Dakar Rally, Stage 2: Ricky Brabec jumps to second; Andrew Short out after mechanical

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Ricky Brabec, the first American rider to win the Dakar Rally, charged into contention Monday in Stage 2.

Brabec finished second to Monster Energy Honda teammate Joan Barreda by 3 minutes, 55 seconds in the bike division and jumped to second in the overall standings.

But misfortune struck for another American rider. Andrew Short suffered a mechanical problem that he was unable to fix after 273 of 457 km in a lengthy stage from Bisha and Wadi Al-Dawasir.


According to the Dakar Rally site, Short was airlifted from the Saudi Arabian desert by a race organizer helicopter. It’s the first withdrawal at Dakar for Short, who had finished his three previous starts at Dakar (including a best of sixth in 2019 for the former Supercross star) and moved to Yamaha this year.

In an Instagram post, Short wrote that Stage 2 “started off great” before an apparent fuel-related problem after refueling. “I tried everything I had on the bike to get the bike moving again,” he wrote. “So sad to be out of the race, but I know this is racing and especially Dakar. This event is really special, and you work all year for this event. I really enjoyed how difficult and challenging the navigation was this year so far.”

After two of 12 stages in the bikes, Barreda leads by 6 minutes, 23 seconds over Brabec, a Southern Californian who is the defending class winner.

“After a tough day yesterday, where we lost quite a bit of time, with the various problems we had in the first part, we had to give it our all today,” Barreda said after the 25th stage victory of his career. “We knew it would be dangerous so we had to be careful. I managed to stay calm in some tricky situations, and ultimately it was a very good stage.”

Brabec wrote on Instagram that it was a “good day … but as we know, hasn’t been easy start to finding the rhythm.”

Stage 1 winner and two-time Dakar Rally champion Toby Price finished 28th after being the first rider on course and fell from first to 15th overall.

“It was really, really difficult,” Price said of battling through the dunes. “I got stuck in there about 5 times. So yeah, a little frustrating, but you’ve just got to try and regroup, get the bike going.”

Skyler Howes, an American privateer, is ranked eighth (9 minutes, 31 seconds out of the lead) after an 11th in Stage 2.

In other divisions Monday:

Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah edged Stephan Peterhansel by 2:35, and defending winner Carlos Sainz finished third.

“Yesterday we lost a lot of time because we opened the stage, and it was so tough,” Al-Attiyah said. “Today we went flat out from start to finish, and everything worked really well.”

Rally legend Sebastien Loeb rebounded from a dismal first stage, finishing sixth to improve to seventh overall. In the overall standings, Peterhansel took a 6-minute, 37-second lead over Sainz, the Stage 1 winner who had engine problems toward the end of the second stage.

Side by sides/lightweight vehicles: Saleh Alsaif took the victory in side by sides over Gerard Farres Guell by 1 minute, 40 seconds. Third-place finisher Francisco Lopez Contardo leads the overall by 39 seconds over Aron Domzala.

Alsaif also triumphed in lightweights. Cristina Gutierrez Herrero, who became the first female stage winner in 15 years Sunday, finished 11th and dropped to fourth overall. Red Bull teammate Seth Quintero of the United States was 10th in the stage (first in light prototypes, making the 18-year-old the youngest winner of a Dakar special) and 10th overall in lightweights.

Quads: Pablo Copetti, a third-place finisher overall in 2017, moved to third overall with a stage victory. Stage 1 winner Alexandre Giroud remained first overall with a 1-minute, 9-second lead over Giovanni Enrico.

Trucks: Dmitry Sotnikov won his second consecutive stage and built a 17-minute, 14-second lead over Siarhei Viazovich.

STAGE 1 RESULTS: Carlos Sainz, Toby Price open with victories

Stage Wins:

Cars: Carlos Sainz (Stage 1), Nasser Al-Attiyah (Stage 2)

Bikes: Toby Price (Stage 1); Joan Barreda (Stage 2)

Side-by-sides: Austin Jones (Stage 1), Saleh Alsaif (Stage 2)

Lightweight vehicles: Cristina Gutierrez Herrero (Stage 1), Saleh Alsaif (Stage 2)

Quads: Alexandre Giroud (Stage 1), Pablo Copetti (Stage 2)

Trucks: Dmitry Sotnikov 2 (Stage 1, Stage 2)

Watch highlights from Stage 2 of the Dakar Rally on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m. ET today.

