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AVB Takes Gold in Abu Dhabi

Mar 062023

Adrien Van Beveren is the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge king!

Yep, the French Honda Racing Team racer took the spoils in the deserts of Abu Dhabi with a super-consistent week, with the Honda CRF450 Rally proving just how good the bike is in the sand with a dominant performance.

Van Beveren’s 5th place finish in the final stage, a 206km sprint from Qasr Al Sarab to Abu Dhabi, was enough to secure him the gold as he became the race’s first French winner for more than a decade.

Understandably, he was stoked at the finish line; “It feels really good to win, for me as a rider and also for the team that invested in me. It was a bit frustrating not to be in the podium in the last Dakar being so close. Now coming here and winning the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge just some weeks after the Dakar is a great feeling. 

"This is very important for me and for the team to keep the motivation. For sure I will keep on working to get more victories but now is time to taste and enjoy the moment. Really happy with the atmosphere and spirit in the team, it is fantastic when you can win and have fun at the same time.”


The victory takes AVB up into second in the World Rally Raid Championship and gives him momentum going into the final three races of the year, whilst the team are in 2nd place in the manufacturers standings too.


Nacho Cornejo had another strong race to finish in P4, just two seconds off the top three, and Ricky Brabec came home P7, but it was an unfortunate ending for Pablo Quintanilla - who led a lot of the race - as engine issues forced him to retire during Stage Four.


The team now has a break until the next event, when they head to Mexico for the Mexico Sonora Rally (22-28 April) looking to build on their strong performance in the middle east.