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Ricky Brabec, Honda on course to end KTM’s Dakar Rally win run

Rickey Brabec and the factory Honda team remain on course for 2020 Dakar Rally glory, which would end KTM's winning streak stretching back to 2001

Ricky Brabec - Honda, Dakar Rally

Honda is just two stages away from breaking KTM’s grip on the Dakar Rally after Ricky Brabec survived what was supposed to be a monster Stage 10, only for it to be curtailed by stormy winds.

With only three tests remaining until the final chequered flag in Saudi Arabia, Stage 10 was set to be the most critical of the event traversing 534km. However, the stage was cut short at 345km after organisers decided it was in the interests of competitors and personnel safety not to continue due to storms.

The move worked in the favour of Balbec, who came into the stage with a 20mins lead of Pablo Quintanilla, as the Monster Energy Honda rider posted the second quickest time, behind only Joan Barreda Bort.

As such, Brabec has extended his advantage to 25mins over Husqvarna’s Quintanilla, while Honda team-mate Bort has now ascended to third position overall at the behest of top KTM rider Toby Price.

Indeed, KTM’s hopes of making it 19 consecutive wins on the Dakar Rally look to be over as Price is now 28mins adrift of the lead, while his team-mate Mathias Walkner is now sixth 41mins adrift.

Though Honda held a similar position this time last year in South America, it will take a significant issue for Brabec to cede his lead, and even if he does Quintanilla and Bort are better placed to capitalise.

Other notable results include top female rider Laia Sanz in 17th overall aboard the new GasGas entry, while Jamie McCanney is top Brit in 23rd in the absence of the retired Sam Sunderland. He is also the third highest-placed rookie on the event.