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BRABEC IS BACK!

  • Dealernews
  • Jun 05, 2024

  

  

 

After becoming the only American to win the overall in Dakar — twice — Ricky Brabec was on a global goodwill tour for Honda, missing the next two rounds of the 2024 World Rally Raid Championships. However he has returned to the Desafio Ruta 40 Rally in dominating fashion, picking up a second stage win today and moving ahead of the Team Honda freight train! He now holds a 1:34 minute lead over teammate Tosha Schareina (who won the prologue, just like he did in Dakar). 

“It feels good to get another stage win, although in rally-raid you don’t always want to win because some days you want to open the stage and others you don’t,” noted defending Dakar champ Brabec. He actually started the special stage in 6th and despite suffering with the cold temperatures early on, found the speed needed through the second half of the 341km stage to put him in the Desafío Ruta 40 lead with two stages to go. “I started out a little bit slow today because I was freezing but after refueling I realized I needed to step up a bit. I made a good push and it worked so it was a good day to take my second stage win, but tomorrow I get to open again… I’m wary the last day will be a maximum attack day for hopefully a podium.”

The stage featured dunes and a 40km salt flat on a loop around the San Juan bivouac — an area that was featured eight times during the days “Dakar” was run in South America. “This stage was very similar to the area of Barstow in California where Ricky and Skyler have had many training days and tests, so they were feeling really confident and the results reflect this with their first and second place finishes,” says team manager Ruben Maria. “It was also another good day for Tosha with his third place.”

After his second place yesterday, Skyler Howes was a man on a mission hunting for his first stage win in Honda colors and by 142km he was quickest, keeping Schareina and Brabec at bay. In an extraordinary development at 174km into the stage the Honda trio were tied on time – nothing could separate them!  At the finish Howes had conceded 3′27″ to his fellow American, while Schareina was a further eleven seconds back as once more the Monster Energy Honda Team continued to dominate the Desafío Ruta 40.

“Today was a lot like riding at home so I felt much more comfortable in this open desert and the dry river beds, rather than the first couple of stages,” says Howes. “I enjoyed today a lot as the navigation was quite tricky but Adrien opened the whole stage before I caught him, but I made a little error and he stayed ahead. I just did the best I could, I came in second again and Ricky smoked us all!”

Howes has continued to move up the standings and is now in 4th, five and a half minutes back, whilst Schareina isn’t letting Brabec too far out of his sights with just over a minute and a half separating the two quickest riders so far after nearly 12 hours of rallying. Skyler Howes

Desafio Ruta 40 RallyGP Results - Stage 3

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap

1 BRABEC Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team 03:15:15

2 HOWES Skyler 10 USA Monster Energy Honda Team + 03:27

3 SCHAREINA Tosha 68 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team + 03:38

4 SANDERS Daniel 4 AUS Gas Gas Factory Team + 04:23

5 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team + 05:52

 

 

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