Kevin Benavides rounds off the Silk Way Rally with a victory in the final stage
A fourth stage win for Kevin Benavides in the 2019 Silk Way Rally. Today saw the tenth and final day of racing and the arrival in Dunhuang, with Monster Energy Honda Team’s Argentinean rider finishing his maiden participation in the rally with another triumph.
The second round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, the Silk Way Rally, has come to an end. With a triumph in the final stage Monster Energy Honda Team’s Argentinean ace takes his stage victory tally to four as the 5000-kilometre odyssey wraps up in Dunhuang. Over half of the total length between the Russian city Irkutsk, where the rally kicked off ten days ago, and the latter half in China, was completed against the clock. Monster Energy Honda Team had to deal with a wide range of terrain types en route. The final stint involved 255 high-speed kilometres over hard track, with less navigation than on previous occasions, before concluding the rally in Dunhuang, the majestic city in the heart of the Gobi desert.
In spite of a huge effort, Kevin Benavides was unable to accomplish his mission to land a podium place. The fourth stage victory on the final day of the Silk Way Rally, however, left the South American 36 seconds short of the podium after over 26 hours of rallying.
Joan Barreda and José Ignacio Cornejo were both showing blistering pace on the final stage to finish in fourth and fifth positions. The two riders finished well down the overall final standings at ninth and eleventh respectively.
Monster Energy Honda Team will be back in action in international competition next month with the Atacama Rally, the third date of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, to be held in Chile from 2nd to 7th September.