American Ricky Brabec Wins Dakar Rally for Second Time

American Ricky Brabec Wins Dakar Rally for Second Time | RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel
Ricky Brabec and Adrien Van Beveren

It’s easy enough to be the best at something once—the hard part is doing it again. American motorcycle racer Ricky Brabec just proved he can do it twice by snatching his second Dakar Rally victory.

On January 19, Brabec won the motorcycle class of the 2024 Dakar Rally, riding for Monster Energy Honda. The California native raced to the finish line astride a new-generation Honda CRF450 Rally.

In doing so, Brabec repeated his Dakar victory from 2020, which made him the first American to win the famous rally’s motorcycle class. Now, he has become the 13th rider to win Dakar twice..

“It’s a nice way to start the year with a victory,” Brabec said while celebrating at the finish line.

“It wasn’t easy as the course was really tough and so was the competition. It was definitely a fight to the end for everyone.”

Indeed, this year’s 46th edition of the Dakar Rally was much tougher competition-wise than the 2020 one. Four years ago, Brabec opened the race with a comfortable lead from the get-go, but this year he got bogged down trying to shave seconds off of his time.

American Ricky Brabec Wins Dakar Rally for Second Time | RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel

After the prologue stage, Spanish rider Tosha Schareina was in the lead. After the fourth full stage, Chilean José Ignacio “Nacho” Cornejo assumed the pole position for one day.

This was a good year for the Monster Energy Honda overall. Both Schareina and Cornejo (who came in sixth) are members of the team, as is Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren who finished third.

The 2024 rally marked Brabec’s fifth Dakar race. In addition to his 2020 victory, he finished second in 2021 and seventh in 2022. Last year, a technical failure en route dropped him out of the rally.

Brabec has won more than Dakar, as well. He achieved victory in the Score Baja 1000 and AMA Hare & Hound National Championships in 2014, repeating the latter win in 2016.

For Honda, this marked the brand’s eighth Dakar triumph. The most recent previous win came in 2021 when Kevin Benavides raced to first place with a previous-generation CRF450 Rally. Honda's other victories are from 1982, ‘86, ‘87, ‘88, and ‘89.

This year’s Dakar Rally began on January 5 in the Saudi Arabian city of Al-’Ula. Riders raced east to cross the infamous Empty Quarter of the Arabian Desert before heading back west to the coastal city of Yanbu.

In total, the rally covered nearly 4,800 miles over two weeks. One of the most challenging sections was the 48-hour Chrono marathon stage, which saw the riders race for two days over 373 miles in the Empty Quarter with only one midnight rest and no technical support.