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SKYLER HOWES

(usa) 1.90m / 85kg

Hobbies

MTB, rock climbing, snowboarding, jet skiing, fishing

Sponsors

Husqvarna Factory Racing, Rebellion Timepieces

Vehicle

Brand: Husqvarna
Model: FR 450 Rally
Performance tuner: Husqvarna Factory Racing
Assistance: Husqvarna Factory Racing
Class: Rally GP

Rankings

2022: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (10th), Silver State 300 (1st), Vegas to Reno (1st), Rallye du Maroc (1st), Sonora Rally (1st)
2021: Sonora Rally (2nd), Rally Kazakhstan (10th), Silk Way Rally (2nd), Morocco Rally (12th)
2020: Silver State 300 (1st, Solo), Sonora Rally (2nd), Andalucia Rally (15th)
2019: Sonora Rally (2nd), Morocco Desert Challenge (1st), Serres Rally, Best In The Desert (1st, Open Pro), Vegas to Reno (1st, Solo)
2018: Sonora Rally (1st), Dakar Challenge (1st), Baja Rally (1st)
2017: USRA Desert (1st), Baja 1000 (5th)
2015: ISDE Slovakia (2nd)
2012: AMA National Hare and Hound 250 (1st)
2008: USRA Desert 125 (1st)
5-time Reno Rally Winner

“The goal is to win”  

In just a few short years, Skyler Howes has gone from promising privateer to one of the best bikers in rally raid, and heads into Dakar 2023 as a genuine title contender. The American has done it the hard way, climbing the amateur ranks and finally landing a factory contract with Husqvarna in April 2021. Gone are the days when Skyler was forced to sell off his possessions to fund his entry to the Dakar, although the 30-year-old admits it's taken him some time to make the mental switch from privateer to professional. He now has the luxury of preparing himself properly for one of the toughest endeavours in motorsport. In 2022 he began working with a new personal trainer, Nick Chase -one of the best triathletes in the USA- and he has been putting in the hours behind the scenes with Husqvarna. That increased commitment to training and testing is already bearing fruit. In October, Skyler outperformed Dakar winners like Kevin Benavides, Sam Sunderland and Ricky Brabec to win the Rallye du Maroc, one of the toughest events in the World Rally-Raid Championship. He then flew home to America, loaded up a van, and drove 12 hours to the start line of the Sonora Rally -a new addition to the W2RC calendar in 2023- where he triumphed with victory on all five stages. His recent achievements even prompted his hometown of St. George, Utah to proclaim 'Skyler Howes Day' in his honour on 4 November. Skyler made his Dakar debut in 2019, but admitted that the stress of the occasion got to him, resulting in a bout of sickness, a crash and a dislocated shoulder. He then broke his neck three months before Dakar 2020, but still managed to take a superb ninth place overall for the Klymciw Racing team. That prompted Bart van der Velden to offer him a full service package with the BAS Dakar KTM team in 2021, even if Skyler still had to pay his way to Saudi Arabia. The American finished fifth and was soon putting pen to paper on a three-year deal with Husqvarna. Last year’s Dakar ended in disappointment as he crashed out on Stage 5, but after a run of successes in 2022, Skyler looks ready to take flight and compete for the ultimate prize.

 “Relatively speaking I'm still pretty new at this. Some guys have been doing it for a long time, they talk about things that happened back in 2011! When I think about where I've come from and what I had to do to get here… that hardship and struggle taught me a lot of really valuable lessons. I've always had to do more with less. In the past, it was wake up, go to work, and put all my focus on working out how to get to the race. Building my bikes, all the logistics behind everything. Training always took a back seat. Now it's the opposite. With the team, everything is taken care of. My entire job is to focus on making sure my body and mind are 100% prepared and focused for the race. There's still a ton more I can learn. I was super, super proud to win in Morocco. A lot of it has to do with preparation in the team and confidence with the bike. Last year was my first Dakar as a factory racer. I was working with Marc [Coma] and Jordi [Viladoms], and we had a really good strategy, which put me in a perfect position. I was feeling good and confident on the bike. But that's one thing about the Dakar; there's a lot of stuff out there that can bite you. I hit a big compression in the dunes, which was unfortunate. But as long as the vibe is good and I'm enjoying my time and experience, that’s when I ride best. The goal is to win, but I'm not going to focus so much on that specific goal. I'll focus on doing my best every day, minimising mistakes and just having a blast with my team. I feed a lot off of positivity and looking forward, not looking into the past and seeing what I did wrong. I'm really looking forward to the longer stages and a longer Dakar. That's what I enjoy most about rallies, spending long days on the bike. But you still have to race it corner to corner. It's another one of those mental things: just race kilometre to kilometre, keep the mental focus going. The only way forward is to keep pushing those limits and make new items on the bucket list to check off, so that's the plan."

Ranking 2023

Total Dakar Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Sonora Rally Desafio Ruta 40 Rallye du Maroc
24 24
(3.)
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