Dakar 2021 SS12 & Podium: Like the Very First Time

Source: Westx1000

To win a race like Dakar is a privilege. It’s special. A dream for many, there are few elite men and women for whom rally is life. This year alone the attrition rate was almost 25% and this doesn’t include the number of teams who conceded to join the Dakar Experience class which allows a wayward competitor to finish the race without an overall score. They are also penalized 15 minutes every day for participating. The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) does whatever they can to break whoever dares to show up, so it’s a spectacular feat when an athlete can surpass all expectations and win the thing. Even a podium is impressive. Hell, just breaking the Top Ten is worthy of applause…

The 43rd Dakar Rally has come to a triumphant end. And not without one last grand performance. A few of those stars of the show coming straight out of the U.S. of A. Beating the odds he’d set earlier in the week, 2020 Champion Ricky Brabec (#1, MONSTER ENERGY HONDA) may not have secured a second victory, he made a winning effort coming back to dominate three stages – including the Prologue and SS12 – and round out a 1-2 Honda victory with teammate and this year’s victor, Kevin Benavides (#47). Honda hasn’t had two riders end the rally at those positions since 1987. And although several pilots churned out some awesome results, like Red Bull KTM Factory’s Sam Sunderland (#5) and rookie Daniel Sanders (#21) who took P3 and P4 seemingly out of nowhere, it’s all-around nice guy Skyler Howes (#9, BAS DAKAR KTM) who’s a hard-working privateer from St. George, Utah. In the last edition, he stunned everyone by obtaining 9th seed, a feat most find impossible without OEM support. But to come back for a third effort and place 5th is just…Skyler. He lives and breathes off-road racing, and even when the big brands wouldn’t take a chance on him, he took a chance on himself. We’ll see if he’ll be snubbed again in 2022.

“It was absolutely crazy. I started third and after fifty kilometers I was in front opening the stage. I feel that everything was complicated, because Ricky started to catch up with me. I started to push a lot, all day, and stayed focused, so I did a good job today. Also, I went at one hundred and ten percent, but now it’s true: I’ve won the Dakar – I’m so, so happy! I made some mistakes, for sure. I think it’s impossible to do a perfect Dakar. The important thing is to always continue, to stay calm and focused day by day and to work hard day by day. On stage 5 I was worried, because I crashed so fast and hit my head and my ankle and felt a lot of pain. On that day I said maybe the Dakar is finished for me. But I continued pushing. Now I still have some pain, but at the moment I am more happy than in pain, so it’s no problem. I think where I won the race was today in the last kilometers! You couldn’t think of winning during this Dakar, you had to keep focused. You don’t think, you just concentrate on the action and nothing else, because everything can change in one second. I am really proud to be the first South American winner. My dream was also to make history and now I am the first South American guy to win the Dakar. That is amazing for me. For sure, we did a really good job all throughout the Dakar like team-mates. Nacho had a really bad crash and also Joan, but we did a really good job as a team.” – Kevin Benavides #47, MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021

Benavides put in the work. The whole Honda Factory team on average outdid the rest this iteration, attacking every obstacle the ASO put in their way with fervor. If it wasn’t Jose Cornejo (#4) in the top spot, it was Ricky. If not him, then Barreda and, of course, Kevin. Although he wasn’t as present on the podium as his teammates these last two weeks, Benavides saw an opportunity on the very last day, one where many become too lax, and seized it. Frankly, it wasn’t easy. Brabec also saw a window to the Winner’s Circle and gave the very last 225 kilometers every ounce of sweat he had left, and in the end, Kevin bested his mate by just under five minutes. Had the #4 bike not been putting in 110% or he’d had an incident, we’d be listening to Ricky’s sophomore album. He’d made up a ton of time, hungry for the next medal. And now that it’s over, he’s already thinking about his comeback. There’s a saying: If you’ve won one Dakar… You want to win them all. And frankly, why not? The beauty of Rally Raid is it’s ever evolving. The location, landscapes, the challenges, the challengers – the Dakar Rally, and those like it, never stay the same. So, to race one or a hundred, it never becomes monotonous, and winning them offers a different set of emotions and sense of glory every new edition. This is why official 14-time Dakar Rally winner Stéphane Peterhansel, this year with navigator Edouard Boulanger (#302, X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM) feels like this victory is as good as the first – and just as strenuous.

