Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Luciano Benavides has completed the hugely demanding stage 11 of the Dakar Rally in 26th place. Following his excellent runner-up performance on Wednesday’s stage 10, the FR 450 Rally rider was the second competitor to take to today’s challenging special where he soon found himself up front and opening much of the route.
Totalling 501 kilometres, stage 11 of the Dakar included an extremely tough 346-kilometre timed special that tested riders with a combination of soft sand dunes, faster tracks and canyons, with technically demanding navigation throughout. Although setting off near the front proved to be a disadvantage, Benavides rode extremely well, focusing on his roadbook and safely making his way through the special without any major issues.
Completing the day as 26th fastest, less than 30 minutes down on the eventual stage winner, Luciano lies 13th overall in the event standings and will enjoy a strong start position for the final day of the race – the 680-kilometre stage 12. The young Argentinian’s primary goal is to successfully complete the stage and earn his first Dakar finish riding for the Husqvarna Factory Racing team.
Luciano Benavides: “Another stage done, and it was super tough today. Probably not the best day to start in front, but I did my best as always and I think I did a good job. The navigation was very tricky and with the dunes being so soft it would have been easy for the guys starting behind to make up time. I was able to catch up with Toby (Price) ahead of me and we took it in turns to open the stage. I lost some time, but not enough to affect my position in the overall. There is one day left so I will go out tomorrow and do my best to finish the race strong.”
2022 Dakar Rally – Stage 11 Provisional Classification
1. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 3:30:56
2. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 3:31:00
3. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) 3:33:22
4. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 3:35:50
5. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 3:36:18
6. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 3:38:36
26. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:58:54
2022 Dakar Rally – Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 11)
1. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 37:04:05
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 37:10:57
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 37:11:20
4. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 37:19:35
5. Joan Barreda (Honda) 37:31:59
6. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 37:41:29
13. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 38:15:11