Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Kevin Benavides will not take part in round two of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, after suffering a crash during the pre-race shakedown tests yesterday, Wednesday 22 February. The accident resulted in the newly crowned Dakar Rally Champion breaking his right femur.

Benavides was ultimately airlifted to the Mediclinic City Hospital in Dubai, where his injury was confirmed, and initial neurovascular assessments thankfully found no major damage to the blood vessels or nerves. Kevin entered surgery today, Thursday February 23, at 10am local time. The surgery lasted for just over two hours with doctors extremely pleased with the outcome. It is expected that Kevin will be discharged from hospital in the coming days, depending on his progress.

Although it is currently difficult to determine the length of time required for Benavides to return to racing, all at Red Bull KTM wish him the best and a full and speedy recovery.

Norbert Stadlbauer – Rally Team Manager: “Yesterday was a very sad day for the whole team with our top Dakar Rally rider having a crash and breaking his femur. After winning the Dakar and leading the points standings in the world championship, Kevin was preparing to take on round two of the series and hopefully secure another outstanding result. Thankfully, it looks like the surgery went well and Kevin has already begun his road to recovery. Unfortunately, this accident demonstrates the incredible highs and lows we sometimes see in our sport. But we of course wish him the very best, from myself and the whole team, and hope to see him back aboard his KTM 450 RALLY as soon as possible.”