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Kevin Benavides at the 2017 Desafio Ruta 40
NEWS

More honours gained with excellent Desafio Ruta 40 victory for HRC in Argentina

Sep 012017

Job done for Monster Energy Honda’s Kevin Benavides. The off-road racing star satisfied the rally fans that lined the route of the 2017 Desafio Ruta 40 for a second consecutive victory in one of Argentina’s most famous treks and for what was the fourth round of five in the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.

The HRC team had been operating on two continents for the last fortnight with round three of the world series occurring in Chile, Joan Barreda and Ricky Brabec acing the Vegas to Reno sprint in north America and then a four-strong effort went against the clock for the Desafio and Benavides’ home stomping ground.

“I am very happy to get my first victory in a world championship race and to be, also, the first Argentinean to get it, also here on home soil, “ he said. “The race got pretty complicated at times but I wish to thank the entire Monster Energy Honda Team for the great job they have done in this race.”

 

Goncalves was encouraged by his runner-up spot that allowed him to close within five points of championship leader Pablo Quintanilla and with only the fixture in Libya in October to go. Joan Barreda missed the race through injury. “There have been five stages the way it should really be: with navigation and extreme difficulty,” the Portuguese said.

 

“I'm happy because I've been pushing hard every day to be at the top. I was very close and even managed to become leader on the third day. I still had a chance to win it although yesterday I had some problems; I fell and that messed things up a little and Kevin ended up winning the race. I want to congratulate him because he has done a great job.”

Another bright spot of the Argentine affair was Michael Metge’s final stage success representing his maiden triumph at world championship level. “This race has been really nice, with a lot of off-piste, many dry rivers; the kind of terrain on which I haven’t been able to train too much this year. I know I've had a good pace over the stages and that only an electrical problem stopped me from getting a better result in the overall,” said the Frenchman who ended the rally in ninth spot.

 

The crew remain in South America with training and prep ongoing for the four days of the Baja Inka in Peru coming up in September: a long time for the whole squad and with a full support programme continuing on the factory CRF450 Rallys. “I couldn’t thank everyone enough in the Monster Energy Rally Team because they’ve put such a lot of work into the bikes and the strategy,” revealed Ricky Brabec, fifth in Argentina. “Also, the mechanics too - they’re up before the riders; they go to bed later than anybody else. Their job is not easy.”

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