Van Beveren’s 7th place finish in Stage 3, allowed Brabec to leapfrog AVB from his 5th place overall position (to start Wednesday) and into the podium 3rd place spot – previously held by AVB.

Added Brabec: “This stage was good. (It) started out more physically than the others, which is nice because it was chilly this morning. So we were able to get warmed up pretty quick. This stage was really fast, a lot faster than I remember. So it looks like we won the stage, but then the bonus time kicked in, and I think I’m still third (which was true). I am feeling good and am already looking forward to going home. It’s two more days, and we’ll be out of here. The goal is to go back in one piece!”

For his part, Van Beveren’s 7th place run dropped him off the podium and into 5th place overall. He stated that the river beds were giving him problems. “This was not such an easy day for me,” he said of his Stage 3 effort. “I tried my best and I could not find a really fast rhythm. I was feeling good, but the guys in front were pushing more. I need to get confidence in these river beds. It’s not my favorite terrain, but the bike is working well and I felt OK. Now let’s focus on the next few days.”

Also running well and rocking the Monster Energy M-claw logo this week in Argentina was Ross Branch (Hero Motorsports). Branch would finish 4th on Stage 3 and is in 4th place overall, just 35 seconds back of Brabec in 3rd.

Noteworthy: With Monster Energy/Honda HRC’s Jose Ignacio Cornejo in 6th and teammate Pablo Quintanilla in 7th, Monster Energy enjoys six of the top seven positions at Desafio Ruta 40, including the overall lead and 3rd place podium position.


Desafio Ruta 40 Overall Standings

After Stage 3 (of 5)

Place    Name                                       Team                                                    Time

1st         Tosha Schareina                        Honda Team/Monster Energy                10:20:53

3rd        Ricky Brabec                             Monster Energy/Honda                         10:42:56

4th        Ross Branch                              Hero Motorsports/Monster Energy        10:43:29

5th        Adrien Van Beveren                  Monster Energy/Honda                         10:44:55

6th        Jose Ignacio Cornejo                Monster Energy/Honda                         10:53:28

7th        Pablo Quintanilla                      Monster Energy/Honda                         10:54:23


Up next…

The fourth and penultimate stage of the 2023 World Rally Raid Championship’s Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina begins and ends in Belen, with travels through in La Rioja, Bethlehem and Salta – a grueling 348 km Special section consisting primarily of sand and dunes that serpentines along the base of the Andes mountain range. The only break the racers will receive is a gravel transition into a 236 km Liaison section. But, primarily, sand and dunes will be the order on Thursday, consisting of about 90 percent (60 percent sand, 30 percent dunes) of the total conditions in Stage 4.