Rallye

Ricky Brabec Takes Victory at 2024 Desafío Ruta 40

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Photo of Ricky Brabec at the 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 rally
2024 Dakar winner Ricky Brabec took his second win of the season at the 2024 Desafio Ruta 40 Rally.

Just 15 seconds separated the 2024 Dakar winner Ricky Brabec and Tosha Schareina after 18 hours of rallying through Argentina in what was a mammoth battle to the finish.

Brabec took Honda’s 10th win at the Argentine Desafio Ruta 40 Rally as Honda took a 1-2-3 clean sweep of the podium, the first manufacturer to do so in World Rally-Raid Championship history as the Monster Energy Honda Team won every stage of the rally.

The culmination of the rally was hotly contested between the American and the Spaniard with Brabec starting the stage 1’27” ahead in the overall standings this morning with Schareina the first to get into the action on the 218 km stage; as the defending champion the Spaniard was going to put in a valiant effort to reclaim the spoils. He instantly clawed back time over the early parts of the stage cutting Brabec’s lead to just 22 seconds at one point leaving the final 100km run to the finish to be the focus of the entire rally as the finish came across the horizon at Cordoba.

Schareina sped across the finish line to take his second consecutive stage win of the week adding to his prologue win but it wasn’t quite enough to hold off Brabec who with a 1’12” gap kept hold of the overall lead and took victory. After only contending the jewel in the crown for Rally Raid Dakar Rally so far this year, it means Brabec has taken two victories out of two starts in 2024.

“It’s been a big final week, it’s been stressful but it’s good to be back,” Brabec declared. “The team rode really well, the mechanics did a good job and so I think we’re in great shape heading to Morocco. It was a great day, although it was stressful as I didn’t want to lose all the time I’d made up and Tosha put some time on me today as he’s good at this road style rallying and I’m not the best at it. But I tried my best to not lose too much time and in the end everything came out pretty well. This has been a really good confidence booster moving forward and so I’ll be happy to get home and do some more testing with the bike and make it another level better. The Honda CRF450 RALLY is doing its job and we’re all happy with the bike.”

Photo of Tosha Schareina at the 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 rally
Spaniard Tosha Schareina put in a gallant effort to overhaul his teammate on the final stage but came up a few seconds short and had to settle for second in the general classification.

Tosha Schareina was gallant in defeat but was happy with his result and that of his team.

“Today I had to go all in and I was fighting until the end as I tried to push to make up the time,” Schareina explained. “I got to one minute ten seconds behind Ricky in the standings but it was still not enough for the victory. I’m super happy for myself and the team, we did a Honda 1-2-3 and I’m made up for Ricky too.”

Photo of Adrien Van Beveren at the 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 rally
Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren put in a strong effort all week and was rewarded with third overall.

Adrien Van Beveren completed another the fourth Honda podium lockout of a Desafio Ruta 40 stage in 2024 after a consistently high performance all week which saw the Frenchman take a stage win and a third place on the final podium.

“I’ve enjoyed riding this rally, it’s been really nice as we’ve had a variety of terrain during the week so it’s been fun. I’m happy with my riding and been enjoying it so much so it’s good to get on the podium,” the Frenchman said.

Photo of Skyler Howes at the 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 rally
Skyler Howes finished fourth outright to give Honda a complete top four fininsh.

Skyler Howes had an outside chance for a podium finish and although he put in a flawless ride finished the day in sixth which put him fourth overall to make it his highest-ever finish for Honda.

“I had a simple job today which was to not lose a lot of time although I think for me to have a shot of the podium was going to be a tough job,” Howes said. “So I just brought it home to the finish but typically got some trees to the face which is not awesome, but it feels good to get it to the end of the stage with no real drama. It’s been a tough year for me so to come out here and get a fourth place is something I’m really excited about.”

Photo of Ross Branch at the 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 rally
Ross Branch was fifth outright which was enough to see the HERO Motorsport rider on top of the 2024 World Rally-Raid Championship standings.

Ross Branch was the first non-Honda rider home with the Hero mounted Botswanan finishing a credible fifth outright which was enough to see him keep the lead in the 2024 World Rally-Raid Championship standings.

“What a great week it has been at Desafio Ruta 40! Excellent route, and a lot of hard work – definitely a tough rally, but I enjoyed it well,” Branch said. “Our competition has been really strong here, so we’ve got some work to do before we head to our next race in Morocco. We continue to hold the World Championship lead position, so we’re still in a good place. I look forward to defending it again at the last round. A huge thank you to team Hero MotoSports, for all the hard work put in this week.”

Pablo Quintanilla had some struggles during the week with the differing terrain and difficult navigation but he had a positive final day to cross the line in fifth as he rounded out the five Monster Energy Honda Team riders to be in the top six of the overall standings.

Photo of Daniel Sanders at the 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 rally
Aussie Daniel Sanders had an up-and-down Rally as he worked his way back to full fitness but was consistent enough for 11th overall.

Daniel Sanders felt good on the bike, the Aussie settled into the 100% gravel terrain and made it to the end of the stage in 11th place, securing ninth overall in the final standings.

“So that’s day five over and we’re done. It’s not an ideal result of course, but I’m happy to have got to the finish and we have certainly learned a lot,” Sanders said. “I’ve put in a lot of work the last two months training at home, so I feel like I came here fully prepared. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite get the most out of this week, but we will continue to work hard and I’m looking forward to going racing again!”

Photo of Toby Hederics at the 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 rally
Australian Toby Hederics on his way to thirteenth overall.

Sanders’ Australian compatriot Toby Hederics finished thirteenth outright in an impressive result for the privateer while he was fourth in the R2 class.

“The final stage, with an early start this morning on the bike at 5 am to do a 230km transport to the start of the competitive stage. It was a fast and slippery stage on gravel tracks but we managed to have a clean ride and maintain our position. Stoked with how this rally has played out for me and happy with the final result,” Hederics said.

In the World Rally-Raid Championship standings, Ricky Brabec has propelled himself up to second, just nine points behind the leader Ross Branch with Adrien Van Beveren a further seven points back. Meanwhile, in the manufacturer standings Honda are back on top as the championship battle hots up heading into the Rallye du Maroc in October.

Photo of Ricky Brabec at the 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 rally. PODIUM
Tosha Schareina (68), Ricky Brabec (9) and Adrien Van Beveren (42) gave Honda a clean sweep of the podium.

STAGE REPORTS:
Prologue Report:
Stage 1: Report
Stage 2: Report
Stage 3: Report
Stage 4: Report

Full Overall Results Can Be Found Here

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