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Van Beveren And Branch Back In XC Racing On Different Continents

Published On:: 23/02/2024

Monster Energy/Honda Team’s Adrien “AVB” Van Beveren to contest the Monster Energy Enduro del Verano in Argentina, Branch opts for WRRC round in Abu Dhabi.

On the heels of Monster Energy/Honda Team’s manufacturer championship victory at January’s Dakar Rally, and the team’s planned absence from the FIM World Rally Raid Championship’s second round (Abu Dhabi this weekend), Monster Energy/Honda Team member Adrien “AVB” Van Beveren, who placed 3rd at Dakar, is in Argentina to contest this weekend’s Monster Energy Enduro del Verano.

Held in Villa Gesell, the Monster Energy Enduro del Verano is the second round of the 2024 FIM Sand Races World Cup. Organized by the FIM’s XC Commission, one of Argentina’s largest motorsports events is expected to draw in the area of 130,000 spectators and some 1,300 racers.

Said the multi-time Enduro del Verano winner Van Beveren of this weekend’s upcoming race: “Monster Argentina – really pumped to be here and race in the sand. I’ve really enjoyed the pre-race here, getting to ride my bike and enjoy it.”

Van Beveren, who’s won the Monster Energy Enduro del Verano twice, and podiumed four times in his seven times racing the event, really gets a charge out of the droves of Argentinian fans who flock to Villa Gesell to watch some of the world’s top off-road racers due battle in their sands.

“It’s an amazing event, amazing race and a really amazing time,” added Van Beveren. “We’re here for fun as my main goal is, clearly, the (FIM) World Rally Raid Championship and the Dakar. And I’m not prepared here as I was before (Dakar in January) to make a really good performance, but I feel I have some skills in the sand and can manage to go fast.”

Certainly at home in this style of racing given his successes at Dakar, Van Beveren says he’s equally at home in the beach sands of Argentina as he is to those in the famed Empty Quarter desert of Dakar. “So it’s nice to ride again in the dunes. To jump. And to ride Honda’s small bike, the light bike. It’s like a motocross version (of the CR450 Rally). The race is only 45 minutes, so it’ll be a real sprint for me. And that makes it hard because it’s really super intense – and short. Much shorter than what I raced at Dakar. But, we still have some skills and will be able to push. Going to try to be fast and be the best.”

In addition to Sunday’s main event at the Monster Energy Enduro del Verano, Van Beveren will also contest Friday’s sand supercross event in the local stadium-style setting, along with a 25-minuted FIM moto on Saturday.

“Then on Sunday it’s the main event, the big race, 45 to 50 minutes, wide open in the dunes,” he said enthusiastically. “It’s really crazy. Summertime here. Argentine people are so passionate about motorcycle racing. And being in the dunes with those machines, I feel so grateful and happy to be able to do that in this part of the world – and enjoy those good summer vibes on the motorcycle.”


Across the pond in Abu Dhabi, Monster Energy’s Ross Branch (Hero Motorsports), the runner-up at this year’s Dakar Rally, will fly the M-claw logo at Round 2 of the 2024 FIM World Rally Raid Championship when he contests the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

Said Branch: “Hey guys! We’re here in Abu Dhabi getting ready for Round 2 of the W2RC championship and I’m so, so excited. Coming off some really good results in Dakar has just motivated me to do even better in Abu Dhabi.”

Branch was quick to point out that the Desert Challenge will have a bit of a different look this year as Monster Energy/Honda Team made the decision early on to side with racer recovery and new bike evaluation, opting out of the WRRC’s second round.

“I think this year Abu Dhabi’s going to be a little different,” explained Branch. “Unfortunately we’re going to be missing some of the factory teams, if not all of the factory teams, which is really disappointing. You know, we signed up for this to race against the best guy in the world and, unfortunately, this time we don’t get to race the best guys in the world. We had such a good fight with Ricky (Brabec, Monster Energy/Honda Team’s ’24 Dakar champion), Nacho (Cornejo, Monster Energy/Honda Team), Adrien (Van Beveren, Monster Energy/Honda Team) and the rest of the boys at Dakar, so I was really looking forward to keeping that momentum going and those rivalries alive.

“But yeah, it is what it is, and we’ve got to give it our best. There’s still going to be a lot of fast riders out here in Abu Dhabi. Give it our best and try to get every point that we can, making sure we stay healthy and stay on two wheels. But the World Championship is the World Championship for a reason, and we enjoy racing the best guys around the world. So we’ll use this as good training for the rest of the W2RC.”


More on the Monster Energy Enduro del Verano


More on the FIM World Rally Raid Championship