Kicking off the 2022 Dakar Rally with all riders posting strong results, the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team have safely completed the event’s opening stage.

The team’s best result came from Adrien Van Beveren who delivered a near faultless ride to finish the special as the fourth fastest rider. Frustratingly for both Ross Branch and Andrew Short, difficulty finding a troublesome waypoint cost the duo time with Ross going on to place eighth and Andrew sixteenth.

A section of wet, sandy desert tracks proved to be an additional hazard on the opening stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally, along with the usual demanding sand dunes, fast, rough tracks, and challenging navigation. Undoubtedly a seriously demanding opening stage, all three Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team riders completed the special unscathed and ready to take on stage two.

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Demonstrating exceptional riding skills and navigation throughout the opening 334-kilometre special stage, Adrien Van Beveren made a highly positive start to his Dakar campaign by completing the special as the fourth fastest rider. As the 10th rider to enter the stage, the Frenchman used his impressive pace and roadbook skills to advance up the time sheets, moving to the front and ultimately leading the riders across the day’s finish line.

Ross Branch, much like his teammate Adrien, also moved forwards during the stage to join the leading group of riders before a small crash slowed his progress. Remounting quickly and chasing down the leaders once again, a minor navigational error then cost the Botswana native a couple of minutes. Completing the special as the eighth fastest rider, Ross showed good speed and is now focused on making up lost time tomorrow on stage two.

Opening the special and thoroughly enjoying riding on rain soaked sand dunes, Andrew Short put his motocross skills to effective use across the sandy terrain that formed a large part of the stage. Frustratingly, as the 334-kilometre special neared its conclusion, the American couldn’t locate a problematic waypoint and lost considerable time. With a long way to go in the race, as well as enjoying a highly advantageous starting position for tomorrow’s stage two, Andrew will be doing everything in his power to show what he’s truly capable of.

Competing in the Light Prototype class as part of the Yamaha Powered by X-Raid Team racing in Yamaha YXZ1000R Prototypes, Italian Camelia Liparoti got her 2022 Dakar Rally campaign off to a positive start by completing the technical special just outside the top 10 in 12th place.

Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

“Today was tricky, but really enjoyable. I made a small navigation error early on but nothing major and my pace was where it needed to be also. So, it was a slow start but then I was able to ride with Pablo Quintanilla and this really improved my speed. There was some really difficult navigation near the end, but I found my way through and then opened the stage to the finish. I entered the stage in 10th and completed it as the first rider so this has been a great day for me. The focus for tomorrow will be to build from this result and start to build some momentum.”

Ross Branch – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

“It was an up and down day today but overall I’m happy. I had a crash early on, around kilometre 130 and then I made a pretty big mistake with my navigation, which was frustrating. I lost a couple of minutes there but I’m all good otherwise. I feel good, and my bike is running perfectly. I’m now focused on tomorrow and looking forward to making up for lost time.”

Andrew Short – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

“I had a really good day going but then I got lost with a lot of other riders. If the rest of the rally has navigation like we saw today then it’s going to be a tough couple of weeks and I think we’ll see some big swings in the results. It’s a shame to start the rally like this but from now on I can focus on myself, keeping pushing forwards as there’s still a long way to go. The overnight rain made the sand dunes so much fun to ride today and I think we’re in for the same tomorrow so it should be another good one.”

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