Dakar Rally: Cornejo Wins Stage Seven, Van Beveren Takes Lead

Dakar Rally: Cornejo Wins Stage Seven, Van Beveren Takes Lead

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Monster Energy Honda Team:

Stage victory for ‘Nacho’ Cornejo. Barreda third

The break in Riyadh appears to have benefited the Monster Energy Honda Team riders – as can be seen in the seventh stage results – with riders bound for the Saudi Arabian capital and the new Al Dawadimi bivouac. Chilean ‘Nacho’ Cornejo won today’s stage with Barreda the third fastest.

To kick off the second and decisive week of racing, the opening kilometres of the seventh stage – after a liaison section – were battled out over fast tracks, some peppered with stones, followed by a hundred kilometres of dunes. There was plenty of sand and navigation in store over the timed 402 kilometres which took in valleys featuring some parallel tracks that proved the undoing of more than one rider.

Young Chilean José Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cornejo took advantage of a good starting position this morning to set a lightning pace throughout the stage. With the terrain in optimal conditions, the rider from Iquique registered the quickest times at almost every waypoint en route, reaching the finish-line with the top marker after taking three-and-a-half hours to complete the special. Nacho now lies in ninth in the general standings, 26’37” behind the leader.

Joan Barreda once again pulled off an epic performance and was able to finish the stage amongst the frontrunners in spite of a shoulder injury – an arduous feat given the demanding terrain. Bang Bang reached Al Dawadimi to the applause of the entire Monster Energy Honda Team, gritting his teeth throughout the entire stage, with surprising speed, to eventually post third. The Spaniard now occupies seventh in the Dakar, 8’30” behind the leader.

A positive stage not only for Cornejo and Barreda, but also for Ricky Brabec and Pablo Quintanilla. In addition to pulling back precious minutes in the general standings, their starting positions for tomorrow’s stage will allow a more gung-ho approach as they attempt to claw back even more time in the rankings. On the day Ricky finished seventh and Pablo eleventh, with the pair now holding thirteenth and sixth respectively.

Tomorrow’s stage

With a total of 830 kilometres by the end of the day, tomorrow will be the lengthiest stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally. After setting off the Al Dawadimi bivouac, there will be a liaison to reach the start of the special. Awaiting will be “just” 395 kilometres of special stage with a lot of sand and dunes through the valleys of the south of the country, arriving at the Wadi Ad-Dawasir bivouac after another very long liaison by road.

Ricky Brabec  2


It was a good day for the team. It was long and rocky, but it was good. Some mistakes by other drivers allowed Pablo and I to open the last part of the special. It was a good team effort. We made up a good amount of time and we just have to keep pushing. The results are crazy, there are five days left and hopefully we can stay this strong and make it to the finish line. I’m outside the top ten, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can get on the podium in Jeddah.

Pablo Quintanilla  7


It was a very good day for the team, and I want to congratulate Nacho for the stage victory. For me, personally, it was a good day to pull back some minutes in the overall standings. It was not easy. After refuelling I realised that Sam and Mathias were lost and we took the opportunity to attack. The navigation was super-complicated and the roads were not visible, so we had to be very precise with the distances. I didn’t lose much time and I made up a few minutes on the guys in front. I’m very pleased.

José Ignacio Cornejo  11


Today was a good day. I started from a nice position, so I hoped to take the opportunity to attack, make up some time in the general classification and maybe even the stage victory. In the end, I achieved both of them. I tried to stay calm, to keep my concentration and not get lost with the navigation and that’s the way it worked out. I’m happy for my fourth victory in the Dakar, the first of this 2022. The bitter taste of the first days is behind us and we are highly motivated for the week to come. We will fight until the end.

Joan Barreda  88


I tried to start with some pace. At the beginning it was hard, with a rocky terrain that made me suffer a lot. I got a bit stiff when I was forcing my arms until I was able to relax a bit more in the faster sections. From the 100th kilometre onwards, I was able to push. I realised that the harder I pushed, the more confident I felt physically. I had some good feelings and I couldn’t have asked for anything better considering all I’ve been through.




More, from a press release issued by KTM Factory Racing:


Dakar Rally 2022 – Stage Seven

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Kevin Benavides has placed second fastest on the long stage seven of the Dakar Rally. In doing so the Argentinian moves himself up to third overall in the provisional overall standings, one place behind teammate Matthias Walkner, who led out most of today’s special to claim an eventual 24th place finish. Toby Price finished ninth quickest, with Danilo Petrucci successfully completing the arduous stage in 30th.

Leaving the Saudi capital of Riyadh, competitors made their way west towards Al Dawadimi on stage seven, but first they faced a challenging 402-kilometer timed special that comprised a mixture of seemingly endless dunes followed by more tricky-to-navigate canyons and riverbeds. Finding the mixed terrain very much to his liking, reigning Dakar Champion Kevin Benavides made the very best use of his 13th place start position to work his way up through the field to ultimately complete the stage in second. The result gives the number one plate holder a huge boost in the overall standings, moving him from eighth up to third, just over five minutes behind the leader.

