Tuesday, March 5, 2024

2023 Sonora Rally: Brendan Crow wins National Enduro

Brendan Crow wasn’t planning to run the Sonora Rally at first but changed his mind in early April just weeks before the race. That turned out to be one of the best choices he could have ever made as he won the National Enduro class and was the best finishing bike in general of the National entries.

While the decision to take part came on short notice, leaving him with just three weeks to prepare compared to the roughly seven months in 2022, Crow played a masterful performance as he won by nearly an hour and twenty minutes over Francisco Alvarez. He also minimised errors to just ten minutes of penalties for speeding.

Crow scored the most stage wins with three, taking the Prologue and Stages #1 and #4, while Alvarez claimed the last. Ashley Thixton, the only other multi-time victor, placed fifth overall after having to overcome penalties and a Stage #4 crash.

“Funny that it was completely different from last year even though it was only 6 months ago,” wrote Crow. “Learned even more this year and lookin forward for more!”

Although not winning, Alvarez still claimed the Road to Dakar to receive free registration for the 2024 Dakar Rally. Crow had won Sonora’s RtD in 2022 by finishing third overall; while he did not redeem the spot to race at Dakar 2023, he is ineligible to repeat as a former winner.

Matt Sutherland joined Crow and Alvarez on the overall podium and was the only other rider to finish within two hours of the winner. Sutherland competed in the Malle Moto class for riders without assistance from teams. He and Alvarez were among seventeen Road to Dakar riders.

When limited to strictly Enduro competitors, third place is held by Mike Johnson who overcame an early clutch issue and having to race with stock suspension due to the original tuned setup being seized by customs. Johnson, the owner of Rally Comp which supplied metering devices for bikes at Sonora, raced for Chinese manufacturer Kove Moto in just their second World Rally-Raid Championship start; his team-mates Neels Theric and Sunier rode in the W2RC-sanctioned Rally2 division, the former also finishing fourth overall in his class.

Ben Howard, the only adventure bike rider in the sea of enduro bikes, placed thirtieth overall. Adventure bikes like his Yamaha Ténéré 700 are lager and heavier than their enduro counterparts.

National Enduro overall results

Finish Number Rider Team Time Margin
1 513 Brendan Crow Brendan Crow 16:37:36 Leader
2 526 Francisco Alvarez Freedom Rally Racing 17:56:38 + 1:19:02
3 501 Matt Sutherland # Matt Sutherland 18:24:08 + 1:46:32
4 543 Mike Johnson Kove Moto 19:46:22 + 3:08:46
5 526 Ashley Thixton Freedom Rally Racing 19:46:59 + 3:09:23
6 539 Ben Lauderdale Diespro Adventour 20:00:38 + 3:23:02
7 507 Lance Webb Team 150 Racing 21:10:32 + 4:32:56
8 506 Scott Thornton Team 150 Racing 21:27:18 + 4:49:42
9 532 Ronald Venter Freedom Rally Racing 21:39:54 + 5:02:18
10 517 Devon Mahone Devon Mahone 22:29:08 + 5:51:32
11 540 Gavin Ferguson M2 AV Consulting 22:42:17 + 6:04:41
12 515 Digby Norris Triple F Racing 23:21:12 + 6:43:36
13 529 Gregorio Martos Freedom Rally Racing 23:45:22 + 7:07:46
14 519 Douglas Zacaras Douglas Zacaras 23:50:42 + 7:13:06
15 511 Mario Mendoza Mario Mendoza 27:35:43 + 10:58:07
16 542 Paul Mumford # Paul Mumford 32:01:13 + 15:23:37
17 516 Bryan Pederson Bryan Pederson 38:27:44 + 21:50:08
18 523 Jatin Jain Diespro Adventour 39:17:28 + 22:39:52
19 508 Matthew Glade # RallyMotoShop 47:36:44 + 30:59:08
20 502 Billy Trapp M2 AV Consulting 50:04:34 + 33:26:58
21 510 Hector Guerrero # Mocedi Racing Team 51:38:03 + 35:01:27
22 530 Henry Cubides Freedom Rally Racing 54:36:38 + 37:59:02
23 533 Dwain Barnard Freedom Rally Racing 55:36:48 + 37:59:12
24 537 Donald Hatton Freedom Rally Racing 59:14:21 + 42:36:45
25 541 Mike Myers M2 AV Consulting 68:04:49 + 51:27:13
26 521 Benjamin Myers # Benjamin Myers 71:32:47 + 54:55:11
27 538 Miguel Donovan Geek Racing 80:42:00 + 64:04:24
28 514 Vladimir Malyarevich # Vladimir Malyarevich 81:03:07 + 64:25:31
29 536 Jordan Dukes Off Piste Adventure 81:47:37 + 65:10:01
30 528 Ben Howard #^ Ben Howard 86:41:40 + 70:04:04
31 518 John Suvanto John Suvanto 88:05:05 + 71:27:29
32 505 Ryan Nariño Ryan Nariño 104:58:31 + 88:20:55
33 534 Andreu Miró Andreu Miró 105:56:36 + 89:19:00
34 520 Alexander Kachaev # Alexander Kachaev 119:10:28 + 102:32:52
DNF 503 Matthew Ransom Off Piste Adventure DNF N/A
DNF 531 Étienne Gélinas Freedom Rally Racing DNF N/A
DNF 527 Juan Recio Freedom Rally Racing DNF N/A
DNF 504 Patrick Reyes Patrick Reyes DNF N/A
DNF 509 Weston Carr High Desert Adventures DNF N/A
DNF 524 Sebastián Olarte Diespro Adventour DNF N/A
DNF 522 Tibi Imbuzan Tibi Imbuzan DNF N/A
DNS 535 Luke Stalker Off Piste Adventure DNF N/A
DNS 512 John Henson Henson Factory Racing DNF N/A
Underscore – Road to Dakar participant
# – Malle Moto rider
^ – Adventure rider

National Enduro stage winners

Stage Rider Time
Prologue Brendan Crow 46:24
Stage #1 Brendan Crow 2:33:03
Stage #2 Ashley Thixton 2:12:10
Stage #3 Ashley Thixton 5:24:43
Stage #4 Brendan Crow 3:47:26
Stage #5 Francisco Alvarez 1:33:46

Overall winners

Class Number Competitor Team Time
T1 201 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing 10:29:55
T3 302 Mitch Guthrie Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team 11:17:24
T4 400 Rokas Baciuška Red Bull Can-Am Factory Racing 11:51:05
RallyGP 18 Daniel Sanders Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing 11:01:09
Rally2 17 Romain Dumontier HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing 11:48:21
Rally3 57 Massimo Camurri Freedom Rally Racing 15:59:16
Quad 162 Laisvydas Kancius AG Dakar School 15:33:14
National Car/UTV 605 Sara Price* SP Motorsports 17:14:04
National Enduro 513 Brendan Crow* Brendan Crow 16:37:36
National Malle Moto 501 Matt Sutherland* Matt Sutherland 18:24:08
* – Not competing in World Rally-Raid Championship
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