“It’s still the same emotion for the 14th victory. Like I said, to win the Dakar is always really complicated. There are no easy victories on the Dakar. This one from the outside maybe looked easy, but it was not easy every day to manage the small gap over Nasser. There was a lot of pressure on the body. We felt every day that we had everything to lose, so it was complicated to manage, but in the end, we did a really good job together with Edouard for his first race in a top car. It was a really incredible job, with good navigation but also, he was really calm. For sure, it is one or two more records for me: 14 victories, on three continents and also on the anniversary of my first victory 30 years ago today. It’s a long career in motorsport. Experience and being able to stay calm helped to win, I think, but I don’t know… The difference was probably that Nasser made the first mistake in the prologue. He won the prologue and I think it was his first mistake. He probably lost the Dakar because he wanted to win the prologue. The duo with Edouard is really fantastic, I have to say that. He has all the qualities to be the best co-pilot in rally-raids and he learned really quickly. He made no mistakes and he understood everything really quickly as well. We share the same passion because he was a biker in the past. He did the Dakar once on a motorcycle, but he also took part in ten or fifteen Enduro du Touquet races, so he’s really a biker and we have the same spirit a little bit. It’s nice to drive with him. The first victory on the motorcycle is my favorite, because it was the one that I dreamed a lot of and now it’s really a bonus. Winning is always a big emotion, but the first victory was the best one”. Darren Skilton, Polaris RZR Factory Team Manager

Of the band of warriors who battered their machines on the battlefield, few remained, and fewer still made it out with honors. Peterhansel in the end pulled away from the pack by over 13 minutes. While the closest car, #301 piloted by Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel, had possibly fought the hardest among them, but with several punctures (16) and opponents who were on their game, the Toyota Gazoo athletes just couldn’t keep the reign over the General Standings. Despite winning six stages! Carlos Sainz and Lucas Elena (#300, X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM) spent the entire competition flanking anyone who even looked at the premier seats, cutting them before they’d come close – except when the Spaniards were stuck in the sand or dirt changing tires or managing a malfunction. Sainz, the 2020 Dakar conqueror did his best to take the stages, but a few small mishaps make a big difference when you’re in struggle with the cream of the crop, there’s little margin for error.

“A podium finish is always important, but I cannot be one hundred percent happy, because we had the opportunity to fight for the victory, but we did not do such a good job with the navigation and the road-book. We didn’t understand it and we paid for it. On the other hand, I’m happy for the team and happy for Stéphane. He did a really fantastic job. That is why he is called “Mister Dakar”. It’s the same podium as last year but we are on opposite sides. It’s good, but I’ve not much else to say. We need to keep working. I don’t know if we will be here next year for the moment. We will see what opportunities there are.” – Carlos Sainz #300, X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM

KAMAZ-MASTER driver Dmitry Sotnikov (#507) has known this hardship for quite some time now. He, now with co-pilots Ruslan Akhmadeev and Ilgiz Akhmetzianov, started competing at Dakar in 2014. And although the KAMAZ tradition to win is strong amongst the team, Sotnikov had yet to claim it for himself, until 2021. It wasn’t enough to have #507 on the top step. KAMAZ needed to have every stop. And so, the Russian dream team relied on #501 Anton Shibalov, Dmitrii Nikitin and Ivan Tatarinov to occupy 2nd – securing it even after an infamous collision with an organization helicopter – and #509 driven by Airat Mardeev, Dmitriy Svistunov and Akhmet Galiaudinov to close the door on Third. Formidable foes, MAZ-SPORTAUTO, BIG SHOCK RACING and INSTAFOREX LOPRAIS PRAGA, didn’t make this a clean getaway for the Russians, snapping at their heels anytime the KAMAZ pace slowed enough.

