Ricky Brabec: “Today I gave it 110 per cent and it just wasn’t enough”
January 15 th 2021 - 11:00 [GMT + 3]
Despite his best efforts, Ricky Brabec was unable to regain time and overtake Kevin Benavides in the general standings. However, the American pipped Sam Sunderland at the post to offer Honda their first one-two finish since 1987.
“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 per cent 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 and 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 road-books 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 good. 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’ve 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 and get back on the podium in top spot”.