Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Kevin Benavides has delivered an outstanding ride on day two of the 2022 Rallye du Maroc, posting the second-quickest time and finishing less than three minutes down on the day’s stage winner. Toby Price also enjoyed a solid day in the Moroccan dunes, finishing sixth and moving up to second in the provisional overall rally standings.
Starting in 10th position paid off for Kevin Benavides today as the experienced Argentinian was able to make the very best use of his skill and speed to secure a runner-up finish on the 435-kilometer stage two. Benavides started off strongly, immediately posting the fifth-fastest time to the first checkpoint. And while other riders ahead struggled with the tricky navigation on the stage, Kevin was able to complete the special with the minimum of mistakes to ensure his excellent result.
Benavides will now face the unenviable task of setting off second tomorrow into stage three, but is pleased with his riding from today and looks forward to the challenge.
Kevin Benavides: “Today was a really good day for me, I tried to push all day. I felt really good on the bike and that is thanks to the team and all the hard work we have put in testing and developing. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind one rider and was forced to eat his dust for around 100 kilometers. I lost a little time there, which is frustrating. Then later on there was one waypoint that I think everyone struggled with. I lost a little more time there. After that I pushed on towards the finish and was able to finish second. Tomorrow will be tricky, but I’ll focus on my navigation and give it full gas as always.”
Continuing to maintain a fast, consistent pace at this year’s Rallye du Maroc, Toby Price put in an excellent performance on the mixed terrain and dunes of stage two to complete the 315-kilometer special in sixth position. Bringing his KTM 450 RALLY home just three minutes behind his teammate, Price moves up to second place in the provisional overall rally standings, less than two minutes from the lead. And with a good start position for tomorrow’s stage three, the Aussie looks set to continue making time on his rivals.
Toby Price: “Stage two went well for me and I’m in a solid position in the overall. It was a good stage result finishing sixth, but not too far behind the guys in front on time, so that should work out well for tomorrow. Yeah, it was definitely a difficult day today – they certainly tried to make things tough and test us with the waypoints. There was one in particular that was really tough, it was like finding a needle in a haystack! When you’re trying to race at the same time it proves really difficult, but I think everyone struggled a little with that one. All-in-all I’m happy, I stayed on two-wheels all day and now I’m ready for day three.”
The 2022 Rallye du Maroc continues with day three tomorrow, a 322-kilometer looped stage, starting and finishing in Laayoune. Riders will face a 299-kilometer timed special, raced against the clock.
Provisional Results – 2022 Rallye du Maroc, Stage 2
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 3:18:44
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 3:21:38 +2:54
3. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 3:21:45 +3:01
4. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 3:21:56 +3:12
5. Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 3:23:57 +5:13
6. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:24:49 +6:05
Provisional Standings – 2022 Rallye du Maroc (after 2 of 5 stages)
1. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 8:12:44
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 8:14:24 +1:40
3. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 8:16:26 +3:42
4. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 8:16:43 +3:59
5. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 8:17:06 +4:22
8. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 8:23:26 +10:42