“It was the best race in my career. It was my dream and a lot of work, many years of work since my first Dakar in 2014 and finally we have won it. Last year we had a failure due to a big stone, but this year everything was good. The first half was really fast for us and we got a good gap with our time. On the second part, it was just a case of reaching the finish every day. I think this tactic was the best for us. I’m full of emotions. All the crew, all the team, all the guys did a perfect job. I think it was a team job, not just me, I was just the driver, it was the whole team. I’m happy to drive this truck because it is the best truck in the world. We’re glad to continue our tradition of victory. Thank you to all the guys who support us all the time. A lot of people were waiting for our win and now I can tell them we’ve done it. There are a lot of other trucks that are close to us in terms of speed, but I don’t know what happened to them, because on some stages they won, like Martin Macík, but they didn’t have enough luck maybe, I don’t know. It wasn’t an easy race and I think this Dakar was harder than the previous ones. The last stages like today and yesterday were really hard. We’re looking forward to the next race here, it is a good place for the Dakar, I think.” – Dmitry Sotnikov #507, KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM

Quads too seemed to determine their pecking order early on – barely switching places out of the first ten spots. Manuel Andújar (#154, 7240 TEAM), Giovanni Enrico (#159, ENRICO RACING TEAM) and Pablo Copetti (#163, MX DEVESA BY BERTA) played Ring Around the Rosie with the fastest ATVs until most of them fell out of contention. With will and persistence being the mains essentials for success, Andújar finally managed to gain on the group a few days before the finish, finally triumphing in his fourth try.

“It’s my fourth Dakar and my first win. I’m really happy to be here. It’s really emotional too. I appreciate all the people that have helped me get to where I am today. The whole Dakar is difficult. My hands and everything, my whole body is really tired. But I’ve finished and I’m in first place and I’m very happy. I started to think I would win the Dakar four years ago. I started to think that on my first Dakar, but I had a lot of problems. This is the one race where I haven’t had problems. My family has given me lots of support and I am really happy now. I don’t know during the race when I thought I would win, maybe the start because it was the plan in the beginning to win the Dakar. I arrived here with that expectation. I really don’t know where I got the lead, but I think yesterday when I had a bit of a bigger gap, that’s when I said okay, I am going to win. But you never really know until you have crossed the finishing line. I really don’t know my plans for next year. I just want to go back to my hometown and rest there with my friends and family.” – Manuel Andújar #154, 7240 TEAM

Although none of the Americans behind the wheel took the ultimate prize, they collectively did a fine job. Francisco Lopez Contardo in #401 (SOUTH RACING CAN-AM), like most of his comrades, agreed this race was one of the most difficult in some time – with navigation at the center of Dakar’s ring of fire. He and co-pilot Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre went head-on with several riders and outshone them all, to include top contenders like 2nd Place winner, and American all-star, Austin Jones (#408, MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM) with his Brazilian partner Gustavo Gugelmin gave the fans back home something to cheer about. Their teammates didn’t disappoint either, with MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM’s Aron Domzala and Maciej Marton (#406) filing out the ranks in Third. The fresh-faced Polaris RZR Factory Team also made a great show of force. Kristen Matlock and Max Eddy Jr. #409 pushed themselves to the brink and toppled into the Experience class because of it. But they still brought their A-game the rest of the event, giving them the much-needed experience to prepare for next year. While Wayne Matlock and Sam Hayes – despite many small hurdles – completed their first Dakar, first rally ever, in P12 and P13 in the UTV classes. We hope that’s only a taste of what those RZRs can do in the contests to come! Even 18-year-old Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz (#383, RED BULL OFF-ROAD TEAM USA) held the Stars and Stripes high, winning two stages and far exceeding expectations. If it wasn’t for a devastating mechanical issue in the second round, they would likely be accepting an award today.

“It was a very, very difficult stage. This year was very difficult for preparation due to the big problems with COVID all over the world. But I’m very happy for my sponsors, for my country and for my co-pilot Juan Pablo. Last year I finished on the podium, but the win was not possible, but this year I am very happy with the win. It’s perfect. I think the difference was the navigation. It was a long, long race and a difficult race. With all the stones, the navigation and the sand, it was very complicated. It’s my best victory and I’m very happy.” – Francisco “Chaleco” López Contardo #401, SOUTH RACING CAN-AM

