Runner-up result on Dakar stage seven for Luciano Benavides

Luciano Benavides, thoroughly rejuvenated following the rest day, battled through the extensive and challenging stage seven of the 2024 Dakar Rally to secure the second-fastest time. Maintaining his eighth-place position in the provisional overall rankings, the Husqvarna Factory Racing rider now has his sights set on carrying his momentum and speed into day eight of the race.

It was another challenging day in the desert for all competitors as the 2024 Dakar Rally headed into week two. With a total distance of 873 kilometres ahead of him, Benavides set off into the stage well-rested after his day off. The time to relax and regroup undoubtedly paid off for the Argentinian. Sixth into the special, Luciano got his head down and pushed hard right from the start.

Maintaining a consistent speed throughout the challenging 483-kilometre special, which took competitors along winding, rocky paths before transitioning into a stretch of dunes, Benavides steadily improved his position to ultimately secure his runner-up finish. The excellent result ensures the FR 450 Rally rider retained his eighth-place position in the overall rankings with five stages left to complete.

Stage eight of the Dakar will see riders cover a total of 678 kilometres, of which 458 will be the timed special raced against the clock.

Luciano Benavides: “I’m really pleased with how today’s stage has gone for me. We made some changes to the bike and they have really paid off – even on the many different terrains today, the bike felt good, and that helped to increase my confidence. It was a long stage but I was able to settle into a good rhythm for much of the special. I did make a couple of mistakes that cost me some time, but on the whole, it was a really positive stage. The goal now is to carry this feeling into tomorrow and the rest of the rally.”

2024 Dakar Rally – Stage 7 Provisional Classification

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 5:18:33
2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 5:21:45
3. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 5:22:05
4. Ross Branch (Hero) 5:25:09
5. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 5:25:59

2024 Dakar Rally – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 7]

1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 32:37:20
2. Ross Branch (Hero) 32:37:21
3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 32:44:08
4. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 32:51:59
5. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 33:01:59

8. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 33:20:32