2019 Sonora Rally Results
Last week, 33 motorcycle racers entered the 2019 Sonora Rally – grueling five-day race through the desert in northwestern Mexico that takes riders over 800 miles from San Luís Río Colorado to Hermosillo.
This is the ultimate event for Dakar Rally competitors, including America’s Ricky Brabec. The Monster Energy Honda CRF450 Rally rider capitalized on pushing himself every possible way throughout the Sonora Rally, and claimed the win by over 37 minutes ahead of fellow American Skylar Howes. Taking third was yet another American, Michael Johnson.
This is the second time that Brabec, who was forced to retire from 2019 Dakar while in the lead (engine issues), has clinched the trophy in the five editions of the promising desert race that takes place in the border region between Mexico and the United States near the Gulf of California.
“This rally was the first of the year for me so I was excited to just be able to ride the big bike again with some navigation,” Ricky Brabec says. “This desert to me is like home and very close from my home town so it makes it easy to show up with a small crew to race and as well to train. The terrain is sandy in spots with great dunes and a little more south is rocky hard pack, there’s a little of everything and for this I believe it’s proven training grounds.”
Looking forward to the rest of the year racing and training; hungry for more and to top it off Dakar 2020 will be in a good way, I believe. We must stay strong in the fight.
Over the five days of rallying, a total of six special stages were disputed clocking up more than 800 miles. The race featured swathes of arid track, some of which had been broken up by the recent rain in the area, while others were stretches of more high-speed track.
Furthermore, there were some 300 miles of dunes, fesh-fesh and camel grass to tackle. The rally offered a further opportunity to get to grips with the road-book in environments very similar to those experienced at the Dakar Rally itself.
Brabec, piloting the Monster Energy Honda Team Honda CRF450 Rally, was supported in the endeavour by Johnny Campbell, the staff of JCR and American Honda. Ricky set the pace of the race from the start, grabbing victories in the first three stages, which opened a significant margin of more than half an hour over rivals.
The American masterfully managed the two final days of rallying, before reaching the final finish-line in the Sonora region capital with a 37’15” deficit over the nearest second place rival.
The victory in Sonora, preceded by victory in the Mint 400, sees Ricky Brabec claim two consecutive triumphs in fewer than fifteen days. But no rest for him: next date for the Monster Energy Honda Team rider will be this same weekend in Idaho in the third race of the AMA National Hare & Hound.