Ricky Brabec wins final stage, but teammate Kevin Benavides takes the Toureg trophy as the Monster Energy Honda Team finishes the 2021 Dakar Rally one-two. After 13 grueling days came to a close today in Jeddah on the shores of the Red Sea, defending champ Brabec had to settle for second place overall, despite winning the final special of the rally in an intense 202-kilometre thriller.
Monster Energy Honda Team ruled the roost throughout the world’s toughest race for a second consecutive year, as the squad won 10 stages and led 9 of the 13 days of racing. Benavides made history as the first South American rider to ever take the title. Broken nose and all, the Argentinean claimed two stage wins and rode consistently throughout the Rally. Brabec’s title defense included 4 stage wins but a couple of tough days where he lost ground by having to break trail as the “reward” for winning a stage.
In the end, just 2 minutes separated Benavides and Brabec. The last time Honda managed a one-two finish in the Dakar Rally was back in 1987 at the hands of Cyril Neveu and Edi Orioli.
“I tried to make a push and get the seven minutes from Kevin, but unfortunately I failed that. I had to settle for the number two spot,” said last year’s champ from the finish line in Jeddah. “All in all it was a great rally. My mentor and my assistant Kendall, my mechanic Eric did a great job and kept Nacho and I focused and in one piece. Thank you guys once again, and hopefully next year we’ll be able to take the number one back on this bike.”