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Ross Branch And Adrien Van Beveren Safely Through Dakar Rally Stage Eight

Ross Branch And Adrien Van Beveren Safely Through Dakar Rally Stage Eight

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s Ross Branch and Adrien Van Beveren have safely finished stage eight of the 2021 Dakar Rally – leg two of the event’s marathon stage. Completing yet another physically and mentally challenging stage, earning 11th and 13th respectively, both Ross and Adrien now focus on the all-important final days of the competition. Frustratingly for Franco Caimi, the 2021 Dakar Rally is now over following a technical issue close to the finish of stage eight.

The eighth stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally formed the second and final leg of the event’s gruelling marathon stage. Heading south west to Neom on the Red Sea coast, the stage opened with technical, rocky terrain before following sandy tracks in the second half where accurate navigation was needed to ensure a strong finish on the 375-kilometre special. Upon completion and after 828 kilometres of racing with no technical support, Ross and Adrien were reunited with their team in the bivouac where mechanics will now prepare the bikes for tomorrow’s stage nine.

Overcoming a difficult stage seven, where he lost valuable time, Ross Branch focused on a trouble-free ride to safely complete the second leg of the event’s marathon stage. Opting to ride at a conservative pace throughout stage eight, Branch crossed the finish as the 11th fastest rider to successfully reach the bivouac in Neom. Now, the team’s mechanics will repair the crash damage on his Yamaha WR450F Rally machine while Ross will concentrate on delivering a positive end to this year’s rally.

Adrien Van Beveren continues to post consistent results at the 2021 Dakar Rally. Knowing the importance of successfully completing the marathon stage unscathed, the Frenchman ended the day in 13th and looks forward to the upcoming stages, which are set to take place on terrain more to his liking. Currently 14th in the provisional standings, Adrien is poised and ready to break into the overall top 10 during the days ahead.

Franco Caimi’s participation in this year’s rally came to an unfortunate end on stage eight where a technical issue, close to the finish, ruled the Argentine out of the event.

Stage nine of the 2021 Dakar Rally is a loop stage beginning in Neom on the sandy shore of the Red Sea. After a brief time on smooth sand, the 465-kilometre special takes riders inland on sandy tracks that form much of the stage’s terrain. Near its conclusion, competitors will need to accurately navigate their way through multiple rocky canyons to secure a strong result.

Ross Branch – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

11th Stage 8

I’m happy to have completed the marathon stage as it’s been a tough couple of days. Today’s stage started off really rocky, so I was cautious through there but once the stage opened out I got into a good rhythm. Arriving here in Neom in one piece is good and we can now prepare the bike for tomorrow and I’m excited for the next stage.

Ross Branch – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

13th Stage 8

Nothing special today for me, just consistent riding and then in the second half of the stage I was able to push more and felt more like myself. It was important to complete the marathon stage without any issues which I did, so I’m happy. The bike is good and tomorrow’s stage looks like the terrain will be similar to the end of today’s stage, so I’m looking forward to it.

Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager

Today we again saw how tough the Dakar can be. We are really happy that both Ross and Adrien reached the finish of the marathon stage, especially for Ross because of his crash yesterday. Both riders will now take some rest, have some physio and think about the upcoming days while the mechanics prepare the bikes. The stage for tomorrow looks like it will favour strong navigation, which is good for both of our remaining riders. We are positive for good results tomorrow. Unfortunately, Franco had a technical issue, so his race is sadly over. He had been very fast and consistent throughout the rally, so it is a shame for it to end like this.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
Dakar Rally 2021

Stage 8 Provisional Classification

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:08:40
2. Toby Price (KTM) 3:09:45 + 0:01:05
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 3:11:30 + 0:02:50
4. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 3:12:26 + 0:03:46
5. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 3:14:09 + 0:05:29
6. Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:14:27 + 0:05:47

11. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 3:17:58 + 0:09:18
13. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 3:21:28 + 0:12:48

Dakar Rally 2020
Dakar Rally 2021

Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 8)

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 32:00:11
2. Toby Price (KTM) 32:01:17 + 0:01:06
3. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 32:06:08 + 0:05:57
4. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 32:13:09 + 0:12:58
5. Joan Barreda (Honda) 32:16:16 + 0:16:05
6. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 32:17:53 + 0:17:42

13. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 32:50:26 + 0:50:15
14. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 32:50:41 + 0:50:30

Dakar Rally 2020
Dakar Rally 2021

Race Schedule

Stage 1 | Jan 3 | Jeddah to Bisha | Total: 622 km | SS: 277 km
Stage 2 | Jan 4 | Bisha to Wadi Al Dawasir | Total: 685 km | SS: 457 km
Stage 3 | Jan 5 | Wadi Al Dawasir to Wadi Al Dawasir | Total: 629 km | SS: 403 km
Stage 4 | Jan 6 | Wadi Al Dawasir to Riyadh | Total: 813 km | SS: 337 km
Stage 5 | Jan 7 | Riyadh to Al Qaisumah | Total: 795 km | SS: 456 km
Stage 6 | Jan 8 | Al Qaisumah to Ha’il | Total: 688 km | SS: 347 km
Rest Day | Jan 9 | Ha’il
Stage 7 | Jan 10 | Ha’il to Sakaka (Marathon) | Total: 737 km | SS: 453 km
Stage 8 | Jan 11 | Sakaka to Neom | Total: 709 km | SS: 375 km
Stage 9 | Jan 12 | Neom to Neom | Total: 579 km | SS: 465 km
Stage 10 | Jan 13 | Neom to AlUla | Total: 583 km | SS: 342 km
Stage 11 | Jan 14 | AlUla to Yanbu | Total: 557 km | SS: 511 km
Stage 12 | Jan 15 | Yanbu to Jeddah | Total: 452 km | SS: 225 km

Dakar Rally 2020