It’s hard to understand how each day, every new special outdid itself – not just in the complexity of the roadbook or difficulty of the obstacles, but the subtle, dramatic changes in landscape. From afar, the countryside can all blend in, looking like nothing, if not the same. But upon closer examination, a quiet breath with eyes open, when the atmosphere begins to soak in, you’ll see it. Sometimes you’ll even feel it. The absolute void of sound in the desert. Watercolors painting the horizon in blue, grey and purple then graduating to brown, tan, and sage as the gaze drifts closer. A soft veil of lightweight particles float over everything giving whatever it touches a glow. It’s a combination of these breathtaking views, exuberant locals, limitless challenges and, in the end, the chase for glory which keeps us coming back. According to Polaris Manager and multi-time Dakar winner, Darren Skilton, “The rule of thumb is, don’t start thinking about Dakar for at least two months after arriving home.” Like an adrenaline hangover, the pain and delirium the race can cause – just by attending – lingers for a while. Like a piece of 80% dark chocolate. It’s sweet and inviting at first. There’s a hint of bitterness but nothing off-putting. But then the sweetness quickly wears off and you’re left with a pretty bad taste. Almost sour, the only options are these: continue stuffing pieces into your face, to savor the sugarcoated seconds before the foul finds its way back to your mouth – and repeat. Or be patient, live with the taste until it fades away, letting you forget the vulgarness just long enough to want to open up another package. Either way, you’re getting diabetes.


Ø Liaison 227 > km Special > 225 km; Yanbu > Jeddah | 40% Sand; 48% Dirt; 1% Tarmac; 11% Dunes

Ø The last stage of the Dakar is not necessarily the easiest. The riders, drivers and co-drivers will still have to deal with the threat of chains of dunes, where getting stuck can easily spell the difference between a sweet ending and a bitter one. However, “celebration” will be the buzzword here, as the finish line on the shore of the Red Sea brings back memories of Lac Rose for some finishers.

Ø Yanbu is a port city on the Red Sea coast of western Saudi Arabia. Its Al Nakheel area is known for Al Fairouz Park, with grassy lawns. Seafront Subh Park’s tree-lined walkways look toward the beaches of Oyster Island. North along the coast, the Al Bahr area has an old town and a waterfront corniche. Nearby, sandy beaches line Sharm Yanbu Bay, with dive sites on the offshore coral reefs.

Ø Stat of the Day: In the absence of Toby Price, there were several riders ready to lay claim to the place of best KTM representative, but it was Sam Sunderland who came up trumps. By reacquainting himself with stage victory for the first time since 2019, the British rider also put a halt to a series of seven successive successes by the Honda clan, started on stage three by Joan Barreda and then continued by Kevin Benavides, Ricky Brabec and Nacho Cornejo. This sequence marked a shift in the balance of power to the Japanese constructor, which had taken time to rock the KTM boat, but which had started, over the last few years, to prevent the Austrian brand becoming rapid-fire stage winners. Indeed, it is necessary to go back to 2016 to find a similar performance from KTM riders, with none other than Toby Price, alongside Antoine Meo and Štefan Svitko.

Ø The author of the breakthrough performance of the second week of the 43rd Dakar, Martin Macík, has won two consecutive stages. The Czech driver and his truck, ‘Charles’ are hungry for more. However, they are no threat to Dmitry Sotnikov, who yesterday put close to 3 minutes into Anton Shibalov, his teammate and closest rival in the general standings, now 47 minutes back. Sotnikov has finished on the podium every day since the first stage and should be the next champion of the Dakar as long as he can avoid mechanical problems.

Ø Slightly shortened due to rainfall rendering a fifty-kilometer portion impracticable, the 11th stage of the Dakar had been heralded as a theatre conducive to dramatic turns in events. This complex and comprehensive stage threw up both navigational difficulties, for which total concentration was required at the start of the special, and a vast zone of dunes on the last third, where experts in taming the sandy mounds would hold a strong hand. This is exactly what Sam Sunderland and Nasser Al Attiyah applied themselves to doing, without however managing to break their respective rivals’ resolve.

Ø Ricky Brabec has gone astray from the route of the special after 247 km. The title holder, already lagging behind Kevin Benavides at the last intermediate point, could lose valuable time.

Ø Joan Barreda boasted a lead of 12′ over Ricky Brabec after 215 km. However, the Spaniard did not stop at the refueling point and ultimately ran out of petrol at kilometer 267 taking him out of the race entirely.

Ø Before today, it was as long ago as in 1987 when Honda last achieved a final one-two finish on the Dakar. That year, Cyril Neveu claimed the crown ahead of Edi Orioli. Franco Picco, who is still racing today, finished fourth. It is a historic Dakar for the constructor with the winged logo!

