After the 2018 Dakar Rally, the 2018 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was in full swing with riders fighting the treacherous rally-route to win the championship. Four different riders claimed victories but only one of them emerged the winner by conquering a two-stage victory.
The winner is Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s, Pablo Quintanilla. Astride the Husqvarna FR 450 Rally bike, Pablo rode fearlessly. He secured the winning time in stage two and four. These two victories helped him to grab the title of this year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
Speaking on his commendable performance, Pablo said, “I’m really happy to get the win in Abu Dhabi and it’s been a fantastic start to the new season. This year’s Desert Challenge has been a really tough race from the beginning until the end. During these last few days, we battled through extreme heat and the massive sand dunes of the area.”
He further added, “There were many high-speed tracks and lots of off-piste sections where navigation was crucial. We also had some great fights with my main competitors and I’m happy I came out on top. I would like to thank all the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team for the amazing job they did during this week. They are always by my side and this helps me achieve the results I want. It feels good to start the season with a victory and I’m looking forward to the events to come.”
Pablo completed all the stages in 16h51m11s. He finished 05m11s earlier than Sam Sunderland on his Red Bull KTM. Sam has won the stage three. Sharing the podium with Sam and Pablo, is Monster Energy Honda’s Kevin Benavides with a total time of 16h59m45s, 08m34s slower than Pablo. Although he didn’t win in any stage, his efforts helped him achieve a great time.
Now, after winning the 2018 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Pablo will be joined at the Merzouga Rally in Morocco by his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team partner Andrew Short, a former Supercross rider.