Dakar exit ‘heart-wrenching’ for former leader Brabec

Mechanical failure cruelly rules out American from prestigious rally.

Image: Supplied.

Former leader of the 2019 Dakar Rally Ricky Brabec has been forcde to exit the event after experiencing a mechanical failure on the eighth stage.

The Monster Energy Honda Racing rider had taken control of the classification on multiple occasions in the first seven stages, and led the standings heading into the eighth stage before an engine malfunction 56 kilometres in crushed his hopes of a maiden Dakar crown.

The American has described scenario has heart-wrenching, stating he’s at a loss for words after holding down P1 in the closing days of the prestigious event.

“It was a really hard day,” Brabec expressed. “There was nothing really positive about my day, especially for the race. The coolest part was getting a helicopter ride along the beach and back. It’s heart-wrenching – not easy. We have to go home, take a break and come back.

“I’m at a loss for words. It was amazing to be on the top for the previous days. It’s really nice to have the team support me and the whole team. It felt like the vibes and the confidence in me were good. That helped me to achieve so many great days.”

Brabec is the third Monster Energy Honda Racing contender to retire from proceedings, with Joan Barreda becoming stuck on day three, as Paulo Goncalves injured himself on day five.

Winner of the Dakar Rally in 2016, Australian Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), now leads the Bike category despite not yet recording a stage win. Day eight of racing was won by defending champion Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

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