Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Luciano Benavides has placed fifth on stage three of the Sonora Rally – round three of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship. Putting in arguably his strongest performance of the event so far, the FR 450 Rally rider converted his eighth-place start position into a top-five result after a gruelling three and a half hours in the saddle.
Totalling 466 kilometres and including the longest special of this year’s event at an exhausting 350 kilometres, stage three of the Sonora Rally marked the halfway point of the Mexican race. Keeping his focus for the entire day, Benavides showed his class by making a solid start before increasing his pace towards the end to close in on the leaders.
Luciano’s time today was actually the third quickest, but after bonuses were applied to several riders for leading out, the Argentinian dropped to fifth with an eight-minute deficit to the provisional stage winner. The Husqvarna Factory Racing rider now lies in third place overall and with two stages left to contest will be giving his all to defend his podium position.
Luciano Benavides: “The longest stage of the rally and it was a real mixture of terrain with dunes, camel grass, and broken pistes. It felt like a true Dakar stage today. I think I did a good job – I was able to catch my brother around kilometre 60 and eventually got past him and out of the dust. Towards the end it got really slippery, and I might have lost a little time, but I was focused on making it to the finish. Third overall now, which is great, so I’ll keep on pushing to the end.”
2023 Sonora Rally – Stage 3 Provisional Classification
1. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 3:25:08
2. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 3:31:46
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 3:31:48
4. Toby Price (KTM) 3:32:48
5. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:33:30
6. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 3:34:44
2023 Sonora Rally – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 3]
1. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 7:12:07
2. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 7:19:06
3. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 7:27:18
4. Toby Price (KTM) 7:28:49
5. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 7:29:24
6. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 7:29:42