Interview: All three Honda HRC Rally Team podium guys from Ruta 40

Published On: 6/12/2024

We caught up with the three and got their take on what went down in Argentina.

With an absolute dominant performance at last week’s World Rally-Raid Championship’s YPF INFINIA Desafio Ruta 40, which saw Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally Team’s American Ricky Brabec (1st), Spaniard Tosha Schareina (2nd) and France’s Adrien Van Beveren (3rd) sweep the podium, Monster Energy caught up with the three and got their take on what went down in Argentina.


Monster Energy: For starters, and results aside, talk about racing WRRC in South America. The Argentinian fan support. How the racers were accepted and the overall vibe (feeling) of the event.

Ricky Brabec: You know the vibe in South America is so energetic that it's hard to be caught sleeping on the course. There's people every step of the way cheering you on and you don't want to let them down and be a slouch, so the feeling of seeing people, friends, and fans along the way each day is something special.

Tosha Schareina: Returning to Argentina to compete is incredible. From the first moment you feel the warmth of the people, the fans who truly have a passion for this sport. I had never seen signs with my name and the flag of my country along the route and on the road. It was incredible.

Adrien Van Beveren: Rally raid has a big history with Dakar in Argentina from 2009 to 2018. We can feel the public super happy to have us back on their country! They are super warm and passionate. I have a huge connection with Argentina as I am racing their main off road race, the Enduro del Verano since 2011. I speak Spanish and my girlfriend is from Cordoba (Argentina)! I got gifts every day from the public. It was cool to see that much people on the sides of the track. Big motorsport passion there!


ME: The Ruta 40 took you guys through a wide range of terrain. General off-road with dry river beds to vegetation around Cordova and on to dunes of all sizes, green oases and even salt flats through San Juan and Cuyo Region, then through the incredible red earth vistas of the Rioja. Talk about the terrain you faced and how that makes the Ruta 40 one of the more diverse races on the WRRC schedule.

RB: This is the thing… we did tackle dang near all of it. Typically this race was a fast paced event, but only in sectors. For me, it was a little cold but at the end of the day it install and you have to expect to encounter everything under the sun. From fast WRC (World Rally Championship) skipper roads to the river beds, and salt flats the change of pace was a good combination and really put each and every competitor to its limits.

TS: This year we had many dirt roads as we already knew we were going to find, but I was surprised because we also crossed many different terrains and landscapes. From snow to dunes and desert. Argentina and Ruta 40 is one of the most complete and difficult races because it makes you have to be a competitive rider in all terrains.

AVB: A really good race for the variety of terrain. We had WRC style and full Rally-Raid desert style on the same race, the course was nice and I enjoyed a lot of the riding on my Honda in all that different conditions.


ME: Through it all the Honda CRF450 Rallies were able to handle all that was thrown your way. Discuss the advantages of the bike, from navigation to suspension and handling… reliability in a grueling six-day event in unforgiving Argentinian countryside.

RB: I believe our CRF450 Rally is on another level right now. I hadn't ridden my bike since the final stage of the Dakar, so to go out to Ruta and perform as well as I did on a machine I haven't been on in four months is something really cool. I think we are all happy and the only way we can go from here is up. That being said, I'm super excited to get back out to the desert at home and work a little bit more to see what we can come up with for the Dakar 2025.

TS: The team has done and is doing an incredible job. The bike is very competitive. I think the clearest example is that all the Hondas finished the race, and in what way - all in the front positions. The new bike makes everything easier when you face difficult terrain such as sand or very bumpy terrain. The suspensions are a key part in this type of racing, and the good setting we have means we have much more comfort and therefore be able to give more gas.

AVB: Our bike is amazing. This new evolution is now lighter and it give you more freedom to play. Even if it’s a rally raid bike, it actually seems bigger/heavier than what it is, really. The team of mechanics and the Japanese engineers are doing an amazing job to make it reliable and efficient.


ME: Of the five stages and Prologue of the Ruta 40, what was the most memorable for you?

RB: I'd say the most memorable day for me would be Day 4 (Stage 3). This day reminded me of home and a little bit of Baja. Fast sand roads, with whoops, rocky rivers, fast roads with a cushion on top for traction. It was just a really fun day and was even better when I opened all day and only lost seven seconds on the whole day. So this was a real big confidence booster. I also enjoyed this day of riding to the best of my ability and smooth as I can to really nail the navigation and be smooth. The fast sand whoop sections with big sand rollers using them as junks were A LOT of fun.

TS: I was able to win the Prologue and the last two stages. And even though it was a stressful day for us, I think I'll take the fifth and last day. I went out with the mission of cutting 1 minute 27 seconds off Ricky, I knew it was a difficult mission since it was going to be all roads and there was little advantage but I gave it my all and was 15 seconds away from the overall victory. That was the day where we gave everything.

AVB: Day 3. I opened the road as I won day 2. The stage was very, very difficult in navigation with many tricky off - piste. I opened the 400 km on a really good pace without major mistake and I am proud of that performance.


