JCR Honda’s Ricky Brabec and Kendall Norman take historic Mint 400 desert race win as bikes return after a four-decade absence.
The classic Mint 400 off-road festival brings a massive spectator count and nearly 600 vehicle entries across four separate races over five days in the Nevada desert outside of Las Vegas.
In 2019 the Mint 400 also saw the a long-awaited return of the bike class which was originally included up until 1976 and finally brought back 43 years later.
It was a return the JCR Honda duo of Brabec and Norman grabbed with both hands taking the win ahead of Jacob Argubrigth. Brabec and Norman had to work hard during the three, 80-mile race laps to take the win. Brabec grabbed the holeshot but Argubright didn’t make things easy for the JCR riders, or himself in fact as he opted to race 240mile course solo.
Argubright and Brabec exchanged the lead multiple times during the race but, after Kendall Norman handed back the N15 numbered machine to Brabec for lap three, finally they made it stick and brought home the victory. Justin Morgan and Mark Samuels rounded the Pro podium.
It was a good weekend for Brabec: “I nailed the start thanks to the morning start practicing that I did with Kendall. From there on I tried to stay consistent, anyway Jacob was behind me all the time and I really had to push to get the win. The moisture that we had this week made the track really rough for lap two and three, but I really enjoyed the race”.
Jake Argubright lead out the service point on lap three but he got passed by Brabec half way through: “I was leading but Ricky was really fast today. We had a good battle during all the race but around half way into lap three he stepped up the game and I just tried to follow him as hard as I could.”
Brabec’s victory in the Mint 400 also meant the first win for a Honda motorcycle in the race as Husqvarna and Yamaha shared the wins between 1968 and 1976.
Next desert race is the San Felipe 250, April 3/7 and will be the first round of the 2019 World Desert Championship.
Photo Credit: Mark Kariya/JCR Honda
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