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Kevin Benavides claims first Dakar 2020 stage win on a brutal day

Kevin Benavides claims first Dakar 2020 stage win on a brutal day

12.01.2020: The seventh stage of the Dakar Rally 2020 has concluded in Wadi Al-Dawasir with Kevin Benavides taking the top honours. The entire Monster Energy Honda squad wishes to express its condolences at the loss of Paulo Gonçalves, rider with the team from 2013 t

The seventh stage of the Dakar Rally 2020 has concluded in Wadi Al-Dawasir with Kevin Benavides taking the top honours. The entire Monster Energy Honda squad wishes to express its condolences at the loss of Paulo Gonçalves, rider with the team from 2013 to 2019.



The very high number of kilometres on the stage seven agenda meant, for many, a day of open throttle. The second week of racing got underway this morning with riders set to tackle the longest special stage of the entire rally (546 kilometres against the clock), from the country’s great metropolis Riyadh, southbound with destination Wadi Al-Dawasir. The route took in varied terrain types, going from multiple tracks in off-piste plains, requiring maximum concentration, to lengthy stretches of dunes, making up a quarter of the special.



The victory went to Kevin Benavides who headed out today firmly intent on moving on from Friday’s bitter pill. The Argentinean rider was in attack mode from the outset in a bid to clinch the stage, a goal which he achieved, coming home with a 1’23 surplus over brother-in-arms Joan Barreda who also rode a storming stage to confirm how his performance continues to improve. The Spaniard has reduced the gap from the adversaries ahead.



Ricky Brabec, winner of stage six, started out intent on minimizing the burden of having to open the track, a task which he carried out effectively, to post fifth on the day without conceding much time to his immediate pursuers on the leader board.


Chilean rider José Ignacio Cornejo kept the same steady pace as the opening week which has consented him a place among the overall top five. Today’s six place means the rider moves up to third place in the general rankings.



Tomorrow will once again play out on a looping circuit, this time from Wadi Al-Dawasir. The day will include 400 kilometres of special on a total stage of 700 kilometres.



Today the rally showed its harshest side. Portuguese rider Paulo Gonçalves (5/2/1979) passed away while competing in the stage. Paulo was a rider with the team from 2013 to 2019, who, in addition to accruing various triumphs, was garlanded with the runner-up prize in the 2015 Dakar Rally and was the FIM Cross-Country Rallies world champion in 2013.



Monster Energy Honda Team would like to offer its most heartfelt condolences to his children, family and friends. Rest in peace.



This is…  Stage 8
Link > 240 km – Special > 474 km – Total > 713 km



The day’s loop is an opportunity to head south, where the competitors will find mountain landscapes, canyons and surprising colour contrasts: black stones on white sand, for example… Pure speed freaks will get what they want with a 40 km straight line, foot to the floor, while the few dune fields of the day will demand considerable dexterity.

   
       
   
Ricky Brabec  9



On arriving we heard the news about Paulo. We all know that motorcycling is a dangerous sport, but today is a really sad day for the people of Cross-Country Rallies. Our thoughts are with the family. The race standings don’t mean anything anymore. It’s secondary. Life goes way beyond sport.         

   
       
Results Stage 7



1    BENAVIDES Kevin     7    ARG    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    04:36'22
2    BARREDA Joan     12    SPA    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    + 01'23
3    WALKNER Matthias     2    AUT    KTM Factory Racing Team    KTM    +04'17
4    BENAVIDES Luciano     16    ARG    KTM Factory Racing Team    KTM    +04'48
5    BRABEC Ricky     9    USA    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    +04'52
6    CORNEJO José Ignacio     17    CHI    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    +06'12
7    PRICE Toby     1    AUS    KTM Factory Racing Team    KTM    +07'57
8    QUINTANILLA Pablo     5    CHI    Husqvarna Factory Rally Team    Husqvarna    +08'44
9    SHORT Andrew     6    USA    Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing    Husqvarna    +09'02
10    CAIMI Franco     22    ARG    Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team    Yamaha    +09'59
   
   
       
   
    Rider Standings PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 7



1    BRABEC Ricky     9    USA    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    28:25'01
2    QUINTANILLA Pablo     5    CHI    Husqvarna Factory Rally Team    Husqvarna    +24'48
3    CORNEJO José Ignacio     17    CHI    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    +27'01
4    PRICE Toby     1    AUS    KTM Factory Racing Team    KTM    +28'44
5    BARREDA Joan     12    SPA    Monster Energy Honda Team    Honda    +29'39
6    WALKNER Matthias     2    AUT    KTM Factory Racing Team    KTM    +33'04
7    BENAVIDES Luciano     16    ARG    KTM Factory Racing Team    KTM    +38'58
8    HOWES Skyler     59    USA    Klymciw Racing    KTM    +01:15'02
9    CAIMI Franco     22    ARG    Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team    Yamaha    +01:15'31
10    SVITKO Stefan     19    SLO    Slovnaft Team    KTM    +01:19'41
   
   
       
   
   
Monster Energy Honda Team- photos Honda RallyZone
   

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/kevin-benavides-first-dakar-stage-win-brutal-day---202498.html

12.01.2020 / MaP

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