Dakar 2021 Q&A: Dakar winner Ricky Brabec


After not so successful finish in 2019 Dakar rally American Ricky Brabec proved to be the fastest in the first 42nd edition of the Dakar Rally which the first time took place in Saudi Arabia. After 10 days the rider will attack the Dakar the sixth time in his career, aiming to defend his title as Honda’s factory rider in his customary attacking mode.

In Saudi Arabia R. Brabec was crowned not just the Dakar winner, but he became the first American driver who won the toughest rally raid in the world.

“Being the first American to win the Dakar is amazing, I never knew in the first place that I could be racing the Dakar as a kid”, to Racinglife.news said R. Brabec.

You were in two contents Dakar, South America and Middle East. What kind of differences between these two continents?

The Middle East being my favorite as it’s more real desert there, more open, no fans to watch you, more survival style. The South America was nice as well, millions of fans and a lot of road style racing which I don’t really agree with. Saudi Arabia was new to all of us making it a fair playing field and nobody knew more about this place than anybody else. It was fair across the board for all teams and riders. 

Now is worldwide pandemic and preparation for rally was different too. How are you preparing for it?

Unfortunately, this year has been wild with what’s going on. Nothing has changed really for me, I still have been riding and using some gym equipment and a lot of cycling to get by. The diet has been the hard part as the friends and I had gone to a lot of barbeque, but now for Dakar is 100% focus.

Your colleagues have many questions to organizers how everything will work. How about you?

I’m not sure how things will work but we are ready to adapt to change and tackle whatever is ahead of us.

You are the first American who won Dakar. What does it mean for you?

To be honest, it wasn’t even in a list of mine to get to, I was just a heavy enthusiastic racer that loved the sport and loved riding and all the sudden one day out of the blue I had got a call… I was in shock and ever since then “2016” I have been all about the rally stuff and love learning it.

I was just a heavy enthusiastic racer that loved the sport

— Ricky Brabec

It will be the sixth your Dakar. What do you expect from it in 2021?

I expect to finish, that’s the first thing everyone who enters should expect. It’s a tough race that’s hard on the mind and the body so if you can get through to the finish…that’s a win. 

2020Winner of Dakar Rally with 2 stage wins
2019Racing in Dakar Rally with 1 stage win,
11th overall Cross Country Rally World Championship
2018Racing in Dakar Rally
2017Racing in Dakar Rally
20169th overall Dakar Rally
20152nd place Hare&Hound AMA Championship,
Best Junior Rider Abudabi Desert Challenge,
5th overall Abudabi Desert Challenge
2014Winner of Hare&Hound AMA Championship,
Winner of San Felipe 250,
Winner of Baja 500,
Winner of Baja 1000,
Winner of Vegas to Reno,
Winner of Imperial Valley,
Winner of SCORE International Pro Motorcycle
2013Winner of Best in the Desert’ Series
20122nd place in Best in the Desert’ Series
2007Racing in District 37 Series


Dakar 2021: the Netherlands siblings Tom Coronel

Dakar 2021 Q&A: Dakar winner Sergei Kariakin

Exclusive interview with world champion Sebastien Loeb

Exclusive interview with Dakar winner Nani Roma

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