Carlos Sainz, Ricky Brabec win Dakar Rally

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Spain’s Carlos Sainz became a three-time Dakar Rally champion Friday, while American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown, ending KTM’s 18-year win streak.

Sainz, whose son Carlos Sainz Jr. races in Formula One for McLaren, won his third Dakar Rally with a 6:21 margin of victory over 2019 champion Nasser Al-Attiyah. Sainz’s previous victories in the Rally came in 2010 and 2018.

Brabec’s maiden Dakar victory came in his fifth attempt. He and 2020 quads champion Casey Currie are the first Americans in Dakar history to win in their respective classes.

Both were first time winners in Saudi Arabia, which hosted the rally for the first time this year after 11 years of being staged in South America.

Here are some of the other highlights:

In the cars class, 2019 Dakar champion Nasser Al-Attiyah’s may have not been able to defend his title, but he ended the 2020 edition of the event on a high note by winning the final stage.

Al-Attiyah won by a margin 1:32 over Yasir Seaidan, but still came home just under six and a half minutes behind Sainz.

Stephane Peterhansel finished third in the final standings, 9:58 back.

Overall: Carlos Sainz won by a margin of 6:21 over Nasser Al-Attiyah.

In bikes, Brabec’s first victory in the Rally was the first for Honda since 1989. The American took the lead in the third stage and never looked back, and at one point held an advantage of more than 25 minutes over second place.

Pablo Quintanilla finished second overall in the final standings, while Toby Price finished third.

Overall: Ricky Brabec won by a margin of 16:26 over Pablo Quintanilla.

In side by sides, Casey Currie won the class title in only his second attempt, despite not winning a single stage.

Taking a ‘slow and steady wins the race approach’ to the rally, Currie successfully remained within the title hunt as faster title contenders dropped out of the race one-by-one due to mechanical issues.

Currie took the lead following a poor showing by then-leader Francisco Lopez Contardo in Stage 7, and did not not cede his position in the standings for the remainder of the event.

Reinaldo Varela won the final stage of the 2020 rally, defeating Blade Hildebrand by 0:24.

Overall: Casey Currie won by a margin of 39:12 over Sergei Kariakin.

In quads, Ignacio Casale claimed his third Dakar title in the class after taking a year off to race in the SxS category. Casale defeated Simon Viste for the overall victory by nearly 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, rookie Arkadiusz Lindner won his first stage, defeating Giovanni Enrico by 1:21. Viste finished third, 1:25 behind.

Overall: Ignacio Casale won by a margin of 18:24 over Simon Viste.

In trucks, Russian manufacturer Kamaz celebrated its 17th Dakar victory, as Andrey Karginov won the Rally for the second time in his career.

Karginov, who previously won Dakar in 2014, defeated teammate Anton Shibalov by over 42 minutes to win his second title.

He also won the final stage of the 2020 edition of the rally, winning by a margin if 2:01 over Aliaksei Vishneuski.

Overall: Andrey Karginov won by a margin of 42:26 over Anton Shibalov.

Stage Wins:

Cars: [4] Carlos Sainz (Stage 3, 5, 7 and 10), [4] Stephane Peterhansel (Stage 4, 6, 9 and 11), [1] Vaidotas Zala (Stage 1), [1] Giniel De Villiers (Stage 2). [1] Mathieu Serradori (Stage 8) and [1] Nasser Al-Attiyah (Stage 12)

Bikes: [2] Toby Price (Stage 1 and 5), [2] Ricky Brabec (Stage 3 and 6), [2] Pablo Quintanilla (Stage 9 and 11), [2] Jose Ingacio Cornejo (Stage 4 and 12), [1] Ross Branch (Stage 2), [1] Kevin Benavides (Stage 7) and [1] Joan Barreda Bort (Stage 10)

Side-by-sides: [2] Gerard Farres Guell (Stage 3 and 6), [2] Blade Hildebrand (Stage 7 and 9), [2] Mitch Guthrie (Stage 4 and 10), [2] Francisco Lopez Contardo (Stage 2 and 11), [2] Reinaldo Varela (Stage 8 and 12), [1]  Aron Domzala (Stage 1), and [1] Cyril Despres (Stage 5)

Quads: [4] Ignacio Casale (Stage 1, 2, 4 and 9), [2] Simon Viste (Stage 6 and 7), [1] Giovanni Enrico (Stage 3), [1] Romain Dutu (Stage 5), [1] Kamil Wisinewski (Stage 10), [1] Rafal Sonik (Stage 11) and [1] Arkadiusz Lindner (Stage 12)

Trucks: [6] Andrey Karginov (Stage 3, 6, 7, 8, 9,11 and 12), [3] Anton Shibalov (Stage 1, 4 and 10), [1] Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 2) and [1] Dmitry Sotnikov (Stage 5)

Highlights of the final stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally will air on NBCSN tonight at 6:00 p.m. ET.  

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston: Eli Tomac retakes 450 lead, Hunter Lawrence tops 250s

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After his Anaheim 2 crash, Eli Tomac was surprised he was not injured, but despite getting knocked down momentarily, he picked himself up, rode to last week’s win and reascended to the top of the SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston. This is the third time in three weeks Tomac has topped the rankings.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Houston
Jason Anderson has back-to-back podiums to his credit and sits second in the Power Rankings. – Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Last week, Tomac finished second in his heat before winning the Main – and that translated to near-perfect points in the Power Rankings, which award 100 for a win in the feature and 90 for a heat victory. Tomac’s average was marred by the Houston accident when he finished 13th in that heat before settling just outside the top five in overall standings. Racing is about bouncing back and last year’s Supercross and Motocross champion Tomac did just that as he chases a third consecutive title.

