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Brabec Wins Dakar Rally 2024

Published On:: 19/01/2024

Monster Energy sweeps the podium with Monster Energy/Honda Team in 1st & 3rd with Adrien Van Beveren placing 3rd, while Hero/Monster’s Ross Branch nails his first career Dakar podium with 2nd place.

In the sport of off-road racing, it flat out doesn’t get any bigger than the famed the Dakar Rally. And today, at the finish line of the 46th chapter of this epic contest, Monster Energy enjoyed its best finish since getting involved in 2007, sweeping a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place podium finishes in the uber-tough motorcycle division.

Winning his unprecedented second Dakar Rally, held for the 5th straight year in Saudi Arabia as the opening round of the 2024 FIM World Rally Raid Championship, was American Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy/Honda Team). The Californian and former BMX racer piloted his Honda CRF450 Rally to one stage victory, and a slew of stage runner-up finishes (5), enroute to a 10:53 margin of victory over 2nd place Ross Branch (Hero Motosports, fueled by Monster Energy), who was aboard the first India-based motorcycle to make the Dakar podium. And joining Brabec and Branch on the Dakar podium for the second time in his career (2020) was Monster Energy/Honda Team’s Adrien Van Beveren in 3rd, completing the All-Monster Energy sweep of the ’24 Dakar podium.

Said Brabec of the key to victory: “I had two good days, two opportunities to make a good push, but also Stage 11 was a scare factor for me because I knew Ross (Branch) was starting behind me - 18 minutes behind - and if he caught me it would be over. Stage 11 was hard for me, but I stayed focused, got to the finishing line and didn’t lose too much time. So I’m really happy with this and I’m really happy for the team. I’m happy for all of us. We did an excellent job all of the two weeks.”

Run across 14 days with 12 stages of racing + a Prologue, the 2024 Dakar Rally blazed some 5,000 kilometers of Special stages (8,000 km total including Liaisons) through the most unforgiving, desolate Saudi territory before finishing on the shores of the Red Sea. In total, Monster Energy-backed racers won 10 of the possible 13 stages (12 stages plus the Prologue) and scored 24 (out of a possible 39) stage podium finishes. The effort by the Monster Energy/Honda Team would earn them the coveted overall Constructor’s Championship.

“Finally, we are in Yanbu, the very last day of Dakar,” said Monster Energy/Honda Team manager Ruben Faria. “I am very, very happy not only with the results, but also with the whole team. All the people that was involved with this victory day by day. The mechanics, helpers, top management, riders – it was amazing. Everybody did the maximum so the riders could have all the materials, all the support to achieve our goal – the victory. And more than the victory, we were able to put two bikes on the podium. The new bike was amazing. Some problems, but really small. And we could fix those problems. The next races our goal, always, is to win, but also to do better. Achieve out goals with the maximum support from everybody. They work with a smile, but in the end everyone cried. Not because we were sad, but because we were so happy.”

Also completing the Dakar Rally were Monster Energy/Honda Team Chilean teammates Jose “Nacho” Cornejo in 6th place overall, along with Pablo Quintanilla in 17th. For Cornejo, a podium position was definitely within reach as he won the most stages out of any racer (3), but some bad luck late in the contest relegate him to just outside the top five.

And in the SSV division, competing in her very first Dakar Rally, Monster Energy’s Sara Price (South Racing/Can-Am) would finish just off the podium in 4th position. The Californian Price, a former professional motocross racer, and her co-driver Jeremy Gray, ended up placing one spot ahead of the factory-backed Can-Am team of Joao Ferreira and Felipe Palmeiro.

Stage Quotes

Brabec: “It’s amazing. I don’t even have the words. Don’t know what to do. Probably sink in when I get my gear off, and know we’re done. First American to do it twice. Let’s do it again.”

Van Beveren: “(Fighting back the tears) It’s been a long, hard Dakar. And I like it. We’ve been in a fight, but finally stepped onto the podium. Sometimes a podium can happen by a miracle, but this time I feel like I really fought for this podium. We’re not far from the winner, so this is a step toward the dream. To keep pushing and come back next year.”

