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Kevin Benavides claims the leadership with a second consecutive stage victory

Kevin Benavides claims the leadership with a second consecutive stage victory

The longest stage in the Atacama Rally, held today in Copiapó, turned out to be a great success for Kevin Benavides behind the bars of the Honda CRF450 RALLY. The Argentinean Monster Energy Honda Team rider set off this morning from first place and proved to be not only unreachable, but also managed to chalk up the day’s fastest time.

This second stage, the longest of the Atacama Rally, with a total of 440.88 kilometres – including 375.91 against the clock – had the start of the special stage delayed due to the usual appearance of the ‘camanchaca’, a dense local fog that kept the security helicopter, which guarantees race safety, firmly grounded. Once the action got underway, it did so over 73 kilometres less than had previously been scheduled, reducing the special to a total of 303 kilometres.

Benavides set a cracking pace on a battle ground of mostly track, but with some off-piste where he was able to really put the Honda CRF450 RALLY through its paces. By the end of the 303 kilometres, the Monster Energy Honda Team rider had opened a one minute margin over the nearest second-placed rival. As a result Benavides now lies 1’53” ahead of Pablo Quintanilla in the general rankings.

American Ricky Brabec was the second quickest of the Monster Energy Honda Team, posting fifth, 3’17” adrift of his team-mate. Paulo Gonçalves and José Ignacio Cornejo both turned out solid performances and will be looking to claw back time from their adversaries over the coming days.

Tomorrow sees the third stage of the Atacama Rally. There will be a timed special of 259.27 kilometres on a day where competitors will cover a total of 335.17 kilometres.

Results Stage 2
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BENAVIDES Kevin 2 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 3:44’04
2 SUNDERLAND Sam 5 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +1’01
3 PRICE Toby 11 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2’05
4 WALKNER Matthias 3 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3’00
5 BRABEC Ricky 15 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3’17
6 QUINTANILLA Pablo 1 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +3’33
7 CAIMI Franco 8 ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +4’27
8 GONCALVES Paulo 4 POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +5’55
9 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 6 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +13’04
10 MENA Oriol 14 SPA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +13’13
11 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 9 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +14’16
12 SHORT Andrew 12 USA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +17’54
13 CORNEJO José Ignacio 10 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +20’09
14 GIEMZA Maciej 18 POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +30’21
15 RODRIGUES Joaquim 16 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +31’43

2018 Cross-Country Rallies Wednesday, August 15th 2018

Stage Round FIM-3 , 2 Atacama Rally 2018
Provisional standings after Stage 2

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BENAVIDES Kevin 2 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 6:39’39
2 QUINTANILLA Pablo 1 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +1’53
3 PRICE Toby 11 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6’04
4 WALKNER Matthias 3 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +7’42
5 CAIMI Franco 8 ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +12’40
6 BRABEC Ricky 15 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +17’20
7 GONCALVES Paulo 4 POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +19’06
8 SUNDERLAND Sam 5 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +19’52
9 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 6 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +23’46
10 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 9 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +26’10
11 CORNEJO José Ignacio 10 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +36’04

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