Kevin Benavides: “I really pushed today, and it feels good to have that hard work pay off with a strong result. Navigation was tricky, especially later on, and I did make a couple of mistakes that cost me some time, but I was able to fix them quickly and keep a good rhythm going to the finish. I’ll be up near the front tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Putting in a solid day seven performance from his eighth-place start position, Toby Price knew the special would throw up a few surprises and so focused on accurate navigation for the entirety of the stage. Completing the initial dune section as one of the fastest riders, Toby showed more caution as the terrain got technical in the latter half of the stage. Bringing his KTM 450 RALLY home in ninth place, Price moves up one more place in the overall rankings to 11th with five stages left to contest.

Toby Price: “Not a bad stage for me today, there was one really tricky bit of navigation in the middle there, so I took my time through that section to make sure I got through ok. I’m here safe in one piece, so can’t complain at all. On the whole, it’s been a really good day today, so we’ll focus on tomorrow now and hopefully more of the same.”

After catching and passing the one rider setting off ahead of him, Matthias Walkner soon found himself opening the technically demanding stage. The Austrian was able to maintain a good pace through the 100-kilometer dune section at the beginning of the special, keeping the chasing pack at bay. But when the terrain changed to the slower, rocky tracks later in the stage, a couple of small errors resulted in several minutes being lost for the KTM 450 RALLY rider. Despite finishing in 24th place, just over 10 minutes down on the stage winner, Matthias remains in second overall and will now enjoy an advantageous start position for Monday’s long 830-kilometer stage eight.

Matthias Walkner: “It was a super tricky to navigate stage today. I think with the rain that we had here last week it’s washed a lot of the pistes away, so it’s difficult to know exactly where you are sometimes. There was one waypoint that was especially hard to find, and I know I lost a lot of time on that one alone. Other than that, the stage went well, I was opening for a lot of the first half until I got lost a little and I’m happy with my pace. Stages like that are especially tiring, it takes a lot out of you, so I’m looking forward to getting some rest now and attacking again tomorrow.”

Successfully completing another stage at his debut rally, Danilo Petrucci finished 30th, 27 minutes down on the day’s winner. Still a little hurt from his stage six crash, Danilo continues to tick off each stage with solid rides on his Tech3 KTM machine, and now has his sights set firmly on the finish line in Jeddah on January 14.

Provisional Results Stage Seven (overall) – 2022 Dakar Rally

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 3:28:46

2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 3:29:30 +0:44

3. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 3:31:37 +2:51

4. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 3:36:36 +7:50

5. Lorenzo Santolino (ESP), Sherco, 3:37:15 +8:29

Other KTM

9. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:39:23 +10:37

24. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:51:36 +22:50

30. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), KTM, 3:55:53 +27:07


Provisional Standings – 2022 Dakar Rally after 7 of 12 stages

1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 23:45:02

2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 23:50:14 +5:12

3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 23:50:25 +5:23

4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GASGAS, 23:50:40 +5:38

5. Lorenzo Santolino (ESP), Sherco, 23:51:36 +6:34

Other KTM

11. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 24:14:31 +29:29




More, from a press release issued by GASGAS Factory Racing:



You win some. You lose some. You learn that when it comes to the Dakar Rally anything can happen. After what was a truly awesome first week of desert racing by GASGAS Factory Racing’s Daniel Sanders, the Australian’s rally came to a disappointing end today when a crash resulted in the Aussie charger fracturing his left elbow and wrist!

Despite the huge disappointment for Daniel and the team, Sam Sunderland overcame a seriously tough stage to put in a champion’s performance and navigate superbly. Completing the stage by losing a minimal amount of time to his rivals, Sam now lies fourth overall in the provisional standings, just under six minutes adrift of the new overall race leader.

Tough stage seven for GASGAS Factory Racing

Fractured elbow and wrist ends Sanders’ 2022 Dakar Rally

Sunderland remains in contention for the win despite a difficult day

Sam Sunderland: “A bit of a rough day for me today. It was a difficult stage, made even more challenging by leading out. After the rain that had fallen recently, it had washed sand onto many of the tracks, which made navigation even more difficult as you couldn’t always see the track beneath the sand. Starting up front was really difficult, but I managed the stage the best I could. It was the same for everyone though and I’m glad to have not lost too much time. Also, I want to wish Daniel all the best – he had a big one today.”

Unfortunately for Daniel Sanders the 2022 Dakar Rally is now over following a fall from his GASGAS RC 450F during today’s opening liaison, which resulted in a fractured left elbow and wrist. With two stage wins to his name at this year’s event – a competition the jovial Australian has unquestionably stamped his mark on – Dakar 2022 was shaping up to be a super successful rally for the Aussie. Lying third in the provisional standings at the time of the incident, Daniel will remain in hospital overnight tonight while undergoing ongoing medical checks, ahead of expected surgery on his elbow tomorrow.

Heal up soon, Daniel!


