Monster Energy Honda Rally Team say “say thanks and best wishes” to Jose Cornejo, Toby Price has already told us he hasn’t got a ride for Dakar 2025, is Nacho jumping ship to Red Bull KTM Rally Team or Hero Motosports?

With the news landing this week from Toby Price that KTM have not renewed his contract and he’s out of a ride for the 2025 Dakar Rally (for now at least), the question of who might fill his place, or even if that place would be filled, were hanging in the air.

Well, it seems Honda have half answered that question by thanking Jose ‘Nacho’ Cornejo for his hard work and professionalism and wishing him well in his next challenges – the absence of a ‘thanks for all your hard work Toby’ message from KTM (at time of writing) hasn’t gone unnoticed by the way…


“New challenges and new colours for this season”, says Nacho Cornejo as he bids farewell “with a bit of sadness but with a lot of gratitude”, to Honda. It does not take a genius to put two and two together therefore and say the Chilean is quite likely to be announced as a Red Bull KTM rider in the next days.

Or is he? The alternative here is that KTM is cutting down its rally team down (to save money for MotoGP?) and that Nacho is heading elsewhere. Where? The most likely candidate is Hero Motosports and rumours are pointing at this being true. 

The Indian manufacturer needs a stronger line-up, or at least another stage and potential race-winning rider to standa alongside Ross Branch who finished second at Dakar ’24 let’s not forget. Cornejo could be that candidate to boost further the Hero team.  

“Six years together, seven Dakars and so many adventures around the world. I came to this team as a junior with a lot of dreams, being a waterboy in Dakar 2018, and today I say goodbye as an experienced rider, winning stages, and fighting for podiums and wins.” Says Cornejo about his move away from HRC.

“I want to thank to every teammate, engineers, mechanics, physios and professionals of the team, it has been an honour for me, I met and worked with people and riders that I used to see in the magazines when I was a kid, and most of them today I can call friends. I hope I left a mark and good memories in every person I worked with.”

We await to hear Price’s next move, will it be with another team on two wheels or will he finally get it together for a four-wheeled debut? It seems unlikely a long-time Red Bull athlete would switch to Honda, due to the Monster Energy sponsorship. Plus, it seems to us, Honda has their squad set now with Ricky Brabec, Skyler Howes, Adrien Van Beveren, Pablo Quintanilla and Tosha Schareina. Things can change between now and next January of course.

In the meantime, don’t be surprised to read a team annoucement including Jose Cornerjo signing for another team in the coming days.


Photo Credit: A.S.O.