Honda: Ricky Brabec Claims Second Victory at Dakar Rally 2024

By Toey

YANBU, Saudi Arabia, Jan 22, 2024 – (JCN Newswire via SeaPRwire.com) – Monster Energy Honda Team rider Ricky Brabec (U.S.A., age 32), riding the CRF450 RALLY factory bike, won the overall motorcycle category for the second time since 2020 in the Dakar Rally 2024, opening round of the FIM* World Rally-Raid Championship held in Saudi Arabia, which concluded with Stage 12 on Friday, January 19. This is the first time since 2021 that Honda has won the Dakar Rally.

Ricky Brabec rode his first Dakar Rally in 2016 with Team HRC (current Monster Energy Honda Team). After taking the overall lead in Stage 6 in this year’s edition, Brabec defended his position with solid riding in the subsequent stages to take the victory by a margin of 10 min 53 s for his second Dakar win.Adrien Van Beveren (France, age 33) was 3rd, and Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Chile, age 29) was 6th, giving Monster Energy Honda Team 3 top-ten finishes.

The Dakar Rally, known as “the most dangerous sporting event in the world,” was first held in 1979, making this year its 46th edition. Honda first competed in the third Paris-Dakar Rally in 1981. Its first victory came in 1986 on an NXR750, which was followed by three consecutive wins up to 1989. Honda left the Dakar the following year, and in 2013, decided to race once again in the Dakar Rally, then held in South America, with its new CRF450 RALLY factory bike. The race venue was moved from South America to Saudi Arabia in 2020, which Honda won. Honda also won the following year.

Ricky Brabec | Monster Energy Honda Team

“It’s a nice way to start the year with a victory. It wasn’t easy as the course was really tough and so was the competition. Ross [Hero] and my own team kept me on my toes, but not just me, I think we were keeping everyone on each other’s toes. It was definitely a fight to the end for everyone. I’m really happy we’re all here and all safe and we can go home. This time was a little bit different as I feel like this one was more earned as it was a lot tougher. In 2020, we had a big gap from the get-go. Here, I think me and Ross spent three days with a couple of seconds difference. It was a tight race for all of us. Ten minutes is not a big gap here on the rally. I had two good days, two opportunities to make a good push, but also stage 11 was a scare factor for me because I knew Ross was starting behind me, 18 minutes behind, and if he caught me it would be over. Stage 11 was hard but I stayed focused, got to the finishing line and didn’t lose too much time, so I’m really happy with this and I’m really happy for the team. I’m happy for all of us, we did an excellent job all of the two weeks. I think number 9 will be my lucky number from now on.”

Koji Watanabe, President of Honda Racing Corporation

“Congratulations to Ricky Brabec for the win. Thanks also to Adrien Van Beveren, Jose Ignacio Cornejo and all the Monster Energy Honda Team for completing a tough rally and finishing in the top 10. I know that the past three years have been very frustrating. I believe that the fact that we were able to turn that frustration into strength and take back the championship will be a great source of inspiration for Honda and HRC in the future. This is good news to kick off 2024 with. We hope to keep this momentum to win titles in many categories for both motorcycles and automobiles this season. Finally, I would like to thank all of our fans for their support and all of our sponsors for supporting our activities.”

About Ricky Brabec

Birth date: April 21, 1991 (32 years old)Birthplace: U.S.A.

Career Highlights:
2016 Dakar Rally 2016: 9th
2017 Dakar Rally 2017: Participated (One stage win)
2018 Dakar Rally 2018: Participated
2019 Dakar Rally 2019: Participated (One stage win)
2020 Dakar Rally 2020: Winner (Two stage wins)
2021 Dakar Rally 2021: 2nd (Four stage wins)
2022 Dakar Rally 2022: 7th
2023 Dakar Rally 2023: Participated (One stage win)
2024 Dakar Rally 2024: Winner (One stage win)

*FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme

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