Ø The last special has proved to be a formality for Kevin Benavides! The Argentinean, who had to open the way after overtaking Sam Sunderland, rode at a lightning pace until the finish in order to combat a charge from Ricky Brabec. The two team-mates have enabled Honda to take the top two places on the final podium!

Ø Sam Sunderland was the first rider out today and had difficulty after the first 99 kilometers. The British biker has already lost 11 minutes to Ricky Brabec and 10 to Kevin Benavides. After the first quarter of the stage, it is not looking good for Sunderland…

Ø The nightmare continues for Yamaha! After Ross Branch, Franco Caimi, Andrew Short and Jamie McCanney, now Adrien Van Beveren, the last official representative of the team from Iwata, have run into technical problems after 30 minutes of racing…

Ø Among the women riders in the bike category, Audrey Rossat is about to finish her very first Dakar. Despite suffering a fractured rib on day five, pain in her wrists and a big bruise on her arm following a fall yesterday, the Frenchwoman will still be starting the rally’s last special!

Ø 447 km separated the competitors still in the rally from the overall finish, including a 200-km long special. On paper, it is short, but with dunes again on the menu, mistakes are possible, as are incidents when getting stuck can cost precious time. While the title is still up for grabs for some, others will just be focused on completing this adventure on the shores of the Red Sea with the satisfaction of having finished!

Ø In several years’ time, perhaps rally aficionados will excitedly recount the battle of Yanbu. It was surely on this special that the title up for grabs between Sam Sunderland and Kevin Benavides in the bike category was decided. The Argentinean remains at the top of the general standings with a theoretically sufficient lead of 4’12’’, all the more so given that tomorrow he will enjoy a more favorable place in the starting order to defend his position. However, the Honda rider had to make a serious effort in opening the way with Ricky Brabec in order to withstand the attack of Sam Sunderland. The British rider’s show of force on the route of the special temporarily brought him within approximately forty seconds of his target, before he faltered slightly.

Ø In the car category, Nasser Al Attiyah also found himself in this role, but with a much more distant focus of his attention. Despite his 41st stage victory and a time gain of 1’56’’, it was impossible for him to reverse the trend and block the way of Stéphane Peterhansel’s march to a 14th title. Tomorrow, the Frenchman will start with a time cushion of 15’05’’.

Ø In the quad race, Manuel Andújar headed for Yanbu with the same mind-set and his Chilean rival Giovanni Enrico only closed in to within 25’52’’ by winning his second stage of the fortnight.

Ø In the lightweight vehicle category, the battle could have been much trickier for “Chaleco” López behind the wheel of his Can-Am, with a lead of only 10 minutes over Austin Jones, but the American let the pressure get to him rather than exerting it. As for Seth Quintero, he proved that his feat of last week was by no means down to chance as he won his second special.

Ø Anton Shibalov moved the counter up to 5 successes in total since his debut on the Dakar and should finish second, like last year, but this time behind Dmitry Sotnikov.

Ø In 2020, Wei Han finished his second Dakar in 10th position, becoming the best Chinese representative in the rally’s history. Currently occupying 18th place, he will not be able to improve his own record this year, but Han demonstrated that he was able to shine behind the wheel of an SMG buggy that is now prepared by the team he created alongside Philippe Gache. He proved this by achieving the sixth best time on today’s special, ten minutes behind Nasser Al Attiyah, slotted in between none other than Cyril Despres and Giniel De Villiers! As a result, Han picked up his second top ten finish and his best stage result on the Dakar. This bodes well for the Chinese driver, who hopes to line up with a reinforced team on the Dakar as from 2022.

Ø Joan Barreda Bort, the Honda rider who had posted the best time after 215 km, got muddled up reading his road-book and did not stop at the refueling point, exposing himself to a severe penalty and especially to the likelihood of running out of petrol. This is exactly what happened as he ground to a halt after 267 km. Since he requested a medical examination, he was airlifted to the bivouac in Yanbu. Although he had the chance to equal his best finish on the rally so far, namely the 5th placed finish in 2017, “Bang-Bang” well and truly tore up all the benefits of his performance which had, until today, been in phase with his objectives and the hopes of his Honda team to see their bikes paint the upper reaches of the general standings red. As a result, his 11th participation on the Dakar finishes with the 5th withdrawal of his career on the rally.