Branch: “One of the best days of my life! This morning I was so nervous. I didn’t sleep at all last night. All these things going through your head, and you hear funny noises all day (pointing to his bike) and it was absolutely insane. So many thoughts… and I didn’t think I had so many thoughts available in my head (laughter). But clearly I did (more laughter)! One of the best feelings of my life now. Not only for me, but for the whole Hero Motosports team, fueled by Monster Energy. Everyone has worked so hard and we’re going to enjoy this moment. But next year we’re going to work a little bit hard to catch up to Ricky (Brabec). He rode an incredible race and is an amazing athlete. So congratulations to him. But yeah, next year we’ve got to be a little better.”

Joe Parsons, longtime Monster Energy rep: “The Dakar Rally is my life. This is my 16th Dakar, with a variety of race teams. From the great Robby Gordon, who got me into this crazy, beautiful, amazing sport in 2007. Then to X-raid and Mini, with Stephane Peterhansel, now here we are with the teams of Honda and now Hero. This Dakar was one of the best… if not the best moment in my motorsports career. Being able to participate, help select riders and build the image of Monster Energy. Each of the programs are just beautiful. From the matching shoes and socks to the tool boxes to the trucks that haul the bikes, everything is uniform and just perfect. Honda HRC basically runs a Formula One program in the dirt. We’re all humble, grateful. We came here to do a job, put our heads down and dedicated ourselves to the craft. And in the end the results paid big dividends.”


  • Brabec not only became the first American to win Dakar, he’s also the first to win a second. At 32, Brabec was the oldest racer on the Monster Energy/Honda Team program this year and, for some, was somewhat of a question mark in terms of his ability to still win following on his Stage 3 exit (crash) as last year’s Dakar, and missing a portion of the 2023 WRRC series. But the past Baja (500 & 1000) champ silenced any doubters and stepped up his game in winning this year’s Dakar by taking the lead at the Chrono 48 (Stage 6) and never looking back. And should be considered one of, if not the favorite, to win the WRRC overall this year.
  • Up to 2024 Branch’s best finish came in his rookie campaign at Dakar where he placed 13th, winning the Best Rookie award. Then either breaking (’21) or crashing out (’22), Branch, when he was able to finish, wasn’t able to place inside the top 20. That was until this year. The fan-favorite Botswanan and his Indian brand Hero motorcycle hooked up from the Prologue through Stage 12 and he was able to bring home his very first Dakar podium finish, and second from the African continent (Alfie Cox, 2005). Branch will, along with all the other Hero and Honda team racers, contest the WRRC the rest of the season and will no doubt be one of the favorites at each of the series’ five stops across four continents.
  • Traveling a total distance of nearly 8,000 kilometers over the 14 days of Dakar, and doing so without a co-driver, the motorcycle division competitors are truly the Ironmen of the Dakar. And keep in mind that the Monster Energy-backed Honda and Hero racers aren’t in some padded bucket seat with suspension on all four wheels, nor are they (obviously) in the saddle of a dressed Harley either. So needless to say they’re going to be some fidgeting in the airline seats tomorrow as they head home – and some well deserved butt rest in the coming couple weeks.
  • 2024 Dakar by the numbers… 239 vehicles competed Dakar (340 started), including 96 bikes, 7 quads, 55 Ultimate class cars, 3 Stock class cars, 28 SSVs and 21 trucks. And of the 239 vehicles that reached the final finish line at Yanbu, only 182 received the coveted finisher’s medal.

Dakar Stage 12 Motorcycle Results

4th – Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Energy/Honda)1:50:05 (- minus 1:25)
5th – Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy/Honda)1:52:11 (- minus 3:31)
6th – Ross Branch (Hero/ Monster Energy)1:52:42 (- minus 4:02)


Monster Energy Motorcycle Standings @ Dakar (after Stage 12)

1st – Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy/Honda)51:30:08
2nd – Ross Branch (Hero/Monster Energy)51:41:01 (- minus 10:53)
3rd – Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Energy/Honda)51:42:33 (- minus 12:25))


Monster Energy Dakar SSV Class

Stage 12 SSV Results 
7th - Sara Price (Monster/South Racing/Can-Am)2:05:02 (- minus 5:05)
4th - Sara Price (Monster/South Racing/Can-Am)57:48:58 (- minus 1:11:15)


That concludes the 2024 Dakar Rally. Next up on the FIM World Rally Raid Championship series schedule is the Feb. 25 through March 4 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. For more information, including “Live” timing and scoring, visit