Saudi Dakar Rally

Associated Press

LEADER — Ricky Brabec of the United States rides his Honda motorbike during stage 10 of the Dakar Rally between Haradth and Shubaytah, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday.

 

The Dakar Rally is annually the first major motor racing event of the year.

It started in Africa, moved to South America because of political unrest along the African route, and is being run this year in the sands of the Arabian Desert.

Dakar has another unique feature: A death toll.

Popular Portugese off road motorcycle racer Paulo Goncalvo crashed during the fourth stage Sunday, and became the 71st racer to die in the event since 1979.

Goncalvo, 40, won multiple championships in various series around the world.

His best finish in The Dakar was second in 2015, the last time a fatality occurred. Polish motorcyclist Michal Hernick died during a race in Argentina.

Carlos Sainz notched his 33rd Dakar stage win Wednesday. With two stages remaining, Sainz leads defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyeh by 18:26, and third place Stephane Peterhansel by 18:40.

American Ricky Brabec takes a 26-minute lead into the final two stages in the motorcycle division.

Kyle Larson Advances To Chili Bowl Finale

Stars of NASCAR and IndyCar don’t just moonlight in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

There’s also the unique weeklong festival of midget racing known as the Chili Bowl in Tulsa.

Ganassi Racing star Kyle Larson won his A-main qualifying heat to move along to the 34th Annual Chili Bowl Saturday night.

The Elk Grove, California, racer, who won the Turkey Night Grand Prix in November, is trying to end fellow NASCAR driver Christopher Bell’s three-year Chili Bowl winning streak.

Roczen Wins First Race in Three Years

The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series returns to Angel Stadium Saturday night for Anaheim II packing a wonderful comeback story.

Ken Roczen, who missed the last two seasons due to hideous arm injuries suffered in crashes, rode to victory in the season’s second race at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis.

The 25-year-old German was a heavy championship favorite in 2017 when he suffered a nasty broken arm after he was launched in mid-air from his 450SX bike.

Roczen came back in 2018, only to crash again and get his right arm caught in the spokes of Cooper Webb’s rear wheel. Multiple surgeries later, Roczen returned again.

He took the lead on the second lap, and dominated.

Anaheim I winner Justin Barcia, fighting the flu, finished second to retain the early season points lead.

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