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Difficult End To 2021 Dakar Rally For Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Teamís participation in this yearís Dakar Rally drew to a frustrating close today as Adrien Van Beveren was forced to withdraw following a technical issue. Unable to complete the 12th and final stage of the event, AVB was just 30 minutes into the special when he ran into difficulties.

With Van Beverenís 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 Frenchmanís 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 teamís control, was the unfortunate reason for Andrew Shortís 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.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
Itís so sad and so disappointing to end the rally this way. After all the hard work by the team, by the riders and the risks they take, the preparation made by everyone, itís difficult to end the rally with a Adrien having a technical issue today. For sure we will look into what the problem was, and fully review all that has happened during these last two weeks, to ensure we are stronger in the future. Besides this, we have enjoyed many positives at this yearís Dakar. In the first week Ross was incredible. Riding really well with the best rally riders in the world he was going so well until he crashed on stage seven. This week Adrien was also returning back to his best form. On pace with the leading riders this week, so this was good for him and the team. For Andrew and Franco, they both have what it takes to be top 10 rally racers wherever they line up. They are both strong and smart riders who both showed good pace at this yearís rally. Jamie McCanney also, he was really impressive this year, faster and much better with his navigation. He was on course for a much-improved result in only his second Dakar. Now, we will return back to Europe, regroup and work on being stronger for the season ahead.


Adrien Van Beveren Advances To Eighth Overall Following Dakar Rally Stage 11

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Teamís Adrien Van Beveren has posted the 10th fastest time on stage 11 of the 2021 Dakar Rally, moving himself up to eighth in the overall provisional classification. Now, with just one stage of the event remaining, Van Beveren is comfortably placed inside the top 10 with just 452 kilometres separating the Frenchman from his third Dakar Rally finish.

The 11th stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally was originally billed as the longest of the event before a minor alteration reduced the timed special to 464 kilometres. The stage opened with a number of technical, slow speed and rocky sections before a punishing stretch of close to 100 kilometres of sand dunes provided a physical test as the stage neared its conclusion.

Continuing with his strong run of form during week two of the 2021 Dakar Rally, Adrien Van Beveren again impressed on stage 11, delivering yet another solid ride to successfully complete the special among the leading riders. With the Frenchman picking up his pace as he entered the sand dunes, the 30-year-old put his sand riding skills to effective use, ending the stage in a well-deserved 10th place. Following another strong result, AVB advances to eighth in the provisional standings with one day of racing to go.

Tomorrow, the 12th and final stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally offers the final chance for Adrien to climb higher up the overall standings. With the last day of the rally featuring the shortest special at just 225 kilometres, it will be an intense race to the finish line in Jeddah.

Adrien Van Beveren Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
10th Stage 11
A tough day today. Quite a mixed stage, early there were a lot of riverbeds to cross, along with some really slow rocky sections. It was almost like riding trial at one point. It then opened out into the sand dunes and I was able to really pick my pace up. There wasnít as many dunes as expected but this is ok. Seventh place again, like yesterday, so another good result. One day remains now so my full focus is to finish the rally strongly, safely, but to also do my best.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
Todayís stage was tough, but Adrien again recorded another strong result. Seventh place on the stage is a good result and Adrien has been really good the last few days. Strong navigation, very few mistakes so this is really good for him and the team. The stages this year have been long and fast, requiring riders to be super-focused and Adrien has taken on the challenge really well. One day to go now, it seems like many riders are tired, which is always the case this late in the Dakar, so we look forward to reaching the finish line in Jeddah tomorrow.


Solid Seventh Place Finish On Dakar Stage 10 For Adrien Van Beveren

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Teamís Adrien Van Beveren has claimed a solid seventh place finish on stage 10 of the 2021 Dakar Rally, continuing his strong run of form during the second week of the event. Enjoying the physical nature of todayís rocky stage to secure a second consecutive top 10 result, the Frenchman advances one position to ninth in the overall provisional classification with two stages of the event remaining.

The 10th stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally opened with beautiful scenery and breathtaking views of the Red Sea, before heading east, sending riders into the rocky landscape that formed much of the 342-kilometre special. Patience and accurate navigation throughout ensured Adrien enjoyed a strong stage result ahead of tomorrowís penultimate day of racing.

