It would have sounding outlandish just a week ago. The 2020 Yokohama Sonora Rally presented by Method Wheel has suddenly been thrust toward the spotlight as one of the last big motorsports events in the world for the foreseeable future.
Day 3 of this year’s five-day race through Mexico’s Sonoran Desert proved to be a difficult one, as unseasonable rain forced race organizers to start the day a bit early. They wanted to try and beat the rain from Caboraca to Puerto Peñasco, a strategy that didn’t quite work out as promoter Darren Skilton and his team made the call to cut a section along the picturesque Sea of Cortez out of the day’s mileage.
All of that didn’t seem to matter to overall Pro Moto leader Skyler Howes riding his No.2 Husqvarna 450. The 2018 Sonora Rally champion managed to keep his overall lead, staying ahead of last year’s winner Ricky Brabec on a Honda CRF450 in the overall standings by just over five minutes. Mike Johnson also had a great day, taking a steady ride to maintain third place in the rally despite being more than an hour behind Brabec.
“Today was everything I love packed into one stage. Fast, twisty, sandy trails through cactus and dunes with tricky navigation,” said Howes after his stage win. “I was having a blast just riding my dirt bike and ended up going fast enough to win the day, which is awesome. Leading out in the big dunes tomorrow is not ideal but still should be a fun day. That’s what I’m all about: keeping it fun.
California’s desert phenom Sara Price and her navigator Kellon Walch (top) have had an excellent showing in their first Dakar-style rally, piloting their No.78 Polaris RZR Turbo S to the top spot in the ultra-competitive UTV class.Oscar Ramirez and Marc Scola (No.77 Can-Am) saw an opportunity to drive their Can-Am into the stage’s second spot, while Lee Banning and Robert Ruiz shook things up a bit, taking third in the UTV class. Mexican favorites, Luis Pelyao and Abelardo Ruinova (No.63 Monster Energy Can-Am) fell back to 4th for the day, but still holding on to a second place spot in the overall rankings.
Today the competitors will face the endless expanse of huge dunes that are one of the defining trademarks of the Sonora Rally. It will be a test, but As the globe hunkers down in self-preservation mode, the 66 entries that comprised this year’s Sonora Rally field are in the Mexican desert doing what they love best.
We should all be so lucky.
Sonora Rally Top 10 Overall
- No.2 Skyler Howes
- No.1 Ricky Brabec
- No.8 Mike Johnson
- No.5 Wes VanNieuwenhuise
- No.15 Jim Pearson
- No.35 Matthew Ransom
- No.4 Colton Udall
- No.28 Taye Perry
- No.6 Nathan Rafferty
- No.16 Vasile Scurtu
- No.78 Sara Price/Kellon Walch
- No.63 Luis Pelayo/Abelardo Ruanovai
- No.77 Oscar Ramirez/Marc Sola
- No.72 Jorge Cano/Alfonso Alonzo
- No.66 Lee Banning & Roberto Ruiz
- No.64 PJ Jones/Kyle Vestermark
- No.71 Nick Bruce & Cam Muldner
- No.73 Cameron Ornelas/Kevin Heath
- No.68 Butch Jensen & Tricia Reina