Results (provisional): Dakar Rally 2022, stage 7

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:28:46

2. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 3:29:30

3. Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:31:37

28. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 3:54:41


Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 7)

1. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 23:45:02

2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 23:50:14

3. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 23:50:25

4. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 23:50:40




More, from a press release issued by Husqvarna Factory Racing:



Luciano Benavides has put in his best performance of the 2022 Dakar Rally to date with an excellent ride to finish in fourth place on the technically demanding 404-kilometre special on day seven. While others struggled with the navigation required to successfully complete the stage without issue, the Husqvarna Factory Racing rider skilfully worked his way through the route, maintaining a good pace and strong rhythm.

Fast right from his 15th place starting position as he headed into the stage, Benavides was able to work his way up to fifth place by the end of the sizeable dune section that dominated the opening half of today’s special. From there, the FR 450 Rally mounted racer maintained his top-five placing as he took on the rougher and more challenging second half of the special on the way to Al Dawadimi.

Holding his own right to the finish of the stage, Luciano was able to complete the special in fourth place, less than eight minutes down on the eventual winner. The result moves the Argentinian up a further two places to 15th overall, 52 minutes adrift of the provisional race leader. Luciano is now well-placed to mount another attack on Monday’s stage eight, where he will enjoy a fourth-place start position into the 395-kilometre special.

Luciano Benavides: “I had a really good feeling with the bike today and because of that I felt really comfortable pushing hard all through the stage. For sure, it’s my best day of the rally so far. I did make some mistakes later in the stage with my navigation, but thankfully I was able to get back on track quickly and didn’t lose too much time on the others. After a difficult start to the race and being forced to try and make up time on every stage, getting a result like this is really good for my confidence. I’m looking forward to tomorrow now and a strong second week to the rally.”

2022 Dakar Rally – Stage 7 Provisional Classification

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:28:46

2. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 3:29:30

3. Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:31:37

4. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:36:36

5. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) 3:37:15

6. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) 3:37:43


2022 Dakar Rally – Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 7)

1. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 23:45:02

2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 23:50:14

3. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 23:50:25

4. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 23:50:40

5. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) 23:51:36

6. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 23:53:17

15. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 24:37:11




More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team:

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren Takes Dakar Rally Lead

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren has kicked off the second week of racing at the 2022 Dakar Rally in style by moving into the provisional overall lead after successfully completing a challenging stage seven. Continuing what has been an incredibly promising race for the Frenchman so far, his 10th place finish moves him to the top of the leaderboard with a healthy five-minute advantage over his nearest rival. Andrew Short was the team’s fastest rider through the 401-kilometre special, finishing eighth to move into 10th in the provisional standings. Ross Branch re-joined the race and posted the 12th fastest time.

Consistency, speed, and a focused approach throughout the Dakar Rally is certainly paying off for Adrien Van Beveren who now leads the 44th edition of the event. Delivering a masterclass in navigation today when many of his rivals struggled with some of the tricky notes found in the roadbook, Van Beveren delivered a strong result on stage seven to put himself on top of the provisional overall classification with five days of racing remaining.

As the 16th rider to enter stage seven, Andrew Short was focused on securing a strong finish, riding his way to an eventual eighth fastest time. After posting impressive results since day two of the event, the Yamaha WR450F Rally mounted rider has continued to work his way up the overall leaderboard day-by-day, and now lies 10th in the provisional standings.

Ross Branch returned to action today after crashing out on stage six. Able to re-join the race and gain vital Dakar experience, despite riding in pain he enjoyed the 401-kilometre stage despite its navigational challenges to place 12th.

Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team10th Stage 7

Today was a great day for me. There was some really tricky navigation and I didn’t make any big mistakes, which was good and where I felt I could push, I really pushed where it was possible to do so. It feels great to be leading after everything that has happened to me over recent years but I know all too well that the race is far from over. I’ll continue to focus on each day and keep fighting to the end.

Andrew Short – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team8th Stage 7

It took a while to get going today after having a day off yesterday with the rest day, but I started getting back into the swing of it as the stage went on. There was a lot of tricky navigation today, especially with some valleys and canyons thrown in there as well as a lot of sand that had been washed into them. But overall, it’s great to tick another stage off and play a part in a positive day for the team with Adrien now leading and Ross back in the race as well.

Ross Branch12th Stage 7

It’s nice to be able to line-up again and gain some more experience at the Dakar. My leg is pretty painful but with the team we decided to give it a go today and I’m glad I did. It was a fun stage but pretty difficult with navigation and I made a couple of small mistakes out there. It’s great to be back racing and I hope my leg is a little less sore tomorrow.

Dakar Rally 2022Stage 7 Provisional Classification

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:28:46

2. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 3:29:30 + 0:00:44

3. Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:31:37 + 0:02:51

4. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:36:36 + 0:07:50

5. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) 3:37:15 + 0:08:29

6. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) 3:37:43 + 0:08:57

8. Andrew Short (Yamaha) 3:39:01 + 0:10:15

10. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 3:41:20 + 0:12:34

12. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 3:41:50 + 0:13:04


Dakar Rally 2022Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 7)

1. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 23:45:02

2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 23:50:14 + 0:05:12

3. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 23:50:25 + 0:05:23

4. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 23:50:40 + 0:05:38

5. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) 23:51:36 + 0:06:34

6. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 23:53:17 + 0:08:15

10. Andrew Short (Yamaha) 24:13:12 + 0:28:10

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