Placing fourth on Wednesday’s stage 10 of the 2023 Dakar Rally put Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Kevin Benavides in control of the standings.
A 3:30 am start saw the riders ready to attack the 467 km liaison before the short 114km timed special. Leading from the off, after a seventh-placed start, Benavides ultimately crossed the line one minute behind eventual winner Ross Branch - for the Hero Motorsports rider’s second victory of the year - with previous leader Skyler Howes down in 18th.
“Today was really short, but really tough physically as it was raced all in the dunes,” Benavides explained. “I started off in seventh position and just tried to keep a nice flow through all the dunes and it felt really good.
“I did have one crash where I went over the handlebars, but it seems it might have had a positive effect because I only lost about one minute and that means I set of fourth into tomorrow’s stage 11.”