Strong result for Luciano Benavides on Dakar stage nine

Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Luciano Benavides has continued his run of top-10 stage results by placing seventh-fastest on day nine of the Dakar Rally. Equalling his result from day eight, Benavides completed today’s special just over four minutes behind the eventual winner. In the provisional rankings, the FR 450 Rally rider lies 14th overall.

The prescribed route for today’s 287-kilomtere stage nine was very fast, while also posing less of a challenge in terms of navigation. As such, the top competitors completed the stage with very little time to separate them. Setting off seventh into the special due to his strong performance from stage eight, Luciano Benevides used the first 100 kilometres to get comfortable and settle into the fast terrain before focusing on his speed from there to the end of the stage.

Completing the special four minutes and 21 seconds off the leading time, despite navigating through much of the stage on his own, Luciano’s pace shows the quality of his riding and the performance of his Husqvarna Factory Racing machine. With three days left to race, Luciano lies 14th overall, 54 minutes behind the provisional rally leader. However, with times between the riders extremely close, the 26-year-old is fully focused on delivering more strong results, and moving further up the order, to hopefully complete the event well inside the top 10.

Luciano Benavides: “Stage nine was a short, fast stage, but I really enjoyed it. It was made up mostly of rocky valleys and canyons with a few sections of dunes, too. The route was really high speed, so it wasn’t the best day to make up time on everyone else. I tried to be as consistent as I could because I think even a small mistake could end up costing you a lot of time today with everything being so close. I think I did a good job – I’m pleased to get two seventh place finishes in a row now, and again it puts me in a good starting position for tomorrow. I’m feeling good, the bike is working well with no problems, physically I am ok too. The team have also been putting in a lot of good work, so I’m really happy with how everything is going. I’m looking forward to pushing once again tomorrow.”

2022 Dakar Rally – Stage 9 Provisional Classification

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 2:29:30
2. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 2:30:56
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 2:31:17
4. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 2:31:36
5. Joan Barreda (Honda) 2:31:40
6. Andrew Short (Yamaha) 2:33:26
7. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 2:33:51

2022 Dakar Rally – Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 9)

1. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 30:14:03
2. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 30:16:15
3. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 30:17:59
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 30:18:44
5. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 30:24:25
6. Joan Barreda (Honda) 30:25:00

14. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 31:08:36