After it all, we got a chance to sit
down with factory Honda Racing
Corporation rally rider Ricky Brabec
to talk about his 2017 Dakar experience and what his plans are for
the remainder of the year.
Dirt Bike: What was your
main focus heading into this
year’s Dakar Rally?
Ricky Brabec: My main focus
going into this Dakar was first and
foremost to finish all the stages. If
you don’t finish, you can’t win. Last year I finished ninth, so this year I wanted to improve
in the overall standings to a top five or better.
A stage win would be great as well.
DB: What was the toughest thing you
had to deal with at this year’s event?
RB: There are so many things that tested
not only me but all the riders in the Dakar.
Some of the toughest things have nothing to
do with the terrain you are riding on. It’s waking up every day at 3 a.m. and getting on the
bike by 4 a.m., rain or shine, hot or cold. The
food is not always the most desirable, and
sometimes it’s hard to get down. But, if you
want to survive, you have no choice. Long,
14-plus-hour days on the bike, even for the
best riders, are normal. One morning I started
the special test at 6 a.m. and got to the biv-
Left: Factory HRC rider Paulo Goncalves
showed lots of speed at this year’s
event.Right:Pierre-Alexandre Renet put
in multiple top- 10 rides on his Factory
Husqvarna Rally machine.
Defending champion Toby
Price had an ugly get-off in
Stage 4 that ended his Dakar
Rally with a broken femur.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED