Friday, July 19, 2024

Ricky Brabec, Skyler Howes to race Vegas to Reno together

Ricky Brabec will look to add a fourth Vegas to Reno victory to his hat and will have a familiar face to help him in the form of fellow American rally raider, two-time V2R winner, and Monster Energy Honda Rally Team colleague Skyler Howes. The two will share a Honda CRF450 Rally, which they ride in the World Rally-Raid Championship, for the race.

Being W2RC team-mates means they already work together to some degree while still competing against one another. On the other hand, sharing a vehicle means teamwork is what matters, and as good friends outside of their rally obligations, the two are already more than familiar with this. In March, Brabec and Howes split time in a Honda Talon 1000R to win the UTV Pro Normally Aspirated Class at the Mint 400’s Limited Race; the former then won the Mint’s Motorcycle Race with Preston Campbell.

Brabec has been enjoying a renaissance 2024. Besides his double victories at the Mint, he won the W2RC-opening Dakar Rally for the second time as part of a dominant showing for Honda. Even after skipping the second and third rounds of the season, he added another victory at the Desafío Ruta 40 to make him two-for-two in the W2RC and only nine points back of Hero’s Ross Branch for the title with one round to go.

Howes joined Honda in late 2023 after departing Husqvarna. Following a slow start to his tenure as he crashed out of his first two starts for the outfit, he recorded back-to-back top fives at Portugal and Argentina; he sits eighth in points.

Both riders used to enter the V2R solo, with Brabec winning in 2014, 2017, and 2020 while Howes claimed the 2019 and 2022 editions. Brabec held off Howes to win the 2020 race, then Howes overcame a qualifying crash to add his second V2R crown two years later.

The Vegas to Reno, the longest single-day desert race in the United States, is scheduled for 14–17 August with racing on the 16th. It is the third of four rounds on the 2024 Best In the Desert calendar.

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