ME: Incredible success for the Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally Team at the Ruta 40. Two things… were you guys expecting to be that dominant? And how did it feel to be part of such a powerhouse program at such a major event?

RB: For me, personally, I did not know where I'd place or how well I'd do. Being away for long so from the road book and rally bike (five months gap between Dakar finish and the Ruta 40) I was actually nervous to be out there with the boys. The team did an outstanding job, from the riders to the mechanics, the helpers and logistics. Everything worked out really smooth and it's nice to see things going in the right direction because I believe it'll keep everyone a little more at ease heading to the next round (Morrocco) and then the Dakar.

TS: The Rally-Raid is a discipline where anything can happen. You can be as prepared as possible and have the best motorcycle, but you never know. But it has been the clearest example that we are doing a very good job. I am a rider who tries not to think about results, only about trying to do a good job with his strategy and his weapons.

AVB: I am obviously super grateful to be part of that success and more than this, very proud to be involved that much on the development of this new bike which is a success!


ME: What do you guys feel were the main keys to success for the Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally Team’s success in Argentina?

RB: I think our main success just came from everything clicking together so perfect it made everyone job easy and when things happen like this, this is how dreams are made and success grows.

TS: I'm not speaking for myself, but for the rest of the team's drivers. It is the combination of incredible riders, a team that does its job very well, a very competitive motorcycle and a lot of training after any race.

AVB: Hard work and professionalism done by brave and good people.


ME: Looking ahead, you have several months off before the WRRC tour hits its final round – the Rallye du Maroc in Morrocco (Oct. 5-11). What are your plans for the summer, both motorcycle racing and training and stuff you do just for fun?

RB: For the summer break here in the States, we have a bit of off-time, but the grind never stops. Even though social media might show that, we aren't sleeping behind closed doors. Training never ends. But we have some good weather, so some boat time, jet ski motos, surfing and some things with the team – mainly testing and preparing for next season. We have a big race here in the States, the ‘Vegas to Reno,’ that I believe I'll be teaming up with Skyler Howes (Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally Team) for this one. After a few times soloing and a few wins I think we can team up now and enjoy the ride a little less stressed (laughter). This also gives me opportunity to sign the RaceCo Honda Talon (SXS) in the pro NA class to race later in the day.

TS: As you already know there is no rest for a pilot. In addition to competing in another electric motocross championship, I want to prepare well for the Moroccan race where we will go for the first time with the tablet to replace the roadbook. I also have my race planned at home, La Baja Aragon, where last year I was able to show off my first Monster helmet. Regarding the summer break, I will try to leave a little time for my hobbies, which is anything but resting.

AVB: I will enjoy my road bicycle for the next weeks as I have a Tour de France stage in the Alps on July 19… and I need to get ready! This is part of my all year preparation to be ready for Dakar. For sure I will ride some motocross also during all summer, try to enjoy some good water sport . But the main spirit is to work to get the last steps of the podium. And we have some tests already planned with the Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally Team.


ME: Lastly, with such a dominant performance at Round 4 of the WRRC, can you see the Monster Energy/Honda HRC Rally Team becoming a dynasty for the coming years… off-road racing’s San Francisco 49ers, Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain?

RB: With such a solid team and how everything is going right now, I'd love to see the World Rally-Raid Championship grow in the States as big as one of these other sports. Do I see it happening? Slowly, but things can change the more we get rally on the map of USA to grow it a bit.

TS: You never know, but what I can say is that this team has all the ingredients to be able to do it and it is an honor for me to be part of it.

AVB: It’s not my place to say that. Let’s just try to make it real.


Desafio Ruta 40 FINAL standings (after Prologue through Stage 5)

1st – Brabec (18:08:37)
2nd – Schareina (+ 0:15)
3rd – Van Beveren (+ 5:33)
4th – Howes (+ 12:58)
5th – Branch (+ 14:57)
6th – Quintanilla (+ 23:55)
7th – Buhler (+ 25:25)

2024 FIM World Rally-Raid Championship (through 4 of 5 rounds)

Overall Standings

1st – Ross Branch (Monster Energy/Hero Motosports), 72 points
2nd – Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy/Honda HRC), 63 points
3rd - Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Energy/Honda HRC), 56 points
4th – Tosha Schareina (Monster Energy/Honda HRC), 45 points
5th – Pablo Quintanilla (Monster Energy/Honda HRC), 37 points
6th – Sebastian Buhler (Monster Energy/Hero Motosports), 29 points
7th – Jose “Nacho” Cornejo (Monster Energy/Hero Motosports), 28 points
8th – Skyler Howes (Monster Energy/Honda HRC), 26 points
9th – Aaron Mare (Monster Energy/Hero Motosports), 25 points


Up next… The 2024 FIM World Rally-Raid Championship takes its summer break before regrouping in Morocco for the fifth and final chapter of this year’s series – the Rallye Du Maroc – Oct. 5-11. For more info on WRRC and Monster Energy’s racers with Honda and Hero, link to: