The Argentine Benavides suffered a delay in the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally and resigned three positions in the general classification of motorcycles, in which he now occupies the sixth place at 14:47 of the British Sam Sunderland, who regained the leadership yielded on Sunday.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider lost valuable minutes on the 395-kilometer special between the Arab cities of Al-Dawadimi and Wadi Ad Dawasir, relegating him to thirteenth place in the set after taking second place in the previous stage.
“I had a problem with my rear fuel tank, which was not working, I must have lost 6 or 7 minutes to fix it but the most important thing is that I was able to start again,” said the Salta player when he reached the finish line.
After that setback, Benavides started a recovery and ended Monday’s stage with a feeling of optimism for the remainder of the competition: “The work of the comeback was above all a question of motivation, of spirit. In the Dakar nothing is lost until the end, you have to be prepared for everything. I know that anything is possible, I will continue to trust myself and attack. I’m not throwing in the towel, “he told the official website of the race.
The Argentine, 33 years old on Sunday, the first South American rider to win the Dakar on motorcycles, is chasing in this edition the record of winning it with a different brand after achieving it last year with Honda.
No one could achieve this particularity since the Dakar in Europe and Africa began its stage in South America (2009-2019) and Saudi Arabia (since 2020). Before, it was the French Cyril Neveu (Yamaha and Honda) and the Italian Edi Orioli (Honda and Cagiva) who set this precedent.
In the absence of four stages, Kevin Benavides will have to recover almost 15 minutes of difference with respect to Sunderland (Gas Gas KTM), who this Monday won the victory escorted by Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Monster Energy Honda, +2: 53) and the Austrian Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM, +4: 11), second in the accumulated.
The Argentine Luciano Benavides, Kevin’s younger brother, qualified today in the seventh step (+9: 32), below the podium occupants, of the Americans Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda) and Mason Klein (Bas Dakar KTM) and Australian Toby Price (Red Bull KTM).
The official Husqvarna team rider moved up one place in the overall standings and was fourteenth, 56:03 behind the leader.
In the car category, Lucio Álvarez from Mendoza was fourth in the global table but this Monday he put an end to his participation in the most demanding rally in the world due to a mechanical failure of his Toyota of the Overdrive team.
The San Rafael driver returned to competition after a three-year absence and was on his way to improve his best historical performance, fifth place in 2012, but an engine problem left him permanently out.
So as the best Argentine positioned in the division was the experienced Orlando Terranova (Prodrive), who finished sixth and occupies the fifth step in the accumulated classification.
If he keeps that place, the Mendoza rider will repeat his best performance in 16 participations as happened in 2013 and 2014.
French guard Sebastian Loeb (Prodrive), third in today’s stage, cut the distance of Qatari leader Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing) by 7 minutes, who entered eleventh on Monday.
The partial was dominated by the hybrid cars of the Audi Sport team: the Swedish Mattias Ekstrom was first and “Monsieur Dakar”, the French Stephane Peterhansel, qualified second.
Peterhansel, 56, is the most successful driver of the Dakar Rally with 14 crowns: six in motorcycles and eight in cars, the most recent last year with Mini.
His compatriot Alexandre Giroud (Yamaha Racing SMX Drag’on) strengthened his dominance in quadricycles, by prevailing in stage 8 and extending his advantage over Cordoba-American guard Pablo Copetti (Yamaha), today third, to 30:47.
The rookie from Mendoza Francisco Moreno (Drag’on Rally Team) was fifth and advanced a place in the divisional: he is already fourth, favored by the delay of Russian Aleksandr Maksimov (Yamaha).
The Dakar 2022 will continue on Tuesday with the ninth stage, which will take place in the form of a loop in Wadi Ad Dawasir, in the center-south of the country, with a route of 491 kilometers (287 timed).
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Benavides suffered a delay