Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Luciano Benavides is excited to return to FIM World Rally-Raid Championship action at his home race, the Desafio Ruta 40 – the fourth and penultimate round of the 2023 series. Following a long, four-month break since the last event, Benavides will be looking to maintain the momentum that has carried him to podium finishes at the two previous rounds.
Currently lying second in the world championship standings, just seven points behind the leader, Benavides has enjoyed a highly successful season so far. After securing a top-six result at the Dakar Rally in January, the FR 450 Rally rider went on to finish as runner-up at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, followed by third at the Sonora Rally in Mexico. Now, coming into the latter half of the world championship, Luciano is aiming to make use of his home advantage to claim another top result and close in on the series leade
The format of the Desafio Ruta 40 will see riders complete a short prologue on Sunday, August 27, before heading out into the desert proper for five full days of racing from La Rioja to the finish in Salta. Of the 2,804 kilometres covered by the RallyGP riders, 1,555 will be timed special, raced against the clock. The Argentine event is expected to challenge all competitors with a mixture of varied terrain including dunes, sandy tracks, and rocky pistes, as well as some technically demanding navigation as riders make their way through each stage. With important championship points available, Benavides will be giving his all from the start to the rally finish in Salta on September 1.
Luciano Benavides: “I’m really happy to be here in Argentina – La Rioja is like a home to me, so it feels so good to be racing here. Your home race is always special, but I’m also sitting in a good position in the championship after three strong results this year, so that makes the race even more important. Of course, I have a good idea of the terrain here, but rally is always unpredictable and the navigation here in Argentina is always really tough. My plan is to take things day-by-day, keep focused, push as hard as I can, and hopefully come away with another solid finish. Since Sonora, I’ve been doing a lot of training, both on the rally bike and the motocross bike. We had a really good test in America too, where I was able to test a few improvements that should help us at this race and in the future. Honestly, I’m feeling really good on the bike, the team have been working hard, and I’m looking forward to getting started here in Argentina.”