Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Kevin Benavides has posted the third-fastest time on today’s fourth and penultimate stage of the 2022 Rallye du Maroc. Unfortunately for Toby Price, a crash early in the timed special forced him to withdraw from the stage. Although Toby was found not to have sustained any serious injuries, the Australian will play no further part in the race.
The longest day of the event at 565 kilometers, stage four saw competitors make their way back to the bivouac at Tan-Tan. The 346 kilometers of special led riders through incredible scenery and over some of the most varied and testing terrain seen at this year’s event.
Setting off eighth into the day’s stage, Kevin Benavides’ plan was to push from the beginning of the special to make up time on those ahead. Suffering pain in the foot that he had injured on day three, the Argentinian was forced to maintain a solid pace over the faster opening kilometers of the stage, but was still able to remain inside the top four on time.
Feeling good and more comfortable on his KTM 450 RALLY after the break at refueling, the former Dakar Champion was able to increase his pace over the final 100 kilometers to secure his third-place result for the stage, which in turn elevated him to sixth in the provisional rally standings.
With just the final 379-kilometer stage five to go, Benavides is in a good position to attack the last day of competition in Morocco and try to make up further time on his rivals.
Kevin Benavides: “Overall, I’m happy with today and how the stage went for me. I set off eighth, and after hurting my foot yesterday I did have a little pain at first and I think that slowed my pace a little. As the adrenalin kicked in and the stage progressed, I started to feel a little better and was able to push harder. I’m happy with third position for that stage, especially as everyone was pushing hard today on the longest stage of the race. I’m lying sixth overall, but I don’t think that position really shows my performance for the race as I had to open stage one and that has forced me to try and catch up each day. I will now focus on tomorrow, the last day, and try to make up more time and finish the race strong.”
On form at this year’s Rallye du Maroc and well in the hunt for a podium result, Toby Price unfortunately suffered a crash early on in today’s timed special. Remaining conscious and eager to carry on with the stage, after undergoing checks by on-site medical staff, it was decided it would be safer for the two-time Dakar Champion to be taken to the local hospital to further assess his condition. Thankfully, Toby was found not to have sustained any serious injuries. We wish Toby all the best and hope to see him back aboard his KTM 450 RALLY as soon as possible.
The 2022 Rallye du Maroc concludes with Thursday’s stage five, a 379-kilometer stage that includes a timed special of 290 kilometers. Riders leave the bivouac at Tan-Tan and head north, returning to the host city of Agadir and the checkered flag.
Provisional Results – 2022 Rallye du Maroc, Stage 4
1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 3:21:35
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GASGAS, 3:25:51 +4:16
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), 3:27:46 +6:11
4. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 3:29:04 +7:29
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 3:29:21
Provisional Standings – 2022 Rallye du Maroc (after 4 of 5 stages)
1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 14:51:42
2. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 14:52:53 +1:11
3. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GASGAS, 14:58:31 +6:49
4. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 14:59:55 +8:13
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 15:05:06 +13:24
6. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 15:07:11 +15:29