This year’s Dakar winner, Kevin Benavides, is leaving the Honda team to join the KTM Factory Racing Team. The contract has already been signed. With this, Benavides will defend his Dakar title in orange.
The Argentine originally comes from enduro racing and already finished fourth in the FIM Enduro World Championship almost 10 years ago. This was followed by numerous victories in the national championship. In 2015, Benavides switched to rallying and since then has also been able to score a number of victories. In 2017, he was runner-up in the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship. He also took second place in the 2018 Dakar before claiming victory in 2021.
Kevin Benavides: “I feel so excited to join the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team, it’s a big, big change for me. As Dakar champion the move is an important new chapter in my racing career. I have always been a fan of KTM bikes, of Red Bull, and of how the team is organized – I truly believe that it’s the best choice for me to further my racing and to be able to challenge for more Dakar wins and the World Championship title. I have always enjoyed taking on new challenges in my life and I’m really looking forward to getting to know the team, the bike, and pushing myself even harder. The plan, after my first visit to the factory in Austria, is to head out to Dubai and get some time on the bike, and with the team. The goal for this year is to try and adapt to the bike as quickly as possible and get to know all the people in the new team so that I feel comfortable and can concentrate on my riding. I hope to be able to continue my own training program – I like to spend as much time on the bikes as possible, including the rally bike but also motocross and enduro, too. Looking ahead to next year, the ultimate goal would be to win back-to-back Dakars. I have already been lucky enough to be a factory supported rider in enduro years ago, so to now be back on a KTM and in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rally team is a dream and a real honor. I’m really thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to get racing!”
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