It was a strange New Year’s Day; while the rest of world celebrated the arrival of 2021, in Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City, preparation work for the latest edition of the Rally Dakar was in full swing. Monster Energy Honda Team was given the green light after passing all the scrutineering checks carried out before the curtain-raising prologue which takes place on Saturday, 2 Jan 2021.

The team was able to overcome all the tests – some more complicated than others – and Monster Energy Honda Team is now ready to get the 2021 Dakar Rally underway. Getting to Jeddah itself – the starting point of the race – was no easy feat. However, all team members – riders included – managed to arrive in time to spend two days quarantined in a city hotel. Subsequently, squad members were subjected to a final PCR test before any further action – such as picking up the vehicles from the port – was allowed.

Ricky Brabec, the winner of the Dakar 2020.

The results, when they finally arrived, all proved negative, setting the machinery in motion for the great challenge. The riders underwent the preparatory ‘shakedown’ and the bikes and other team members were subjected to the administrative and technical checks, eventually getting the go-ahead for Monster Energy Honda Team to officially enter the race.

On 2 Jan 2021, there’s a short ten-kilometre prologue which will not only be a points-paying qualifier but will also dictate the starting order for the first full stage on the following day. The time established by each participant will be multiplied by four to establish the opening gaps between riders. On Sunday the first stage gets underway from Jeddah heading to Bisha, including some 277 kilometres of the special timed stage out of a total of 345 kilometres, including liaison sections.

Ricky Brabec in action

Ricky Brabec, the winner of the Dakar 2020, commented, “We’ve finished the scrutineering and we are now looking forward to the prologue. The whole team is ready. I’m ready as well. We will try and do our best to defend the number one. It’s not going to be easy. The target on our back is pretty big. But we are here and we can’t really say much right now. The race hasn’t even started. We’ll get back to you guys in a couple of days and let you know how things are going. That’s the goal – to defend the number one.”

Source- Monster Energy Honda Team