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Stage 4 | Desafio Ruta 40

Published On:: 05/09/2023

Monster Energy continued its dominance of the Desafio Ruta 40 Argentinian rally, Round Four of the 2023 FIM World Rally Raid Championship.

Monster Energy continued its dominance of the Desafio Ruta 40 Argentinian rally, Round Four of the 2023 FIM World Rally Raid Championship, with motorcycle division leader Tosha Schareina (Team Honda) continuing to be the talk of the off-road community with his 4th-straight podium (3 stage wins, 1 runner-up), while Ricky Brabec (Team Honda HRC) rounded out the Stage 4 podium in 3rd place.

With one stage (5) remaining, Schareina holds a solid 5:47 lead over 2nd place Luciano Benavides, with Brabec in 3rd place, 6:10 ahead of Monster Energy’s Ross Branch (Hero Motorsports) in 4th. Monster Energy/Honda HRC’s Adrien Van Beveren, who placed 8th in Stage 4 (on spot back of Branch in 7th), is in 5th place overall, giving Monster Energy four of the top five spots, and six of the top seven with Pablo Quintanilla (Team Honda HRC), who placed 6th in Stage 4, in 6th overall and Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Team Honda HRC) in 7th overall.

Stage 4’s early leader was Quintanilla, who ran up front until the 228 km mark. The 345 km race kicked off from the bivouac in Belen, then followed a twisting riverbed that opened up into a sandy region, speckled with indigenous camel grass. Following an ensuing Liaison, the racers dove into the picturesque Fiambala Dunes, which previously hosted the famed Dakar Rally. 

It was in the dunes that Schareina had to focus most, tracking then race leader Benavides, and working to eliminate mistakes in order to carry a healthy overall lead into Friday’s final Stage 5.

Said Schareina: “The first part of Stage 4 today was good. But it was in the second part, the dunes, it was difficult for me to open up. And I lost some time there. But after that I pushed hard to catch Luciano (Benavides) in a difficult part, then I pushed hard until the end.”

When asked what his mindset was heading into Friday’s final stage, Schareina said: “I will start behind Luciano and my plan is to catch him – and ride with him.”

For Brabec, Stage 4 appeared to be more of a repeat of a previous stage, to which he again put up the fastest time – but didn’t get the bonus time that the first racer out (Benavides) received – and wound up with another 3rd place stage finish.

“The stage was good. Two days ago we did more or less the same round, but just in the other direction,” explained Brabec. “And then on the second part of the stage was Fiambala, where we haven’t been since the Dakar with its soft dunes. This was a day where opening bonus time made sense. Looking forward to the final day.”

Noteworthy: For Van Beveren, a slight navigation miscalculation late in Stage 4 would be the difference that kept him from moving up in the overall standings.

“This morning there was a lot of dust in the riverbed and I tried to keep safe,” explained Van Beveren. “In the second part (of Stage 4) there were a lot of dunes and I pushed hard. I thought I was doing good. Then, just a few kilometers before the end, I missed a note on the road book and went too far. I lost some minutes and this made me reflect on the importance of reading the road book.”


Desafio Ruta 40 Overall Standings

After Stage 3 (of 5)

Place    Name                                         Team                                                     Time

1st         Tosha Schareina                        Honda Team/Monster Energy               13:15:26

3rd        Ricky Brabec                             Monster Energy/Honda                         13:38:30 (+ 23:13)

4th        Ross Branch                              Hero Motorsports/Monster Energy        13:44:49

5th        Adrien Van Beveren                  Monster Energy/Honda                         13:47:54

6th        Pablo Quintanilla                      Monster Energy/Honda                         13:53:19

7th        Jose Ignacio Cornejo                 Monster Energy/Honda                        13:58:44


Up next…

The fifth and final stage of the 2023 World Rally Raid Championship’s Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina will run between the cities of Belen and Salta, featuring a 236 km Special, consisting mainly of gravel and sand, with a 305 km Liaison.