#WheelieWednesday from the Dakar Rally! Defending champ Ricky Brabec wins Stage 10 and moves to less than 1 minute of teammate Kevin Benavides. With only two stages left, Brabec continues his charge!
Here is the word from the HRC - Honda Racing Corporation/ Monster Energy team:
It turned out to be a bittersweet finish for the team. On the one hand, the Monster Energy Honda Team was once again celebrating with a 1-2-3 podium sweep at the arrival in Al-Ula, with Brabec claiming a third 2021 Dakar Stage win, second place going to Barreda with Kevin Benavides in third. However, the team also saw José Ignacio Cornejo fall at kilometre 252, bringing significant consequences for the Chilean rider. After making it to the finish-line of the special stage in bad shape and after medical advice, Nacho decided to retire from the race and undergo a thorough medical examination. Fortunately, after the complete examination at the Tabuk hospital, the rider has no after-effects from the crash. Cornejo won a stage win and had led the race for three days.
"Today definitely was a good day, but it was unfortunate for our team-mate Nacho Cornejo," said the first American to win Dakar. "We heard that he crashed but finished the stage and they ended up taking him to the hospital.
"I was thinking all day about a strategy, to try and sit back a little and set myself up for tomorrow, but the other guys were a little bit off the pace and too far behind. I didn’t want to sit back and wait for six minutes, so I decided to bite the bullet and push all day. Tomorrow I will open the stage. I’m very lucky to have my team-mates Joan and Kevin behind me. Unfortunately, if they catch me, I’m going to lose time tomorrow, but it is what it is.
"We’ve put in 100% and have given it everything. Anything less than winning will be unacceptable. But the situation I’m in for Stage 11 is not bad, but it’s not going to be easy. They’ve made it tough this year and the boys have made it tough too. I’ll try and do my best.