On the eve of the first stage of the Dakar 2021, an 11km prologue was contested in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. For this first start-up, disputed about thirty kilometers from King Abdullah’s stadium to find sandy tracks, in the motorcycle category, Ricky Brabec was the fastest. The American, winner of the Dakar 2020, dominated the competition riding his Honda, ahead of Joan Barreda (Honda) and Daniel Sanders (KTM). The three men are only separated by 13 seconds.
It is not yet the 1st stage, but it is already a first pass. An 11km prologue, just enough time to get on the gas. And in this game, Ricky barbec made his speed speak. The first American winner of the Dakar last year, he immediately put his Honda in front. With his number 1, he was the fastest on the sandy tracks not far from Jeddah and the King Abdallah stadium, site of the technical checks for this Dakar 2020.
Behind him, Joan barreda thought he left his mark on this first day, but the Spaniard, also on Honda, had to admit defeat. Despite all his experience (he is on his 11th Dakar), he still aspires to do better than his best result, a 5th place overall in 2017. He knows he will have rivals. He had to resolve to settle for 2nd place for 6 short seconds. Right behind him Daniel Sanders. For his first Dakar, the 2019 Australian off-road champion showed that he is fast on his KTM. He finished 13 seconds behind the winner of the day. An enduro specialist, he made a small place for himself on the podium. But the Dakar is long. Barreda can talk to him about it, he who has abandoned four times in this rally-raid.
Fourth place in the prologue goes to the Botswana Ross Branch, on the Yamaha. He finished 1 second behind the Australian, and laid the foundations for the reconquest dreamed by the brand in tune. Adrien Van Beveren, also on Yamaha, is the first Frenchman, in 17th place, 32 “behind the winner.