The fifth and final round of the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship will bring to a close a rewarding season of racing and development for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team. With the whole squad testing extensively throughout the year to further improve the Yamaha WR450F Rally, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge provides one last chance for the machine to be race-tested ahead of the Dakar Rally next January.
Following on from his strong fifth-place finish at the Rallye du Maroc just three weeks ago, Adrien Van Beveren has arrived in Abu Dhabi excited to take on the event for the very first time. With his physical fitness very much where he wants it to be, while also feeling settled, comfortable, and confident on his bike, the 30-year-old is enthusiastic about the upcoming five days of racing. Currently third in the series standings, a strong result at the season finale will secure the Frenchman a well-deserved top-three championship finish.
With the ultimate goal of producing a strong result at the fast-approaching Dakar Rally, Andrew Short knows the importance of completing the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Excited to be racing in Abu Dhabi, and with the event offering a similar style of terrain to what’s expected at the Dakar, a confidence-inspiring finish is just what the American is aiming for before heading into the final stages of his Dakar preparation.
Competing at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge for the very first time, Ross Branch is another Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team rider excited to be racing as he looks to build momentum ahead of Dakar 2022. Winner of the opening round of the championship, Ross clearly has the skills and speed to win and without the added pressure of contending for a series medal, he can focus on his own race and enjoy his time in the desert.
The opening stage of the five-day Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge begins on Sunday November 7 with the event drawing to a close on Thursday, November 11. Scheduled to cover 1,948 kilometres with 1,357 of those raced against the clock, the event marks the team’s final competitive outing of the year, bringing to a close the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.