KEVIN BENAVIDES WINS DAKAR 2021

The 2021 Dakar Rally is complete. Monster Energy Honda’s Ricky Brabec won the final stage and closed in on the lead, but had to settle for second to his teammate Kevin Benavides.  It was an exceptionally good event for the Honda team, which had struggled winlessly for years prior to 2020. This time they won 10 stages and led nine of the thirteen days of racing.  This year also saw two Americans finish in the top five. Skyler Howes had an amazing performance, finishing as top non-factory rider in fifth on a KTM supported by the Bas KTM team. He had an exceptionally good final day, finishing in fourth, five minutes off the lead. For extended coverage of the 2021 Dakar Rally, click here.

Kevin Benavides: “The final stage of this Dakar 2021 was very difficult: I started third so I thought that it would be easier, but it was not like that. At kilometre 50 all the riders in front got lost, so I began to open the track. The stage has been very difficult to navigate so I stayed very focused on doing things well. I gave everything to achieve this win which is a dream come true for me. I am very happy and thrilled about it. I crossed the finish-line thinking about many things, with great emotions… Paulo Gonçalves also crossed with me… It was a great moment. I am really pleased and I’m living this moment. I want to thank the whole team, starting with my mechanics, for the great job they have all done this difficult year. Thanks also to Honda for giving us such a great bike which made it possible to achieve the dream.”

Ricky Brabec. Photo: Antonin Vincent DPPI

Ricky Brabec: “We are back in Jeddah. Kevin and I did a great job. The whole team did a great job. It was unfortunate for Joan and Nacho. I tried to make a push to try and get Kevin seven minutes ahead, but unfortunately I failed that. I had to settle for the number two spot. 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.”

Skyler Howes: “Fifth overall!!! This one feels good. The amount of hard work and sacrifice it took just to get here. The racing was next level, this was one tough Dakar. To be at the finish is a huge relief and to be top privateer and land in the top 5… damn this is something I’m proud of. The people that came together and supported me, bought a t shirt, my sponsors, the encouragement, it wouldn’t be possible without all of you! My team was amazing, thank you BAS Dakar KTM racing team for giving me the tools to accomplish this and keep me going every day.”

STAGE 12

1 BRABEC Ricky 1 USA Monster Energy Honda Team 02:17’02
2 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +00:02’17
3 WALKNER Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +00:04’13
4 HOWES Skyler 9 USA BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM +00:05’49
5 SANDERS Daniel 21 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +00:07’11
6 SANTOLINO Lorenzo 15 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory +00:10’31
7 PEDRERO Joan 17 SPA Rieju Dakar Team +00:10’40
8 RODRIGUES Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally +00:12’18
9 BETRIU Jaume 74 SPA FN Speed Team +00:12’35
10 BÜHLER Sebastian 24 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally +00:13’06

FINAL STANDINGS

1 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team 47:18’14
2 BRABEC Ricky 1 USA Monster Energy Honda Team +00:04:56
3 SUNDERLAND Sam 5 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +00:15’57
4 SANDERS Daniel 21 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +00:38’52
5 HOWES Skyler 9 USA BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM +00:52’33
6 SANTOLINO Lorenzo 15 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory +00:58’30
7 QUINTANILLA Pablo 2 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +01:26’39
8 SVITKO Stefan 11 SLO Slovnaft Team +01:43’07
9 WALKNER Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +02’32’12
10 MICHEK Martin 31 CZE Orion Moto Racing Group +02:42’37

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