Following on from his strong ride on yesterdayís stage nine, AVB, armed with increased confidence in his navigational skills, confidently tackled the rocky terrain that formed a large part of stage 10. Going on to deliver a mistake-free ride, the Yamaha WR450F Rally mounted rider remained in the top 10 through each waypoint. The 30-year-old put his superior fitness to good use to complete the stage as the seventh fastest rider, despite being hindered by dust towards the end of the special. With tomorrowís stage set to take place on the Frenchmanís favoured terrain Ė sand Ė and with an advantageous starting position, Adrien is well positioned to record another impressive result.

The 11th and penultimate stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally is set to provide the toughest test of the rally so far. With a very short liaison, the 511-kilometre special is the longest of the event and features a physically demanding stretch of nearly 100 kilometres of sand dunes. Upon completion of the stage, riders will arrive in Yanbu and look forward to the final day of competition.

Adrien Van Beveren Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
7th Stage 10
Another good stage for me so Iím really happy with how this week is going at the Dakar. Another rocky stage today, but a good result on this terrain gives me confidence for the long stage tomorrow where we can expect a lot of sand. Today was really demanding, both physically and mentally but I like it like this. Towards the end of the stage I had to ease off because there was so much dust but overall Iím happy with how today went for me.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
Adrien put together a really consistent and strong stage today. He had a good pace and his fitness is really good so this was another positive day for him and the team. Tomorrow will be a tough day, the longest special stage of the rally but with Adrienís sand skills and fitness this should reward him with another strong result. Only two days to go until we reach the finish in Jeddah and weíre confident ahead of the final two days of racing.


Adrien Van Beveren Secures Strong Fifth Place Finish On Dakar Rally Stage Nine

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Teamís Adrien Van Beveren has recorded his best stage finish at the 2021 Dakar Rally. Finding his form during the second half of the event, the Frenchman enjoyed the technical nature of todayís special, posting the fifth fastest time through the challenging stage. With his strong result, Adrien advances to 10th in the overall provisional classification. Frustratingly, after showing much promise during this yearís Dakar, Ross Branchís participation has come to a premature end following a technical issue.

Stage nine of the 2021 Dakar Rally was a loop stage beginning in, and returning to, Neom, on the sandy shore of the Red Sea. After a few kilometres riding over smooth sand, the 465-kilometre special Ė the second longest of the entire rally - took riders inland onto sandy tracks and rocky trails that formed much of the stageís terrain. Nearing the conclusion, accurate navigation through many technical canyons was needed in order to secure a strong result.

As the 13th rider to enter the dayís special, Adrien Van Beveren had an optimal starting position for the stage but opted to concentrate on his road book and focus on riding his own race. The strategy worked with the Frenchman quickly up to speed on the challenging terrain. Reaching each checkpoint among the leading riders, AVB placed a fine fifth overall - his best result in this yearís event and a positive boost for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team. Following his strong performance on stage nine, Adrien advances to 10th in the general rankings and looks forward to the final three stages.

Following many highlights for Ross Branch during the 2021 Dakar Rally - headlined by narrowly missing out on winning stage six by a slender 14 seconds Ė frustratingly a technical issue shortly after starting stage nine brought the Botswana nativeís time in the rally to an end.

The 10th stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally opens with beautiful scenery and breath taking views of the Red Sea, before heading east and into a series of rocky canyons. Patience and accurate navigation throughout the 342-kilometre special will ensure strong stage results ahead of the penultimate day of racing.

Adrien Van Beveren Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
5th Stage 9
Today was a really good day for me and Iím really pleased with my riding, my navigation, everything went perfect for me. There wasnít as much sand on the stage as expected, but I was still able to make a good result, so this gives me a lot of confidence for the coming days. It feels like all the work that I put in has finally paid off, up until today it didnít feel that way so I have a really good feeling now and look ahead to ending the Dakar with more strong results.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
Another good and bad day for the team. The good was that Adrien found his form and his confidence. The stage went through the same area where he crashed out of the race last year, but he was able to put this behind him, keep his focus and maintain a strong pace. He rode really well and by far it was the best day for him in this yearís rally. Sadly, for Ross, a technical issue means that his race is over. He was competing with the best riders in the rally up until his crash on Sunday, and even after that he showed such tremendous spirit and passion to continue and keep pushing on the second leg of the marathon stage yesterday. Itís really sad, heís been incredible and itís a shame for his race to end like this.


