Despres (Cars), Barreda Bort (Motorcycles) are Stage 2 Dakar Rally leaders


Editor’s note: Tune in to NBCSN on Monday at 11 p.m. ET for Dakar Rally highlights.

Two-time Dakar Rally champ Nasser Al-Attiyah’s lead in this year’s 40th Rally endurance race lasted just one day.

Frenchman Cyril Despres took over the lead of the Cars class following Sunday’s Stage 2 of the 14-stage Rally across Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

Despres and his Peugeot covered the 195 mile course (267 kilometers) around Pisco, Peru in a time of 2 hours, 56 minutes and 51 seconds.

Despres, who finished third in last year’s Rally, reached the end of stage ahead of two French teammates Stephane Peterhansel (2:57:39) and Sebastien Loeb (2:59:59).

Al-Attiyah, meanwhile, dropped from first to fifth, nearly 15 minutes now behind Despres.

There were several wrecks during the course of the stage, most notably involving American driver Bryce Menzies, who barrel rolled his Mini several times.

Menzies and co-driver Peter Mortensen were uninjured, but their Mini was destroyed and their Rally is over for 2018.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Saturday’s Stage 1 wrapup

Here’s how all five classes fared after Stage 2, as well as the overall leaders after the first two stages:


  • 1. France’s Cyril Despres, Peugeot, 2:56:51
  • 2. France’s Stephane Peterhansel, Peugeot, 2:57:39
  • 3. France’s Sebastien Loeb, Peugeot, 2:59:59
  • 4. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, Toyota, 3:04:17
  • 5. Argentina’s Orlando Terranova, Mini, 3:09:44


  • 1. France’s Cyril Despres
  • 2. France’s Stephane Peterhansel
  • 3. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers
  • 4. France’s Sebastien Loeb
  • 5. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah



Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort rode his Honda to capture the stage with a time of 2.56:44. Bort had finished Stage 1 in fourth place.

France’s Adrien van Beveren and his Yamaha remained in second place (2:54 back), followed by Austria’s Matthias Walkner (4:24 back).

First stage leader Sam Sunderland finished seventh Sunday (3:02:45), but is still fourth overall.

  • 1. Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort , Honda, 2:56:44
  • 2. France’s Adrien van Beveren, Yamaha, 2:59:38
  • 3. Austria’s Matthias Walkner, KTM, 3:01:08
  • 4. France’s Michael Metge, Honda, 3:01:23
  • 5. Argentina’s Kevin Benevides, Honda, 3:02:27

As for the five Americans in the class:

  • 12th: Ricky Brabec (Honda), 3:04:03,
  • 25th: Andrew Short (Husqvarna), 3:18:15
  • 35th: Shane Esposito (KTM), 3:30:58
  • 38th: Mark Samuels (Honda), 3:31.22
  • 123rd: Bill Conger (Husqvarna), 6:37:09


  • 1. Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort
  • 2. France’s Adrien van Beveren
  • 3. Austria’s Matthias Walkner
  • 4. England’s Sam Sunderland
  • 5. Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla



Defending Rally champ Russian Eduard Nikolaev (driving a Kamaz) moved up from third in Stage 1 to take the lead following Stage 2 with a time of 3:24.23. Argentina’s Federico Villagra finished second in the stage, 3:25 back, while Czech Ales Lobrais, who led after Stage 1, finished third, 5:38 back.

  • 1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz), 3:24:23
  • 2. Argentina’s Federico Villagra (Iveco), 3:27:48
  • 3. Czech Republic’s Ales Loprais (Tatra), 3:30:30
  • 4. Czech Republic’s Martin Kokomy (Tatra), 3:35:34
  • 5. Netherlands’ Ton van Genugten (Iveco), 3:44:31


  • 1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev
  • 2. Czech Republic’s Ales Loprais
  • 3. Argentina’s Federico Villagra
  • 4. Czech Republic’s Martin Kokomy
  • 5. Netherlands’ Ton van Genugten 



  • 1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale (Yamaha), 3:37:45
  • 2. Russia’s Sergei Kariakin (Yamaha), 3:38:28
  • 3. Argentina’s Gaston Gonzalez (Yamaha), 3:41:39
  • 4. Peru’s Alexis Hernandez (Yamaha), 3:44:17
  • 5. Argentina’s Pablo Copetti (Yamaha), 3:46:37


  • 1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale
  • 2. Russia’s Sergei Kariakin
  • 3. Argentina’s Pablo Copetti
  • 4. Netherland’s Kess Koolen
  • 5. Argentina’s Nicolas Cavigilasso



  • 1. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela (Can-Am), 4:18:44
  • 2. Peru’s Juan Uribe Ramos (Can-Am), 4:27:43
  • 3. France’s Patricie Garrouste (Polaris), 4:40:41
  • 4. Spain’s Jose Pena Campos (Polaris), 5:10:08
  • 5. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga (Polaris), 5:11:23


  • 1. Peru’s Juan Uribe Ramos
  • 2. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela
  • 3. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga
  • 4. Spain’s Jose Pena Campos
  • 5. France’s Patricie Garrouste


STAGE 3: On Monday, the Rally will move forward from Pisco, Peru to San Juan de Marcona, also in Peru.


Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.