Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Skyler Howes earned a third-place overall finish at the 2023 Dakar Rally. It was the American racer’s career-best ride and his fifth Dakar Rally appearance.
“I am so happy! It’s been an incredible race with highs and lows, and it’s come right down to the wire on this final day,” Howes said. “I knew the guys behind me would be pushing so hard today, and to go into this final day less than two minutes behind after well over 40 hours of racing is incredible. I arrived at the finish safely, and it feels like a dream come true and such an honor to share it with two legends like Toby (Price) and Kevin (Benavides). Everyone knows what you have to go through to get to this point, and after all that hard work, it makes this moment feel so sweet. Of course I want to come back and see what the other two steps of the podium feel like.”
The 30-year-old Californian has progressed from promising privateer to top-three Dakar racer. His podium at this year’s event added to his excellent 2022 season results bode well for Howes as he now looks ahead to the rest of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship season.
Howes was only 90 seconds behind Benavides, KTM rider from Argentina, heading into the final stage, but he dropped more than three minutes to the eventual winner.
Can-Am racer Nasser Al-Attiyah earned the UTV title; he became a five-time winner of the Dakar Rally. The quad-class crown went to Alexandre Giroud, a Yamaha rider from France.