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

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Teamís Ross Branch and Adrien Van Beveren have safely finished stage eight of the 2021 Dakar Rally Ė leg two of the eventís 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 eventís 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 tomorrowís 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 eventís 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 teamís mechanics will repair the crash damage on his Yamaha WR450F Rally machine while Ross will concentrate on delivering a positive end to this yearís 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 Caimiís participation in this yearís rally came to an unfortunate end on stage eight where a technical issue, close to the finish, ruled the Argentine out of the event.

Ross Branch Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
11th Stage 8
Iím happy to have completed the marathon stage as itís been a tough couple of days. Todayís 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 Iím excited for the next stage.

Adrien Van Beveren Ė 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 Iím happy. The bike is good and tomorrowís stage looks like the terrain will be similar to the end of todayís stage, so Iím looking forward to it.

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.


Highly Positive Dakar Stage Six For Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team

Stage six of the 2021 Dakar Rally proved to be a highly positive one for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team with Ross Branch narrowly missing out on taking a maiden stage win. Claiming an impressive runner-up finish, just 13 seconds behind the eventual stage winner, Ross is now placed fourth overall in the provisional classification at the halfway point of the rally. Teammates Adrien Van Beveren and Franco Caimi also posted strong results by claiming sixth and 13th respectively with all riders now looking forward to the eventís rest day tomorrow.

Heading west throughout stage six, riders reached the town of Haíil following a 347-kilometre special. Taking riders through sandy tracks early on, competitors were then faced with undulating sand dunes for much of the challenging stage. Now, having successfully completed six gruelling stages, riders and team staff will enjoy a well-earned rest day tomorrow, ahead of six further days of racing that begins with the eventís marathon stage on Sunday.

As the ninth rider to enter the special, Ross Branch excelled from his advantageous starting position to very nearly claim his debut stage win. Pushing hard from the start in a bid to make up time on the leading riders, Ross ended the stage agonisingly close to earning victory, just 13 seconds behind the eventual winner. More importantly, the Yamaha WR450F Rally mounted rider began the stage 11 minutes down on the provisional leader but following his excellent performance has now closed that gap to just under four minutes. Ross sits in a comfortable fourth place at the end of week one.

Another Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team rider capitalising on his starting position was Adrien Van Beveren. After a challenging day yesterday, the Frenchman returned to form, tackling the high-speed terrain found on stage six with focused determination. Maintaining a fast and consistent pace throughout the 347-kilometre special, Van Beveren placed sixth on the stage and began to chip away at the leading riders ahead, eventually making up four minutes. Adrien now looks ahead to the second week of racing with confidence.

Franco Caimi posted another consistent result on stage six. With the rest day in sight and following yesterdayís difficulties, the Argentine opted to maintain a strong rhythm throughout the special to avoid mistakes. Franco climbed as high as 10th place where he remained for much of the stage before going on to finish 13th and successfully reach the halfway point of the rally.

With stage six of the 2021 Dakar Rally now complete, Ross, Adrien, Franco, and the entire Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team will enjoy a well-earned rest day ahead of stage seven, and leg one of the rallyís two-day marathon stage on Sunday 10 January. Competitors will depart from Haíil and head to Sakaka, reaching the most northerly point of the event upon their arrival. Riders are then permitted just 10 minutes to prepare their own machines ahead of the second marathon stage leg.

Ross Branch Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
2nd Stage 6

A really good stage for me today, so close to the win! It was a fun day on the bike. All the sandy tracks meant that I didnít have to rely too much on my navigation and I just went as hard as I could. So close to the win but Iím really happy anyway. Iím now looking forward to the rest day tomorrow and Iím excited for another week of racing.

Adrien Van Beveren Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
6th Stage 6

Today was much better, especially compared to yesterday. I had a good feeling with the bike and was able to push the whole time. Iím still disappointed about yesterday but I will keep my head up and take it day by day. Rest day tomorrow but for the remaining stages I am positive. My bike is good and I feel strong so next week will be really good for me.

