Rocky and rugged terrain presented significant change from endless dunes

Luciano Benavides - Husqvarna Factory Racing - 2024 Dakar Rally - Stage 8

Luciano Benavides has impressively completed stage eight of the Dakar Rally as the second-fastest rider. Putting in a superb performance to finish the 458-kilometre timed special just over 30 seconds down on the eventual stage winner, Luciano remains eighth in the overall standings with four days left to race.

 

A tough timed special made up of a mixture of terrain faced competitors for day eight. The rocky and rugged terrain presented a significant change from the endless dunes of previous stages. Continuing his exceptional run of form in this second week of racing, Benavides pushed hard from his start position near the front of the pack and focused on navigating the demanding 678-kilometre route from Al Duwadimi to Ha’il.
Luciano showcased incredible pace on his FR 450 Rally, quickly overtaking the leader to open much of the challenging stage and gain some valuable bonus time. A small mistake near the end of the special unfortunately meant that a stage win was just out of his grasp today, but the Argentinian was able to hold to complete the stage in second.
Now, with organisers promising an equally tough stage nine tomorrow, Benavides will need to navigate accurately from his second-place start position and deliver another strong ride over the 417-kilometre special in order to move up the overall leaderboard.
Luciano Benavides: “I’m happy with my pace over the past few days, I definitely feel like I am racing faster than I was in week one. The same as yesterday, I was really close to getting the stage win but I just fell short because I made a small mistake near the end of the special and crashed. It’s the first time Kevin and I have done a Benavides 1-2 at the Dakar, so that’s pretty special, for us as brothers and for Argentina.”
2024 Dakar Rally – Stage 8 Provisional Classification
1. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 3:35:03
2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:35:34
3. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 3:36:30
4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:36:44
5. Toby Price (KTM) 3:37:21
2024 Dakar Rally – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 8]
1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 36:16:31
2. Ross Branch (Hero) 36:17:13
3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 36:20:52
4. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 36:28:29
5. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 36:37:02
8. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 36:56:06
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