Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport 2017 Dakar Rally Stage 7, Motorcycles: USA’s Brabec Earns 1st Win!

2017 Dakar Rally Stage 7, Motorcycles: USA’s Brabec Earns 1st Win!

2017 Dakar Rally Stage 7 Results & Video Review

2017 Dakar Rally Stage 7, Motorcycles: USA’s Brabec Earns 1st Win!
Honda’s Ricky Brabec, who claimed his first-ever win at 2017 Dakar Rally stage 7

The sole American in the 2017 Dakar Rally—Ricky Brabec—claimed his first-stage win Monday during his sophomore year of competition at the world’s “toughest” race.

The Monster Energy Honda Team CRF450 Rally pilot finished the stage 1:44 minutes ahead of teammate Paulo Goncalves and 4:43 of Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team’s Sam Sunderland.

2017 Dakar Rally stage 7 was originally scheduled to take riders 386 miles in Bolivia from La Paz to Uyuni, including a 200-mile special. But due to heavy rains over the weekend, which caused the cancellation of Saturday’s stage 6 (Sunday was the only rest day), the route was modified, and the special was cut to just over 100 miles.

“Today was good. It was the first day of the marathon after the rest day,” says Brabec, who became the sixth different winner so far in six stages (stage six was canceled). “The track was good and the navigating went well. There was more off-road than on-road, which is more my style. I’m happy to be here at the finish-line in spite of my slide out in the grass where I went swimming. These bikes are pretty slippery in the mud. I’m happy to come away in one piece, healthy and ready to go tomorrow.”

Though Sunderland suffered a bit due to mistake in the Bolivian sand dunes, he still retains the overall lead after seven of 12 stages, the Brit leading Husqvarna Factory Rally Team’s Pablo Quintanilla by 17:45 minutes, and Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren by 22:16.

“It was a lot harder a stage than we were expecting – there was a lot of navigation,” the KTM 450 Rally rider says. “I lost some time today because it was a sandy stage and the guys from the back can see the tracks cleanly. I’m really happy with everything on the bike. It’s the first stage of the marathon day and the tires are good so we’ll just keep ticking along.”

KTM's Sam Sunderland the overall leader of 2017 Dakar Rally
KTM’s Sam Sunderland

Due the cancellation of stage 6, Tuesday’s stage 8 now features the longest special. Stage 8 will take competitors 554 miles from Uyuni to Salta, Argentina, including a 306-mile special.

2017 Dakar Rally Stage 7 Motorcycle Results:

1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 02:02:05

2. Paulo Gonçalves (POR), Honda, 02:03:49, +01:44

3. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 02:06:48, +04:43

4. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 02:08:56, +06:51

5. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 02:09:15, +07:10

2017 Dakar Rally Overall Standings (after 7 of 12 stages):

1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 17:28:53

2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 17:46:38, +17:45

3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 17:51:09, +22:16

4. Gerard Farres (ESP), KTM, 17:57:29, +28:36

5. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 18:03:10, +34:17

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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