With Van Beveren’s team-mates, Franco Caimi, Andrew Short, Ross Branch and Jamie McCanney, also encountering technical issues during earlier stages of the event, the 2021 Dakar Rally has unquestionably ended far from the way the team hoped it would.
Taking a cautious approach early on in the rally, Adrien Van Beveren ended a consistent opening week with a sixth-place finish on stage six, indicating the Frenchman’s return to form. When competition resumed following the mid-event rest day, the 30-year-old continued to ride well, remaining on the pace with the leading riders throughout the second week of racing. Adrien entered the final day placed eighth overall. Frustratingly, and with the finish line on the horizon, a technical issue ended his rally agonisingly close to the finish line in Jeddah.
Racing in just his third ever Dakar, Ross Branch was a revelation in week one for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team. Putting together strong and consistent stage results throughout the opening week of racing, the Botswana native come agonisingly close to victory on stage six, ending the special just 13 seconds behind the eventual winner. As the rally then reached the halfway mark, Ross was well placed among the leading riders in fourth overall.
Further highlights for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team came from Franco Caimi and Jamie McCanney. With Franco entering the top 10 overall at the end of stage seven, Jamie, in only his second Dakar, enjoyed a highly positive start to the rally and was well placed inside the top 20 before exiting the event on stage five.
Contaminated fuel, an issue outside of the team’s control, was the unfortunate reason for Andrew Short’s early departure from the 2021 Dakar Rally, on stage two.
Despite the disappointment, the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team depart Saudi Arabia determined to return stronger in 2022.