Though he struggled to a 10th-place finish during stage 11 of the 2020 Dakar Rally, Monster Energy Honda Team’s Ricky Brabec holds the overall lead with one stage remaining.
The Californian finished 11:48 minutes behind the stage-11 winner, Husqvarna Factory Rally Team’s Pablo Quintanilla.
Taking the final podium positions were KTM Factory Racing Team pilots Matthias Walkner and Luciano Benavides, respectively.
As the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia enters the final stage, Brabec, who DNF while in the lead at the previous two Dakar Rallies, holds a 13:56-minute lead over Pablo Quintanilla.
In third, 22:34 behind is last year’s rider who claimed 18-straight Dakar wins for KTM – Toby Price.
Brabec, who chases his first Dakar win, has held the overall lead since day three. He will do whatever possible to retain the lead in stage 12, which takes riders from Haradh and Qiddiyah.
A 232-special that will feature a 12-mile Qiddiya Trophy GP, obligatory for the riders who finish on the final podium of this edition of the Dakar, although the result will have no effect on the final standings of the rally.
“There’s one stage left,” Ricky Brabec says. “The team is working well. I’m pretty excited. I can’t get my hopes up right now. Stage 11 here in the dunes was pretty tough. Starting up front due to the cancellation of the second part.
“So it was really hard to judge the time. Tomorrow there is one stage left and I’m in a good starting position. I’m confident to be focused and make it to the finish line.”
2020 Dakar Rally Stage 11 Results
1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 4:09:22
2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 4:09:31 +0:09
3. Luciano Benavides (ARG), KTM, 4:12:10 +2:48
4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 4:12:15 +02:53
5. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 4:15:11 +5:49
2020 Dakar Rally Overall Standings (after 11 of 12 Stages)
1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 38:33:28
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 38:47:24 +13:56
3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 38:56:02 +22:34
4. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 39:03:21 +29:53
5. Joan Barreda (ARG), Honda, 39:03:37 +30:09