Franco Caimi Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
13th Stage 6

Stage six is now done. Today there was a lot of sand on the stage, but I felt good on the bike and I was able to keep a strong rhythm. It was a good result for me going into the halfway point of the rally. Weíve had to overcome some challenges this week but I feel good on the bike and Iím looking forward to the rest day, some nice food, and then itís onto week two.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
Today we saw something amazing from Ross. For the whole stage he took risks and pushed super hard and very nearly won the stage, just 13 seconds away from the win. Itís frustrating for him to not win, but also really positive as he knows, and we know, what he is capable of. He is now fourth, less than four minutes from the lead so this is a great end to the first week. Adrien and Franco bounced back really well after yesterday. Adrienís confidence is coming back now and he was really good today. He pushed hard, no mistakes and finished sixth so this is good for him. Franco also rode very well. He made a small mistake, nothing major, but is happy with himself and has a good feeling with the bike. We now have a rest day, but the important thing is that our riders are all happy and healthy, and looking forward to the next stage.


Ross Branch Continues Positive 2021 Dakar Rally Campaign

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Teamís Ross Branch was the ninth fastest rider on stage five of the Dakar Rally, comfortably maintaining his top 10 ranking in the provisional overall classification. Frustratingly, for the teamís remaining riders it was a difficult day with the results not being a true reflection of the speed and effort put in by Franco Caimi and Adrien Van Beveren. On the toughest stage of the event so far they were both hampered by unfortunate navigational errors while team-mate Jamie McCanneyís time in the rally was brought to an end as the Manxman encountered a technical issue halfway through the stage.

Setting off from Riyadh and heading north to Al Qaisumah, stage five of the 2021 Dakar Rally provided a very long and tough day of racing, with stage times for the leading riders exceeding five hours. Featuring mixed terrain with rocky tracks and challenging sand dunes throughout, patience was needed to deliver a mistake-free ride with many competitors caught out by the tricky navigation.

Ross Branch broke the mould on stage five by proving that it was indeed possible to open the stage with the leading riders and post a top-10 result. Setting off with a strong pace from the start, the Yamaha WR450F Rally mounted rider reached each waypoint well among the frontrunners, going on to complete the gruelling stage as the ninth fastest rider. In claiming top-10 results in four of the five stages now completed, Ross sits ninth in the overall provisional classification and will enjoy an advantageous starting position on stage six.

Enjoying a strong start to stage five and looking to re-enter the top 10 in the standings was Franco Caimi. Frustratingly, a mistake with his navigation early on the stage cost him dearly, leaving him with even more work to do. Playing into Francoís hands though was the long and demanding stage. With riders competing for well over five hours, the Argentinian picked up his pace, charged to the finish, and ended the stage in 18th. Tomorrow will see stage six play out over rolling sand dunes and now, with a highly advantageous starting position, Caimi is well-placed to reach the halfway stage on a positive note.

Adrien Van Beveren was the 11th rider to enter stage five. With his beneficial starting position, the Frenchman quickly caught the leading riders until a navigational error cost the Frenchman just over 20 minutes. Following his mistake, Adrien was left with little choice but to charge hard in a bid to reclaim the lost time, going on to successfully complete the stage. Now, the recently turned 30-year-old looks forward to the sand dunes heíll face tomorrow and will enter stage six in 23rd with his full focus being on making up for the time lost.
Showing many positive signs of progression during the 2021 Dakar Rally, Jamie McCanney was frustratingly forced out of the event following a technical issue on stage five, bringing his participation to an unfortunate end. In only his second appearance at the event, the Manxman had shown impressive consistency and already made huge improvements over his 2020 performance, posting top 20 results on each of the first four stages.

With five stages of the 2021 Dakar Rally now complete, stage six takes riders west to Haíil and includes a 448-kilometre special set entirely within rolling sand dunes. Following the completion of the stage, racers will take a well-earned rest day on Saturday ahead of six further days of racing, beginning with the eventís marathon stage.

Ross Branch Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
9th Stage 5

It was another long stage and day on the bike today. It was really hard work both physically and mentally but after a while I found myself in a group of riders, which made it a little easier. There were some big dunes towards the end of the stage, which were fun and itís good to remain up front overall. Today was tough on the body. Iíll be resting well tonight and look to end the first week of racing on a positive note before the rest day on Saturday.

Franco Caimi Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
18th Stage 5

It was a tough stage for me today. I made a couple of mistakes that unfortunately that cost me a lot of time. Itís a shame but this is a long and demanding race. Anything can happen so I will just focus now on my riding and itís onwards and upwards from here.

