Kevin Benavides was 2nd in the seventh stage, regained ground and got within shot of the lead

“What a nice way to be able to celebrate my birthday! I said ‘today I have to accelerate, and doing what I like’. It was a beautiful stage. I went out to push from behind. The navigation was very complicated. Then I met Joan Barreda, with whom we accelerate together ”, he said very happily Kevin Benavídes, who was second in the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally 2022 and, with that result, he put himself within range again in the general classification, in which he is third.

This is how the Salta driver celebrated his 33rd birthday. “Of course it’s a great way to celebrate. I do what I like, which is running. And I’m on a Dakar, and now again with possibilities and fighting for the top of the race ”, he highlighted upon arrival in Al Dawadimi, west of the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, after the rest day.

Benavídes (KTM) was just 44 seconds behind the winner of the stage, the Chilean Ignacio Cornejo, great friend of Kevin, since the father of Nacho He was the personal trainer of Salta in the Iquique area, in northern Chile.

With this result, Benavídes is now third overall, 5m23s behind the leader, Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha). In the middle of both, as an escort, is Matthias Walkner, a teammate of Salta.

“This week we started with everything, after the first one that was not so good,” said Benavídes, who also took advantage of two striking situations: an unusual accident before starting by Daniel Sanders, who hit himself before starting. They say that he would have fallen asleep: was knocked out of the race by a blow to the elbow. Added to that was the first bad day for Sam Sunderland, who had been dominating the Dakar with the Gas Gas motorcycle (actually it is a KTM), and was now fourth.

Kevin Benavídes, in the immensity of the Arab desert.  Photo EFE / Biel Aliño

Kevin Benavídes, in the immensity of the Arab desert. Photo EFE / Biel Aliño

“The game is open. Now I will have to open the route in the next stage. I will accelerate fully so that they cannot get close. Anyway, the secret will be not to make mistakes in terms of navigation, rather than speed, ”Kevin explained.

Upon arriving at his team, where he received the greetings for the great performance in the seventh stage but also for his birthday, Benavídes indicated: “In the Dakar everything can happen. There are good days and bad days. You have to be prepared for everything, how we work with my psychologist. Therefore, tomorrow we will have to go out again to give everything ”.

Was it a key day? The Argentine rider described it like this: “I don’t know if it was a key day. On Monday I won’t have to lose so much if I open the track. But Now the race got exciting, we put it spicy”.

So that Papa Norberto would be completely happy here in Al Dawadimi, his other son, Luciano also had a brilliant performance, arriving in fourth place with Husqvarna: “I did a great job. I felt fast all day. I gave a few minutes with the navigation in a sector. But I am very calm because of the pace achieved. I can fight through the stages, ”Luciano commented.

The Benavídes brothers: Kevin and Luciano.  Photo Shakedown

The Benavídes brothers: Kevin and Luciano. Photo Shakedown

The youngest of the Benavídes brothers added: “I am finding the return to this Dakar. I understand it, I understand the rhythm, how to play with strategy, where to accelerate. I’m liking it. Too bad that because of that mistake on the first day I’m a bit far off in the general standings. But this is my best Dakar by far ”.

Special for Clarín from Al Dawadimi, Saudi Arabia.


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Tammy Sewell is our Writer and Social at Tammy loves sports, she writes our celebrities news. She spends time browsing through several celebs news sources as well the Instagram. Email: Phone: +1 513-209-1700

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