2nd Overall Bikes, Ricky Brabec #1, MONSTER ENERGY HONDA: “I tried my best. Unfortunately, my team-mates ride really well. It’s pretty cool to finish with a one-two, but obviously the top step is a lot better than the second step. We did our best. We struggled the first week, but during the second week we came back pretty strong. Today I gave it 110 percent and it just wasn’t enough. I was hoping to catch up, but I’ll take second place for now. I guess I’ll come back next year and try to get on the top again. It takes a village to get this to happen and I’m pretty bummed that the title can’t stay with me, but number two will work, I guess. Like I said earlier this week, anything less than winning is unacceptable. I finished and I got second place, but I could have done better. I’ll go back, I’ll go home and take some time off and I’ll try to work harder than we did last year to make it to second place this year. I don’t really know what I could have done better. I started the rally opening on the first day and with the new roadbooks this time, it was really tough. They did all these crazy notes, with more obliques and more points and three caps in one note… It was really difficult, so when I first got on the road on the first stage it was difficult. We had to go first and try to figure it out, but as the rally went on, we figured it out and we’re going to take a book back home and study the book and try to do our best to make our own books that are similar so that we can come back stronger next year. This was only my sixth year, but it was definitely difficult. The road book was tough, and the route was tough. Hopefully, next year they’re going to stay the same and we’ll be more prepared next year. This is cool – they kind of got the road-book super difficult so that way the results were kind of flip-flopping back and forth. It brought other riders closer to the top and that’s really good. At the end of the day, we’re one and two by a minute of something. It was really close, and Sam is in third just two minutes back or something. We went pretty well. All those results are pretty close, so it makes for a good TV show at home and it makes for a wild Dakar and no strategy really… I didn’t even know that Honda had already won a one and two finish. I wasn’t even born in 1987! It’s cool to go one and two again. Unfortunately, Joan withdrew yesterday, but it would have been really cool to have him on the podium as well. He would have had to fight pretty hard, but if we’d gone one-two-three, that would have been legendary. I’m just pretty stoked to be I guess one of the only Americans on the podium twice and to be the only American to win this thing. I achieved number one last year and number two this year, so we’re just adding to the Dakar trophy family. Kevin rode a good race. He’s a really good team-mate. Him and Nacho are really strong. Joan is strong as well. It kind of sucks that I don’t get to take the number one trophy back to the USA, but I’ll take number two. I’ll learn from my mistakes in the first week and then I guess I’ll come back next year and try to get back on the podium in top spot.”

3rd Overall Bikes, Sam Sunderland #5, RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING: “I did my best job. I can’t be too disappointed. I tried so hard this morning and started off well, but I couldn’t find one WP in the dunes and I was searching there for ten minutes. It’s like that: when you push the speed the navigation comes down because there is a fine balance. I knew today that I had a big task ahead of me to open and finish in front of Ricky and Kevin. I tried my best, but it wasn’t possible. I made a mistake with the navigation there, but I’m super happy. I gave my best all the race and I was the third best guy. The other guys did a great job and congratulations to them. I’m the first KTM rider for sure, but it’s a bit sad for Toby crashing out there, but we’re here, we’re healthy and we’re happy. A podium on the Dakar is never a bad thing. On the Dakar there are so many factors involved to finish in the top ten, let alone on the podium. There are so many days, so many situations and it’s not easy. The best man in the end wins and today it wasn’t me. It’s a race and it’s why we come here to fight. I’ve got lots of respect for the guys and to everybody who has finished. The pace this year was incredibly high. The guys opening the route did a great job. It was fast also, without losing so much time after the first days. It was a really tough race, the toughest I’ve ever done. I’m really tired in my head and body and I’m happy to have finished. It was really, really tough, but it should be like that, I guess.”

2nd Overall Cars, Nasser Al-Attiyah #301, TOYOTA GAZOO RACING: “I would like to thank the team. We did an amazing job with no mistakes from me, my co-pilot or the team. We worked very, very hard. What can we do? This is the second year that we are fighting against the buggies. For me we only need to change the rules for it to be fair for everybody, that’s it. Of course, I am disappointed, but thankfully we’ve finished the race. I am really proud of the team and what we have done since I joined the team. I am sure we will come back stronger next year, and we can obtain victory. Of course, I’m more disappointed than last year, because if you only have four fingers and not five fingers like everybody else, it does not help. I think we need to change the rule against the buggies because now the buggies have been winning for five years against the 4×4 cars. There is no question, it is not a fair rule. I hope the organizers will change it, otherwise we won’t be interested in coming”.