Adrien Van Beveren Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
23rd Stage 5

Today was going really well for me but I made a mistake with my navigation and struggled to find a waypoint. Itís disappointing but these things happen. The important thing is that I am healthy, and tomorrowís stage in the sand will be good for me. I believe I can make up a lot of the time and then we will have a rest day to regroup our focus on the second week of racing.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
What we have seen today is that in Dakar a good day can followed by a not so good day. There is an obvious highlight for us, that Ross is going really well. Itís only his third Dakar and he has been riding exceptionally well on every stage. Heís only 11 minutes behind the race leader and very well placed among the leading riders. He has been very impressive and remains both highly focused and set on continuing to be among the leaders. Unfortunately, both Adrien and Franco had a tough day today, making mistakes and losing valuable time. This is how the Dakar goes sometimes, this is racing, there are many stages ahead and anything can still happen. They have less pressure now and they both look forward to tomorrowís stage. It will be very much in the sand so there is a big opportunity for them to make up their lost time. Sadly, Jamie had a technical issue and is unfortunately out of the rally. Iím so disappointed for him but I am really impressed with the progression that made this year. He was consistent and smart and itís a big shame. From here, we remain positive. Ross is doing really well and we will take it day by day as a team. There is still a long way to go and we look forward to tomorrow.


Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Teamís Franco Caimi Delivers Strong Stage Three Dakar Performance

Franco Caimi has delivered a strong seventh-place finish for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team on stage three of the 2021 Dakar Rally. Showing serious pace aboard his Yamaha WR450F Rally, Franco equalled his stage one result and returns to the top 20 in the provisional overall classification. Yesterdayís star performer, Ross Branch, sits in sixth overall following the completion of stage three with Adrien Van Beveren now ninth. Jamie McCanney posted his best stage result of the event so far with a solid 14th place finish.

Stage three of the 2021 Dakar Rally was a challenging loop stage located to the south of the bivouac near Wadi Ad-Dawasir. The 403-kilometre special within the 629 km stage featured a variety of terrain, combining technical canyons with sand dunes, linked together with high-speed sections that required all competitors to draw upon their skills and experience to secure a strong result.

Following a challenging stage two, Franco Caimi bounced back in fine style to secure seventh place on stage three of the 2021 Dakar Rally. Setting a competitive pace from the start of the 403-kilometre special, the Argentine rode superbly, passing each checkpoint comfortably inside the top 10. With yesterdayís frustration now behind him, Caimi is focused on the days ahead and goes into stage four confident in both himself, and his machinery.

Jamie McCanney has quietly put together a strong start to the 2021 Dakar Rally. Putting his full focus on his ever-improving navigational skills, the Manxman came away with a solid 14th place finish. Now, with his confidence boosted and with a much more positive approach to the coming days, Jamie is confident in delivering further mistake-free rides as the rally continues.

Adrien Van Beveren was incredibly consistent on stage three as he posted sector times just outside the top 10 throughout the special, despite not enjoying the higher overall speeds found on the third day of racing. Placing 16th and with the provisional classification now tightening up at the head of the field, Van Beveren remains among the leading riders in ninth overall and will enjoy an advantageous starting position for tomorrowís stage four.

Setting off as the fourth rider to enter the third stage of the Dakar Rally, Ross Branch quickly caught up to the leading riders where he then faced with the unenviable task of opening the stage. With Ross focused on delivering another solid result to maintain his position as a frontrunner, he settled into a comfortable rhythm to ensure a strong finish. In claiming 17th after almost four hours of racing, Ross now holds sixth in the provisional classification.

Stage four of the 2021 Dakar Rally will be the longest of the event at 813 kilometres, ensuring plenty of time in the saddle for all competitors. After completing one of the shortest specials of the rally with a timed section of 337 kilometres, riders will arrive in the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh.

Franco Caimi Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
7th Stage 3

Iím happy to have completed stage three. It was a fast stage, so making up time was difficult, but Iím pleased to have clawed back some of the time lost yesterday. Starting in 31st and riding through dust was difficult early on but I kept pushing and finished seventh, so this is good for me. Iím happy with my riding and my bike so the focus is now on the days ahead and catching up to the leading riders.

