2021 Dakar Rally
2021 Dakar Round DAK21
Honda one-two at the 2021 Dakar Rally
Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec claimed a double at the 2021 Dakar Rally for Monster Energy Honda Team, after dominating the race. In the third chapter of the Dakar, for a second consecutive year, Honda has triumphed in the world’s toughest rally.
Three weeks after arriving in Saudi Arabia to face the new Dakar, the Monster Energy Honda Team riders return home with two heavy prizes weighing down their luggage. Kevin Benavides clinched the overall 2021 Dakar title, with Ricky Brabec accompanying him on the second step of the podium. A new success for a team that showed such huge potential from the very first stage.
Outright victory in the world’s toughest rally came after commanding nine of the thirteen days of racing, with a total of 10 stage wins. The one-two provides confirmation that Monster Energy Honda Team was by far the dominant force in the 2021 Dakar Rally. The Honda CRF450 RALLY proved to be the most efficient bike among stiff competition, making it back to the bivouac each day with no issues whatsoever.
Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec finished in the top two positions, hogging the limelight on the final podium in Jeddah, but José Ignacio Cornejo had shown that he has made a huge leap forward too. Some exquisite navigation saw him holding the lead for three days before a fall forced him to withdraw. Joan Barreda was also forced to retire a day from the end due to a navigation error, having already secured three stage wins.
The number 1 stays on a Honda. In 2022 the Monster Energy Honda Team will return to defend the colours, but in the meanwhile, riders and team will take a well-deserved break. The first round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship kicks off from 9th to 14th April, the Portugal Rally.
Congratulations Kevin Benavides! I am also truly grateful to Ricky Brabec for having completed such a gruelling rally in a way that was good enough to win. Also, José Ignacio Cornejo, who led the rally until his unfortunate retirement and Joan Barreda too. Monster Energy Honda Team riders were only able to perform as well as they did, despite the COVID-19 situation, thanks to all the team staff and those who make up the development team, who worked intelligently to overcome the many difficulties. I’m really thankful. I would also like to share our joy at the victory and our gratitude to our sponsors and all of our fans. And just as importantly, I respect and thank the race organizers and the rest of the teams for making this event a reality despite the extreme circumstances in which we find ourselves.