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Tosha Schareina Wins Stage 2 at Desafio Ruta 40

Published On:: 30/08/2023

Schareina adds another win under his belt, taking both stage 1 and stage 2 at Desafio Ruta 40.

One of the tough things about winning a stage at the 2023 World Rally Raid Championship is that, the following stage, you’ve gotta be the first racer out of the start. And often times, especially on a newly charted course, you can be in a part of the world where you’ve never raced before. A tall order for sure, coupled with the fact that this being your rookie year racing the WRRC, as is the case of Monster Energy’s Tosha Schareina (Team Honda), and the odds against your previous day’s success continue to stack up.

At Tuesday’s Stage 2 of the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina, Schareina once again proved why he’s been the talk of the off-road motorcycle racing community. The young Spaniard, who, in somewhat of a surprise, stepped up and dominated Monday’s Stage 1 race, beating the top factories’ best riders. Then, as the first bike out in what many are calling the DR40’s toughest stage – a tricky 265 km Special with a shorter (197 km) Liaison, from La Rioja to Belen – and run across a variety of chott (dried water bed), fesh-fesh (light, dusty sand) and sand dunes, Schareina again dominated, winning Stage 2 by leading from start to finish, 2:22 ahead of local favorite Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) – on his home turf.

“I’m really happy for today, especially for having to start the opening of the stage,” said Schareina. “We started riding good, and I was really impressed with the (Honda CRF 450 Rally) navigation. Things went very well from the beginning to the end. I’m super happy, three more stages to go, and the focus is tomorrow.”

Blazing in with a 3rd place podium finish behind Schareina and Benavides was Monster Energy/Honda rider Ricky Brabec. The lone American on Honda’s factory off-road effort moved up from 9th place after Monday’s Stage 1 to the top five (5th) following his Stage 2 podium. Schareina now leads the race after a 5th in the Prologue and two stage victories by 5:43 over Benavides. Monster Energy/Honda’s Adrien Van Beveren, who won the Prologue, sits in 3rd place with an overall time of 7:36:00 after placing 6th in Stage 2. Monster Energy/Honda’s Jose Ignacio Cornejo also ran well in Stage 2, making the top five (5th), while teammate Pablo Quintanilla placed 8th. Monster Energy’s Ross Branch (Hero Motorsports) would score a 4th place finish in Stage 2, giving Monster Energy six of the top seven positions, including the win and 3rd place.

Added Brabec on his Stage 2 effort: “Stage 2 was good, so with three days left we’ll see what we can do. After this third place, I will be risking everything I have (over the next three stages). I know I’m just further off the overall classification now, so I’m not quite sure what to do at this point. One thing is sure – the next few days we will be just riding around.”

Noteworthy: The overall points chase was shook up on Tuesday when WRRC overall leader Toby Price (KTM) ran into some suspension trouble, was able to correct things (with the help of teammate Matthias Walkner), but was disqualified from racing Stage 3, and subsequently withdrew from the race altogether. This allowed Schareina to move into the overall lead, with Van Beveren holding strong in 3rd place. Monster Energy-backed racers now hold six of the top seven overall places at DR40 following the Prologue and two stages.


Desafio Ruta 40 Overall Standings

After Stage 2 (of 5)

Place    Name                                         Team                                                    Time

1st         Tosha Schareina                        Honda Team/Monster Energy                7:22.40

3rd        Adrien Van Beveren                  Monster Energy/Honda                         7:36:00

4th        Ross Branch                              Hero Motorsports/Monster Energy        7::37:18

5th        Ricky Brabec                             Monster Energy/Honda                         7:42:51

6th        Pablo Quintanilla                      Monster Energy/Honda                         7:43:15

7th        Jose Ignacio Cornejo                Monster Energy/Honda                         7:43:32


Up next…

The third stage of the 2023 World Rally Raid Championship’s Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina heads into the mountains for a high altitude battle. Opening with a high speed cross-country start, the 268 km Special stage steers the riders into elevations approaching 8,000 feet above sea level. At that point, the racers will enter an area of soft dunes and low vegetation, both riders and bikes gasping for air. From there Stage 3, which started in Belen (Pie de Medano region) drops back down into a section highlighted by dry riverbeds and rugged trails, finishing back in Belen.