Jamie McCanney - Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
14th Stage 3

Iím quite pleased with today. I wasnít quite feeling myself after a difficult day yesterday so to finish 14th is great. I really focused on myself today. Through the dunes I put my trust into my roadbook and rode off the mainline and completely on my own at times, but it seemed to work out really well with no distractions. I could just concentrate on the job at hand and it paid off. I made no mistakes with navigation and Iím really happy with that so itís good for my confidence knowing that I can ride my own race and secure solid results.

Adrien Van Beveren Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
16th Stage 3

Todayís stage was quite fast but mixed with some technical slower sections. Iím happy with my riding though, consistent through the stage which is really important, so I am pleased with this. I focused on my navigation today and made no mistakes, so everything is going in the right direction. Tomorrow is another day and Iím looking forward to it.

Ross Branch Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
17th Stage 3

It was a long day today but a good day. The navigation wasnít as tricky as previous days so I was able to catch up with the leading riders quite quickly. Not the best stage result but we are still in the fight, in one piece and the times are close at the top so itís far from over. Iím looking forward to tomorrow.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
Today was a good day for the team. Nothing spectacular but we know that each day will change, good results one day followed by not so good results the next, but this is how this rally is. Ross did a great job today. Starting fourth proved challenging, as one with the leading riders you open the stage leaving tracks for others to follow. But for tomorrow, he can for sure have a good result again. Franco had a great day, great speed and was really consistent. He was able to claw back six minutes on the leading rider so this is very positive and shows what he is capable of. Jamie is slowing getting more confident. Yesterday was difficult for him but today he was mistake free with his riding and navigation so I am confident in him and he will get better and better as the rally progresses. Adrien is taking a slightly cautious approach this year which is a smart thing to do as there is such a long way to go. Heís really concentrating on his navigation to avoid mistakes and it is working. Overall, the atmosphere in the team is strong, the riders are happy, and we look forward to tomorrow.


Ross Branch Fourth Fastest On Dakar Rally Stage Two

Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Teamís Ross Branch has raced to an impressive fourth place finish on stage two of the 2021 Dakar Rally following a faultless ride. With his strong result, Ross advances up to third in the provisional classification. Adrien Van Beveren also put together a positive stage to claim sixth, with Jamie McCanney 19th and Franco Caimi coming home in 31st. Frustratingly, Andrew Short was forced to retire following a technical issue.

Stage two of the 2021 Dakar Rally saw the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team take on the first sand dunes of the event. With their navigational skills put to the test throughout the technical stage, the team ended the day optimistic about the stages ahead and looking forward to the coming days in the sand dunes.

Setting off in 15th position proved highly advantageous for Ross Branch as he went on to finish in fourth place following an impeccable ride throughout the technical 457-kilometre special. Attacking the sand dunes at the start of the stage he rode confidently, chasing down the leading riders. With Ross never falling outside the top six throughout the stage, the Yamaha WR450F Rally mounted rider now finds himself placed third in the provisional overall classification, just 14 seconds down on the second placed rider.

After just over four and a half hours in the saddle, Adrien Van Beveren came home in sixth place to continue his strong start to the rally. Taking to the start in 13th following his result on the opening stage proved highly advantageous as he was able to focus on following the lines left in the deep sand by the competitors ahead of him. Despite riding through dust at times, he remained focused, going on to record another strong finish. The Frenchman now sits sixth in the provisional overall classification.

Jamie McCanney continues to learn the ropes of rally racing. After coming close to crashing early on in the stage, the Manxman then found himself passed by some much more experienced riders, temporarily knocking his confidence. Quickly regrouping, he then made a navigational error, which cost him valuable time. Despite his frustrations, Jamie placed 19th and heads into tomorrow very much focused on riding his own race.

It was a frustrating stage two for Franco Caimi. Following his impressive seventh place finish on stage one, a minor technical issue slowed his pace early on. Once that was resolved he charged forwards, able to claw back some of the lost time to end the stage in 31st. With tomorrowís stage again set to feature a lot of sand, Franco will be able to capitalise on the tracks left before him and focus on his riding as he aims to return to the top 10 in the overall classification.

In placing 12th on the eventís opening stage, Andrew Short started the Dakar Rally on a positive note. Unfortunately, a technical issue just past the halfway point of stage two brought the Americanís participation in this yearís event to an untimely end.

