The Atacama Rally, on Chilean soil, turned out to be hugely successful for Monster Energy Honda Team’s Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides, who clinched overall victory and the leadership of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
The final day, on a 155-kilometre looping route, starting and finishing in Copiapó, was battled out over the same course that had been used in Stage One. Competitors had to have their wits about them and were faced with some challenging navigation in the dunes as well as some off-piste and dry river beds.
Kevin Benavides rounded off the Atacama Rally as he had started; proving to be the sharpest rider in the race, claiming the final stage and the overall rally victory after an intense final day. The Argentine dominated, stamping his mark of authority throughout the stage and leaving adversaries unable to keep his trail. Moreover, the victory takes Benavides and the Honda CRF450 RALLY to the head of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship leader board, where he now shares the same points as the incumbent world champion.
Benavides’ team-mates in the Monster Energy Honda Team, Paulo Gonçalves, José Ignacio Cornejo and Ricky Brabec all continued to improve day by day, today occupying fifth, sixth and seventh positions respectively in this final stage and sixth, seventh and ninth in the final rankings.
The next appointment for the Monster Energy Honda Team will be at the Desafío Ruta 40 in Argentina to be held at the end of next week. The race will take place from 25th to 31st August getting underway in San Miguel de Tucumán and concluding in San Juan.
Source: Official Monster Energy Honda Team
Final Standings Atacama Rally 2018
|1||BENAVIDES Kevin||2||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||14:19’39|
|2||PRICE Toby||11||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+4’25|
|3||QUINTANILLA Pablo||1||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+6’27|
|4||WALKNER Matthias||3||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+10’21|
|5||CAIMI Franco||8||ARG||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+22’47|
|6||GONCALVES Paulo||4||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+23’32|
|7||CORNEJO José Ignacio||10||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+39’07|
|8||VAN BEVEREN Adrien||6||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+41’39|
|9||BRABEC Ricky||15||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:01’32|
|10||SHORT Andrew||12||USA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+1:03’49|