  1. #1 Ricky Brabec (USA), HONDA ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021
  2. #47 Kevin Benavides (ARG), MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021
  3. #52 Matthias Walkner (AUT), RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM
  4. #9 Skyler Howes (USA), BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM
  5. #21 Daniel Sanders (AUS), KTM FACTORY TEAM
  6. #15 Lorenzo Santolino (ESP), SHERCO FACTORY
  7. #17 Joan Pedrero Garcia (ESP), FN SPEED – RIEJU TEAM
  8. #27 Joaquim Rodrigues (PRt), HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY
  9. #74 Jaume Betriu (ESP), FN – SPEED KTM TEAM
  10. #24 Sebastian Buhler (DEU), HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY


  1. #163 Pablo Copetti (USA), MX DEVESA BY BERTA
  2. #154 Manuel Andújar (ARG), 7240 TEAM
  3. #155 Kamil Wisniewski (POL), ORLEN TEAM
  4. #153 Tomas Kubiena (CZE), STORY RACING S.R.O.
  5. #169 Tobias Juan Carrizo (ARG), M.E.D. RACING TEAM
  6. #159 Giovanni Enrico (CHL), ENRICO RACING TEAM
  7. #168 Italo Pedemonte (CHL), ENRICO RACING TEAM
  8. #176 Laisvydas Kancius (LTU), STORY RACING S.R.O.
  9. #157 Romain Dutu (FRA), SMX RACING
  10. #174 Toni Vingut (ESP), VISIT SANT ANTONI – IBIZA


  1. #301 Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT); Mathieu Baumel (FRA), TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
  2. #302 Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA); Edouard Boulanger (FRA), X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM
  3. #300 Carlos Sainz (ESP); Lucas Cruz (ESP), X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM
  4. #303 Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU); Dirk Von Zitzewitz (DEU), OVERDRIVE TOYOTA
  5. #314 Cyril Despres (FRA); Michael Horn (CHE), ABU DHABI RACING
  6. #318 Wei Han (CHN); Min Liao (CHN), QUZHOU MOTORSPORT CITY TEAM
  7. #304 Giniel De Villiers (ZAF); Alex Haro Bravo (ESP), TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
  8. #317 Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS); Dmitro Tsyro (RUS), X-RAID TEAM
  9. #310 Sheik Khalid Al Qassimi (ARE); Xavier Panseri (FRA), ABU DHABI RACING
  10. #312 Martin Prokop (CZE); Viktor Chytka (CZE), BENZINA ORLEN TEAM


  1. #383 Seth Quintero (USA); Dennis Zenz (DEU), RED BULL OFF-ROAD TEAM USA
  2. #401 Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL); Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre (CHL), SOUTH RACING CAN-AM
  3. #405 Gerard Farres Guell (ESP); Armand Monleon (ESP), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  4. #422 Khalifa Al Attiyah (QAT); Paolo Ceci (ITA), SOUTH RACING CAN-AM
  5. #380 Kris Meeke (GBR); Wouter Rosegaar (NLD), PH-SPORT
  6. #408 Austin Jones (USA); Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  7. #393 Lionel Baud (FRA); Loic Minaudier (FRA), PH-SPORT
  8. #404 Reinaldo Varela (BRA); Maykel Justo (BRA), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  9. #406 Aron Domzala (POL); Maciej Marton (POL), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  10. #420 Wayne Matlock (USA); Sam Hayes (USA), POLARIS RZR FACTORY RACING


  1. #401 Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL); Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre (CHL), SOUTH RACING CAN-AM
  2. #405 Gerard Farres Guell (ESP); Armand Monleon (ESP), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  3. #422 Khalifa Al Attiyah (QAT); Paolo Ceci (ITA), SOUTH RACING CAN-AM
  4. #408 Austin Jones (USA); Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  5. #404 Reinaldo Varela (BRA); Maykel Justo (BRA), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  6. #406 Aron Domzala (POL); Maciej Marton (POL), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  7. #420 Wayne Matlock (USA); Sam Hayes (USA), POLARIS RZR FACTORY RACING
  8. #424 Michal Goczal (POL); Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL), ENERGYLANDIA RALLY TEAM
  9. #419 Fernando Alvarez (ESP); Antonio Gimeno Garcia (ESP), SOUTH RACING CAN-AM


