Luciano Benavides has finished in second place overall at his home event, the Desafio Ruta 40. Putting in five days of strong performances over the course of the Argentinian rally, the Husqvarna Factory Racing rider completed the event as the top FIM World Rally-Raid Championship competitor, earning himself the full 25 points. In doing so, Benavides now leads the series standings by nine points with one round left to contest.
Stage five of the Desafio Ruta 40 was another long yet fast-paced day in the saddle for all riders. Beginning in an off-trail riverbed section, the route soon transitioned to rocky tracks as it travelled north from Belen to Salta. While the navigation wasn't as challenging as on previous days, competitors still had to remain focused throughout the 258 kilometres of timed special that determined the results.
After delivering three consecutive second-place stage results, followed by his victory on day four, Luciano put in solid but safe ride on today’s special. Choosing not to risk any last-minute mistakes, the 28-year-old steered his FR 450 Rally to ninth. In doing so he secured his overall runner-up result and the all-important first place in the W2RC rankings
Luciano Benavides: “I’m really, really happy. It’s been an amazing race here in Argentina and to finish the race as leader of the world championship is truly something incredible. So now it’s time to celebrate a little bit, a few days of rest, and then full focus on Morocco because I want to do well there and make history as world champion. The fans here have been fantastic, especially on the final stage where they were cheering us into the finish, that felt amazing. I’d love to be able to reward them by claiming the world title.”
Husqvarna Factory Racing returns to FIM World Rally-Raid Championship action at the final round of the series – the Rallye du Maroc, held in Morocco from October 12-18.
2023 Desafio Ruta 40 – Stage 5 Provisional Classification
1. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 2:39:44
2. Ross Branch (Hero) 2:40:42
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 2:41:23
4. Toby Price (KTM) 2:42:43
5. Bradley Cox (KTM) 2:43:19
6. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 2:43:20
9. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 2:49:09
2023 Desafio Ruta 40 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 5]
1. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 15:58:46
2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 16:10:22
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 16:20:02
4. Ross Branch (Hero) 16:25:31
5. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 16:27:38
6. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 16:37:54
Source: Husqvarna Factory Racing