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PRESS RELEASES



Second Consecutive Dakar Rally Victory for Honda

Monster Energy Honda riders Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec post 1-2 finish

 

January 15, 2021 — JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia

 

For the second year in a row, Honda earned the overall victory in the Dakar Rally’s motorcycle category, with Argentinean Kevin Benavides finishing ahead of Monster Energy Honda teammate Ricky Brabec, the Southern Californian who last year became the first winner from the USA. It was the first Dakar Rally win for the 32-year-old Benavides, who rode his first Dakar Rally in 2016, and the first time in 34 years that Honda took the top two spots in the grueling international endurance event, with Cyril Neveu and Edi Orioli having managed the feat in 1987.

The Dakar Rally’s 43rd edition (the second in Saudi Arabia) comprised a prolog and 12 stages and covered nearly 5,000 miles in a counterclockwise loop around Saudi Arabia, starting and finishing in the port city of Jeddah. Approximately 3,000 miles of the route were in timed (or “special”) stages, and Benavides had a winning tally of 47 hours, 18 minutes, 14 seconds, less than five minutes better than Brabec.

It was a dominant performance by Honda Racing Corporation’s factory rally effort, whose CRF450 Rally-mounted riders won nine of 12 stages plus the prolog—two stages by Benavides, three stages and the prolog by Brabec, three stages by Joan Barreda and one stage by Jose Cornejo. Barreda and Cornejo were forced to drop out of the race—the former after missing a fuel stop and running out of fuel, and the latter following a hard crash.

“I gave everything to achieve this win which is a dream come true for me,” said Benavides, who is the first South American to win the event. “I am very happy and thrilled about it.”

“Congratulations Kevin Benavides!” said Yoshishige Nomura, President of Honda Racing Corporation. “I am also truly grateful to Ricky Brabec for completing such a grueling rally in a manner as good as winning, José Ignacio Cornejo who led the rally until his unfortunate retirement, and Joan Barreda. Monster Energy Honda Team riders could only perform as well as they did despite the COVID-19 situation, because of the team staff and everyone in the development team working smart to overcome the many difficulties. I am truly grateful. I would also like to share our elation in victory and our gratitude with our sponsors and all of our fans. And last but certainly not least, I respect and thank the race organizers and the other teams for making this event a reality despite the extreme circumstances.

 

Honda’s Dakar Rally Win Record

 

YEAR

RIDER

NATIONALITY

MODEL

1986

Cyril Neveu

France

NXR750

1987

Cyril Neveu

France

NXR750

1988

Edi Orioli

Italy

NXR750

1989

Gilles Lalay

France

NXR750

2020

Ricky Brabec

USA

CRF450 Rally

2021

Kevin Benavides

Argentina

CRF450 Rally

 

 

Honda Canada Motorcycles

Honda Canada Inc. was established in 1969 and is the sole distributor of Honda motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides in Canada. The Honda Canada Motorcycle Division is responsible for sales, marketing, and operational activities for these products through authorized Honda dealers. For more information on Honda Canada powersports products, please visit: https://motorcycle.honda.ca/.