Jason Anderson earned his second consecutive podium finish with a third at Houston. He momentarily rolled past Aaron Plessinger into second during a restart following an accident involving Dylan Ferrandis and held that position for four trips around the track until he was tracked down by Chase Sexton. Afterward Anderson faded and finished 12 seconds off the pace, but along with a heat win, he easily leapfrogged Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb, who struggled in the fourth race of the season.

MORE: Eli Tomac rebounds from Anaheim 2 crash with Houston win

Webb held his position by passing Roczen in NBC’s SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston. Webb has been solid in 2023 with a worst moto result of seventh in the first Triple Crown race at Anaheim 2, but in order to be considered a solid challenger to Tomac he needs to win either a heat or main this week in Tampa.

Roczen was involved in the incident that sidelined Ferrandis in Houston. Racing for eighth at the time, his bike may have sustained some damage when Ferrandis landed on his back tire, but he was not overly impressive in his heat either with a fifth-place finish. That was enough to drop him three positions in the standings, but he still has Tomac in sight.

After his disappointing heat in San Diego when he crashed and sustained enough damage to place him last, Sexton has roared back. He won the overall in Anaheim 2’s Triple Crown format and narrowed the points’ gap slightly on Tomac. Last week he yarded the field in his heat race and won by a wide margin. A modest start in the Main kept him from getting to Tomac’s back wheel early in the Houston round, and he lost a little ground in the championship.

450 Rankings

This
Week
Rider Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1 Eli Tomac
[3 Main; 3 Heats Wins]
85.20 2 1
2 Jason Anderson
[2 Heat Wins]
82.60 4 2
3 Cooper Webb 82.10 3 0
4 Ken Roczen 81.70 1 -3
5 Chase Sexton
[1 Main; 3 Heat Wins]
80.70 6 1
6 Dylan Ferrandis 71.60 5 -1
7 Aaron Plessinger 71.30 8 1
8 Justin Barcia 70.10 7 -1
9 Justin Cooper 68.00 NA
10 Adam Cianciarulo 67.40 9 -1
11 Joey Savatgy 61.20 10 -1
12 Marvin Musquin 61.00 10 -2
13 Malcolm Stewart
[1 Heat Win]
58.75 11 -2
14 Christian Craig 57.20 13 -1
15 Colt Nichols 56.50 14 -1
16 Dean Wilson 49.30 15 -1
17 Justin Hill 39.67 18 1
18 Shane McElrath 36.33 22 4
19 Brandon Scharer 34.00 21 2
20 Logan Karnow 33.33 19 -1

Supercross 450 Points


The 250 East division debuted in Houston and with only one race – and therefore no chance yet to stumble – three of their riders jumped to the top of the chart.

Hunter Lawrence had a perfect week with wins in both his main and heat. It wasn’t without drama, however, as he was forced to jump wide early in the feature to avoid contact with Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut. Without a former 250 champion in the field, it is guaranteed someone new will grace the top of the box at Salt Lake City after the season-ender and it looks like it’s going to be Lawrence’s to lose.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Houston
Jordon Smith’s last podium before Houston came four years ago in Detroit. – Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

It was more than four years ago that Jordon Smith scored his last Supercross podium in Detroit. Despite finishing second that afternoon, he was battling a wrist injury that eventually sidelined him. More injuries have followed, but Smith was a favorite to win the title in 2019 and he’s shown how well he can ride when he’s healthy.

Debuting third in the Houston SuperMotocross Power Rankings, Max Anstie moved from the 450 class last year to 250s in 2023 and the change has gone better than he anticipated. Finishing second in both his heat and main, Anstie was edged by Smith because he finished second behind that rider in their heat. That is Anstie’s first top-10 since finishing sixth at Southwick, Massachusetts last year on his 450. In that race, he scored fifth-place results in both motos.

Supercross 250 Points

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his graduation into the 250 class was well deserved and he landed fourth in his division and fifth overall in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings. In his first professional Supercross race, he finished fourth in his heat. In a field with twice the talent, he finished fourth again in the main. At Houston, he balanced aggression with patience. Now that he has a taste of that success, everyone will be watching him closely at Tampa to see if he can continue tiptoeing on the line.

Michael Mosiman, Jeremy Martin, and Vialle are tied for fifth in the 250 East division and seventh overall.

Vialle is the most notable of these three because he challenged for a podium position during the Main before making a mistake and falling in a turn. Significantly, this was not only his 250 debut, but his first time in Supercross. As with Deegan, he has generated a lot of attention for the coming weeks.

250 Rankings

This
Week
Rider Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1 Hunter Lawrence – E
[1 Main; 1 Heat Win]
95.00 NA
2 Jordon Smith – E
[1 Heat Win]
90.50 NA
2 Max Anstie – E 90.50 NA
4 Jett Lawrence – W
[2 Main; 2 Heat Wins]
89.13 1 -3
5 Haiden Deegan – E 81.50 NA
6 Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat Win]
77.63 2 -4
7 Mitchell Oldenburg – W 77.00 3 -4
7 Michael Mosiman – E 77.00 NA
7 Jeremy Martin – E 77.00 NA
7 Tom Vialle – E 77.00 NA
11 Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat Win]
76.75 4 -7
12 Chance Hymas – E 74.50 -12
13 Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main Win]
73.75 5 -8
14 RJ Hampshire – W
[3 Heat Wins]
70.00 6 -8
15 Max Vohland – W 69.29 7 -8
16 Cullin Park – E 66.00 NA
17 Chris Blose – E 65.50 NA
18 Derek Kelley – W 63.75 8 -10
19 Enzo Lopes – W 63.25 9 -10
20 Pierce Brown – W 61.29 10 -10

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days.

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Chase Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage