Monster Energy Honda’s Tosha Schareina tops the 2024 Dakar Rally prologue results ahead of Daniel Sanders and Ross Branch on trickier than usual opening special.


2024 Dakar Rally Prologue in a nutshell:

  • A largely sandy course pitched riders into some dramatic Saudi scenery on this opening day of the ’24 Dakar. The prologue, as ever, is a short, timed section designed as a warm-up and importantly to set start order for the opening stage tomorrow.
  • Prologues can often be easier than this but today’s 27 kilometres had some navigation to keep tabs on (a few riders made small mistakes) and plenty of dry sand for a trickier than usual opening special.


  • Prologue protocol means reverse number starting order so the top riders faced the realities of traffic and a beaten-up course too.
  • Since being drafted into the Honda squad as a support and development rider last season, Tosha Schareina has made a name for himself by starting fast and managing his races in the World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC). It’s helped deliver him podiums and stage wins ahead of the official team riders often.
  • Being promoted to the Monster Honda official team hasn’t slowed the Spaniard down as he set a blistering 17:35 time for the prologue which no-one could beat. After a season of the official Honda PR communications ignoring him, finally this should put him in a headline!
  • GASGAS Factory racing’s Daniel Sanders made a good start also, 12 seconds adrift in P2 despite a small mistake with Hero Motosports’ Ross Branch happy as ever with third place.
  • The top 10 get to choose their start position anywhere within the 23 RallyGP class entries – from P11 onwards they choose in prologue finishing order. So anyone within the top 15 or so is in a good start position for what race director David Castera promises will be a tough first stage tomorrow. FYI the Rally GP and top Rally 2 riders start list is below the results...
  • Prologues can be tricky for the top riders who are keen to set a good time but mindful of not trying too hard and having a crash. Skyler Howes was one of those and arrived at the finish with a navigation tower more like the leaning tower of Pisa. A crash means last year’s podium finisher is already over five minutes down on his rivals, but, he lost a load of time on the prologue 12 months ago as well so don’t read too much into it. 
  • In Rally 2 class South African Kerin Fitzgerald went fastest first but a missed waypoint meant a heavy 30-minute penalty for the BAS KTM rider. That left a familiar French feel to the class result with Romain Dumontier first, and P17 scratch, ahead of Mathieu Doveze with South African Bradley Cox third.
  • EnduroGP Women’s World Champion Jane Daniels finished in 52nd place (note: results below provisional and include quads).
  • Stage 1 of the Dakar tomorrow sees the first rider exit the bivouac just before 6am for an hour or on the road. The 414km special which follows heads south to Al Henakiyah and will feature much less sand, more stoney tracks but promises some tricky navigation.

2024 Dakar Rally Prologue results:



And here’s how they stack up tomorrow morning (and how the top 10 decided to choose their start position and dictate the draw...)



Photo Credit: Honda Racing + ASO Florent Gooden DPPI + Marcin Kin + Rally Zone