Stage three of the 2021 Dakar Rally is a loop stage that starts from, and returns to, Wadi Ad-Dawasir. The 629 km stage features a 403 km special and provides a real challenge of mixed terrain including dunes and technical canyons, linked together with high-speed sections.

Ross Branch Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
4th Stage 2

It was another good day for me today. I really enjoyed the stage and it was nice to follow some tracks and focus on my riding. The stage was tricky towards the end, some technical sections that required accurate navigation but we got through that fine, so it was a good day at the office. This yearís rally is really tough but Iím having a great time here with the team and loving the racing so I canít wait for tomorrow.

Adrien Van Beveren Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
6th Stage 2

A much better day for me today. Plenty of sand and dunes and I was able to ride loose and confident, a big improvement over yesterday. I pushed from the start, but quickly got caught up in some dust from other riders but I kept my rhythm and kept moving forwards. I made a few small mistakes but felt great today, really confident on my bike and Iím happy with where I am after stage two.

Jamie McCanney - Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
19th Stage 2

Nothing special today, really. Some tough learnings. I didnít realise that I was in the top 20 until the end and rode a little cautiously after being passed by some faster riders. That knocked my confidence a bit. I then followed close to someone who then turned around as heíd gone the wrong way and I just followed him into that mistake. I was kicking myself for that one so Iíll be focusing on myself from now on.

Franco Caimi Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
31st Stage 2

Today was a difficult one but there is still a long way to go. I had a small technical issue with my bike and lost a lot of time but for tomorrow I will be able to follow tracks left by those ahead of me, so I am confident of making up for lost time. Iím really happy with my riding and the bike set-up and from here onwards I will just push forwards. There is still a lot of racing to go.

Andrew Short Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Retired Stage 2

For sure itís disappointing to end the rally like this as I had a really good stage going. I felt awesome on the bike and things were going well. With Dakar only happening once a year, itís frustrating to go out like this but Iíll be back next year. Iím thankful to be healthy but sad at the same time as itís a race that we all work hard towards all year round, but itís how racing goes sometimes. All the best to my team-mates, it's going to be a tough race this year.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
It was a good and bad day for the team. It was a difficult stage with very deep sand in places, but our riders enjoyed the challenge. Both Ross and Adrien rode perfectly today. Minimal risks and solid results, but this may hurt them tomorrow as they will start with the leading riders. But this is how rally goes and they both know what they are doing so they will look to maintain their strong overall positions. Franco had a small problem that he was able to fix. This was disappointing but we have seen results change drastically each day so I am confident that he will claw back time in the days ahead. Jamie had another consistent day and his level has really improved over last year, which is nice to see. Consistency is really important this year with the new rules and I am confident that he can continue like this. Sadly, for Andrew, his rally is over. Halfway through the stage he had a problem with the bike and was unable to finish the stage. Iím really disappointed for him after a great start to the rally. Everyone in the team feels for Andrew, but as we all know Dakar can be cruel. Tomorrow will be tough, not too long but more sand so we will prepare the best we can and continue to fight for strong positions.


Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Complete Opening Stage Of 2021 Dakar Rally

The Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team have successfully kicked off their 2021 Dakar Rally campaign with all riders comfortably placed inside the top 20 following a challenging stage one. With each rider focused on delivering strong results, it was a confident Franco Caimi who claimed the best finish for the team, placing seventh overall aboard his Yamaha WR450F Rally machine.

With stage one of the 43rd running of the event proving to be anything but easy despite being run solely on tracks and stony trails, accurate navigation was essential from the start. All Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team riders faced a number of technical canyons and demanding rocky hillsides, testing the skills and patience of the entire five-rider squad.

Taking to the start of the eventís opening stage in 14th following his prologue result certainly proved advantageous for Caimi. Picking up on the lines left by those ahead of him, the Argentine was able to focus on his riding and navigation while pushing forwards throughout the rocky, 277-kilometre special. Riding through dust for much of the stage, Caimi delivered a trouble-free ride to claim a strong seventh place finish.

Andrew Short opted for a cautious approach on stage one of the 2021 Dakar Rally. With a new for 2021 rule that allows elite riders just six rear tyres for the entire event, the American rode conservatively throughout the rocky stage with tomorrowís sandier conditions very much on his mind. Nevertheless, his 12th place finish marked a strong start to the event with Andrew happy to be back racing his Yamaha WR450F Rally machine.