  1. #501 Anton Shibalov (RUS); Dmitrii Nikitin (RUS); Ivan Tatarinov (RUS), KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM
  2. #509 Airat Mardeev (RUS); Dmitriy Svistunov (RUS); Akhmet Galiautdinov (RUS), KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM
  3. #505 Aliaksei Vishneuski (BLR); Maksim Novikau (BLR); Siarhei Sachuk (BLR), MAZ-SPORTAUTO
  4. #507 Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS); Ruslan Akhmadeev (RUS); Ilgiz Akhmetzianov (RUS), KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM
  5. #503 Martin Macik (CZE); Frantisek Tomasek (CZE); David Svanda (CZE), BIG SHOCK RACING
  6. #500 Andrew Karginov (RUS); Andrey Mokeev (RUS); Igor Leonov (RUS), KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM
  7. #514 Martin Soltys (CZE); David Schovanek (CZE); Tom Ikola (CZE), TATRA BUGGYRA RACING
  8. #504 Ales Loprais (CZE); Petr Pokora (CZE); Khalid Alkendi (ARE), INSTAFOREX LOPRAIS PRAGA
  9. #515 Pascal de Baar (NLD); Jan Van Der Vaet (BEL); Stefan Slootjes (NLD), RIWALD DAKAR TEAM
  10. #518 Jaroslav Valtr (CZE); Jaroslav Jr Valtr (CZE); Radim Kaplanek (CZE), VALTR RACING TEAM



  1. #47 Kevin Benavides (ARG), MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021
  2. #1 Ricky Brabec (USA), MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021
  3. #5 Sam Sunderland (GBR), RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM
  4. #21 Daniel Sanders (AUS), KTM FACTORY TEAM
  5. #9 Skyler Howes (USA), BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM


  1. #154 Manuel Andújar (ARG), 7240 TEAM
  2. #159 Giovanni Enrico (CHL), ENRICO RACING TEAM
  3. #163 Pablo Copetti (USA), MX DEVESA BY BERTA
  4. #155 Kamil Wisniewski (POL), ORLEN TEAM
  5. #153 Tomas Kubiena (CZE), STORY RACING S.R.O.


  1. #302 Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA); Edouard Boulanger (FRA), X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM
  2. #301 Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT); Mathieu Baumel (FRA), TOYOTA HILUX
  3. #300 Carlos Sainz (ESP); Lucas Cruz (ESP), X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM
  4. #307 Jakub Prygonski (POL); Timo Gottschalk (DEU), ORLEN TEAM/OVERDRIVE
  5. #311 Nani Roma (ESP); Alexandre Winocq (FRA), BAHRAIN RAID XTREME


  1. #401 Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL); Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre (CHL), SOUTH RACING CAN-AM
  2. #408 Austin Jones (USA); Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  3. #406 Aron Domzala (POL); Maciej Marton (POL), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  4. #424 Mical Goczal (POL); Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL), ENERGYLANDIA RALLY TEAM
  5. #404 Reinaldo Valera (BRA); Maykel Justo (BRA), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM


  1. #401 Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL); Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre (CHL), SOUTH RACING CAN-AM
  2. #408 Austin Jones (USA); Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  3. #406 Aron Domzala (POL); Maciej Marton (POL), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
  4. #424 Michal Goczal (RUS); Szymon Gospodarczyk (RUS), ENERGYLANDIA RALLY TEAM
  5. #404 Reinaldo Valera (BRA); Maykel Justo (BRA), MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM


  1. #507 Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS); Ruslan Akhmadeev (RUS); Ilgiz Akhmetzianov (RUS), KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM
  2. #501 Anton Shibalov (RUS); Dmitrii Nikitin (RUS); Ivan Tatarinov (RUS), KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM
  3. #509 Airat Mardeev (RUS); Dmitriy Svistunov (RUS); Akhmet Galiaudinov (RUS), KAMAZ-MASTER TEAM
  4. #503 Martin Macik (CZE); Frantisek Tomasek (CZE); David Svanda (CZE), BIG SHOCK RACING
  5. #504 Ales Loprais (CZE); Petr Pokora (CZE); Khalid Alkendi (ARE) INSTAFOREX LOPRAIS PRAGA