IndyCar Power Rankings: Alex Palou still first as Newgarden, Ferrucci make Indy 500 jumps

NBC IndyCar power rankings
Kristin Enzor/For IndyStar/USA TODAY Sports Images Network

The biggest race of the NTT IndyCar Series season (and in the world) is over, and NBC Sports’ power rankings look very similar to the finishing results in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Pole-sitter Alex Palou entered the Indy 500 at the top and remains there after his impressive rebound to a fourth after a midway crash in the pits. Top two Indianapolis 500 finishers Josef Newgarden and Marcus Ericsson also improved multiple spots in the power rankings just as they gained ground during the course of the 500-mile race on the 2.5-mile oval. Though Alexander Rossi dropped a position, he still shined at the Brickyard with a fifth place finish.

Santino Ferrucci, the other driver in the top five at Indy, made his first appearance in the 2023 power rankings this year and now will be tasked with keeping his A.J. Foyt Racing team toward the front as the IndyCar circuit makes its debut on a new layout..

Heading into the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on the streets of downtown, here’s NBC Sports’ assessment of the current top 10 drivers through six of 17 races this year (with previous ranking in parenthesis):

  1. Alex Palou (1): Three consecutive top 10 finishes at the Indy 500, and yet the 2021 IndyCar champion still seems slightly snake-bitten at the Brickyard. A few different circumstances and a dash of experience, and Palou could have three Indy 500 wins. But he at least has the points lead.
  2. Marcus Ericsson (4): Some want to say the Indy 500 runner-up’s unhappiness with IndyCar race control was sour grapes, but the Swede had a legitimate gripe about the consistency of red flag protocols. Still a magnificent May for Ericsson, especially while the questions swirl about his future.
  3. Josef Newgarden (7): Strategist Tim Cindric and team did a fantastic job catapulting Newgarden from 17th into contention, and the two-time series champion did the rest. Particularly on a late three-wide pass for the lead, it can’t be overstated how brilliant the Team Penske driver was in his finest hour.
  4. Alexander Rossi (3): He winds up being the best Arrow McLaren finisher in a mostly disappointing Indy 500 for a team that seemed poised to become dominant. With a third in the GMR GP and a fifth in the Indy 500, this easily was Rossi’s best May since his second place in 2019.
  5. Pato O’Ward (2): Unlike last year, the Arrow McLaren star sent it this time against Ericsson and came out on the wrong side (and with lingering bitterness toward his Chip Ganassi Racing rival). The lead mostly was the wrong place to be at Indy, but O’Ward managed to be in first for a race-high 39 laps.
  6. Scott Dixon (5): He overcame brutal handling issues from a wicked set of tires during his first stint, and then the team struggled with a clutch problem while posting a typical Dixon-esque finish on “a very tough day.” The six-time champion hopes things are cleaner the rest of the season after the first three months.
  7. Santino Ferrucci (NR): Pound for pound, he and A.J. Foyt Racing had the best two weeks at Indianapolis. Ferrucci said Wednesday he still believes he had “by far the best car at the end” and if not for the timing of the final yellow and red, he would have won the Indy 500. Now the goal is maintaining into Detroit.
  8. Colton Herta (NR): He was the best in a mostly forgettable month for Andretti Autosport and now is facing a pivotal weekend. Andretti has reigned on street courses so far this season, and few have been better on new circuits than Herta. A major chance for his first victory since last year’s big-money extension.
  9. Scott McLaughlin (6): Ran in the top 10 at Indy after a strong opening stint but then lost positions while getting caught out on several restarts. A penalty for unintentionally rear-ending Simon Pagenaud in O’Ward’s crash then sent him to the rear, but McLaughlin still rallied for 14th. Detroit will be a fresh start.
  10. Rinus VeeKay (10): Crashing into Palou in the pits was less than ideal. But a front row start and 10th-place finish in the Indy 500 still were 2023 highlights for VeeKay in what’s been the toughest season of his career. The Ed Carpenter Racing cars have been slow on road and street courses, so Detroit is another test.

Falling out: Will Power (8), Felix Rosenqvist (9), Romain Grosjean (10)


PRESEASON: Josef Newgarden is a favorite to win third championship

RACE 1: Pato O’Ward to first; Newgarden drops out after St. Pete

RACE 2: O’Ward stays firmly on top of standings after Texas

RACE 3: Marcus Ericsson leads powerhouses at the top

RACE 4: Grosjean, Palou flex in bids for first victory

RACE 5: Alex Palou carrying all the momentum into Indy 500