Close behind Andrew in 13th place was Adrien Van Beveren. Also applying a cautious approach to the opening stage, the Frenchman successfully navigated his way through the rocky terrain. With tomorrowís stage set to feature his favoured conditions of rolling sand dunes, the 29-year-old looks forward to stage two and advancing up the leaderboard.

The ever-positive Ross Branch enjoyed stage one of the 2021 Dakar Rally. Setting off fourth, he quickly caught up to the leading riders and briefly lead the stage for a short time. Opting to settle into a safe, comfortable rhythm, Branch learned valuable line choices and techniques from his much more experienced rivals on his way to completing the stage in 15th place.

Jamie McCanney also made a positive start to just his second ever Dakar Rally. With a GPS issue solved just moments before he began the special stage, he then caught up to a group of riders ahead of him. To avoid riding in their dust, he made multiple attempts to break free but then made a few mistakes, unravelling all of his hard work. Posting the 19th fastest time on the stage, Jamie now looks ahead to stage two and hopes for a less frantic day of racing.

Stage two of the 2021 Dakar Rally will see the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team take on the first sand dunes of the event. Each rider will have their navigational skills put to the test throughout the 457-kilometre special and once completed, the team will end the day in the town of Wadi Ad-Dawasir.

Adrien Van Beveren Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
13th Stage 1

Not the best start for me today. The terrain wasnít my favourite, very rocky but also quite fast so not my favourite conditions. I rode a little tight, a little cautious but the Dakar is a long race and for tomorrow I will reset, then give my best on stage two.

Franco Caimi Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
7th Stage 1

Itís really great to be racing the Dakar again and Iím really thankful that we were able to race following what has happened in the last year with the pandemic. Todayís stage was really good for me. Starting 14th on the stage meant there was a few lines to follow but I was also riding in dust which wasnít ideal. But, overall, seventh on the stage is a great start to the rally. My bike was working perfectly, Iím super-happy with everything and there are many days of racing ahead.

Andrew Short - Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
12th Stage 1

Todayís stage was pretty good for me. Itís great to be back racing and we were straight into it with some tricky navigation from the start. The stage was really rocky, and I was maybe a little conservative as we only have six rear tyres to use throughout the event. This may have cost me some time, but it might work out better for me for tomorrow. Iím about eight minutes down on the leader but itís only day one and a long way to go. Iím happy with how the rally has started for me and Iím looking forward to tomorrow.

Ross Branch Ė Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
15th Stage 1

Today was a great day at the office. Early on I was able to catch up with some guys ahead of me and I was able to learn a lot from them. I found the navigation to be really difficult today but itís the Dakar Rally and itís meant to be tough. It was a long first day and Iím happy with my result, my bike, and I canít wait for tomorrow.

Jamie McCanney - Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
19th Stage 1

I didnít have the best start to the rally and this was before any riding had even happened. At the start of the stage I had an issue with my GPS so I quickly returned to the bivouac for another one. That also had a problem so I then had no choice but to follow someone to the start of the special and collect a new GPS there. It was a little unsettling but once I was out riding everything was good and I quickly caught up to a few riders and we were in a bit of a group. I struggled a bit to break away from them which was a little frustrating. Plenty of action on day one with a lot going on so hopefully tomorrow will go a bit smoother.

Alexandre Kowalski - Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
It was a mixed first day for the team, but all riders completed the stage well and they are all positive. Some of them rode a little tight, others were more relaxed, but this is always the case with day one of the Dakar. Franco rode really well today. Consistent throughout and no big mistakes, so heís very deserving of his seventh-place finish. It wasnít the best stage for Adrien. The stage was where he crashed out last year so he was very cautious, but now that we are passed this he can focus on the days ahead. Ross started fourth on the stage but was quickly the leading rider, which was new for him but also great experience. Andrew was also up front early, but a few small navigational mistakes cost him. Itís only day one and there is a long way to go. Jamie had some GPS issues before the stage began but this was fixed and he rode really well. A few small mistakes like Andrew but a great start to the rally for Jamie. The new rules seem to have created bigger gaps than usual after day one so this could be how the rest of the rally goes. Navigation is much more important this year and is the main focus and there is still a long way to go. Overall, a positive first day. We have healthy and have happy riders, so we are looking forward to tomorrow.