Dakar 2020: Honda's Ricky Brabec takes first win ending KTM's Dakar domination
Ricky Brabec has won his first Dakar Rally title, also claiming Honda's first win at the event since 1989. In doing so, Brabec has also ended KTM's Dakar domination - the Austrian manufacturer has won 18 consecutive Dakars, winning their last crown in 2019.
Brabec has also become the first American winner at the Dakar Rally. The 28-year old rider has shown promise at the event since the very beginning, finishing 9th in his first attempt in 2016. After that, however, he retired from the event three years in a row, including last year when his engine failed while he was overall leader in the rally.
Honda's Ricky Brabec took his first Dakar win at the 2020 edition
In 2020, Brabec, who rides for the Monster Energy Honda team, moved into the overall lead on Stage 3 of the event, and stayed there till the end of the event. The going did get tough for Brabec towards the end of the rally, with Husqvarna's Pablo Quintanilla really taking the challenge to the Honda rider. The Chilean managed two stage wins, including on the penultimate stage of the rally, when he closed the gap to the leader from 25 minutes to 13 minutes.
Not one to bow out without a proper fight, Brabec went for it on the final stage of the rally. However his best effort ended up being 53 seconds short of his team-mate - Jose Ignacio Cornejo. Despite this, Brabec was able to win the rally by 16min 26sec.
Ricky Brabec took victory at the 2020 Dakar, becoming the first American to win the event
Quintanilla took his best Dakar result thus far, with second place overall. while Toby Price was the top KTM rider in third place. Price, who won the Dakar for the second time last year, has managed to finish the rally in the top three every single year that he makes it to the end of the event.
Fourth place overall went to Cornejo, while Matthias Walkner took fifth place at the event. KTM's Luciano Benavides ended the rally sixth, with Joan Barreda Bort of Honda finishing seventh after receiving a 15-minute penalty for an engine change.
Yamaha's Franco Caimi finished eighth, with Husqvarna's Skyler Howes and Andrew Short rounding out the top 10.
While Benjamin Melot took victory in the final stage of the Originals by Motul (formerly Malle Moto) class, it was Emanuel Gyenes who took overall victory in the category.