Positive learning experience for Benavides in the Sardegna Rally Race
Argentinean Team HRC rider Kevin Benavides finished sixth on his debut in the highly-demanding Sardegna Rally Race. The main mission of the rider was skills acquisition.
Kevin Benavides got a taste of the tough Sardegna Rally Race as part of an ongoing rally training schedule which takes in three races in little more than a month. The Team HRC rider concluded the event with a satisfying sixth overall place in a race which included some excellent high-points such as a second place in section two of the opening stage and third place in the marathon stage.
The particularities of the Italian rally – the third round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – require riders to make constant reference to navigation with highly-detailed notes and multiple direction changes. Benavides comes away with a very positive scorecard in this respect – especially considering that it was his maiden SRR – with only a couple of minor mistakes adding various minutes to the overall timesheet. On the final day, in an attempt to make up a place in the overall rankings, a navigation error cost him a top-five finish.
The Team HRC rider has already relocated to Argentina to prepare for the forthcoming Desafío Ruta 40, which gets underway on 19th June in San Rafael. This will be the second competition in the Dakar Series 2016 and Team HRC will participate with various riders: Joan Barreda, Paulo Gonçalves and Mickael Metge, as well as local boy Benavides.
Kevin Benavides / Best on stage: 3rd RACE: 6th
'' The Sardegna Rally has finished and I’m very pleased to have participated as it has been a great experience. In spite of having made a couple of mistakes on the second day of competition and on the final day, I have learned such a lot from this very nice race. The navigation is completely different from what we use with the rally bike. But I had a very good time and I think that it has been very positive. I have to try and learn from the mistakes. This race has been very good for learning mental agility, pace and speed. I’d like to be able to come back here next year with more training and hopefully be able to make it onto the podium. Now I’ve got a few days rest before getting focused on the next challenge which is the Ruta 40.''
Martino Bianchi (Team HRC General Manager)
'' The Sardegna Rally Race has once again proved itself to be a world class race, as well as being a really tough rally, which is particularly demanding for the navigation. It has been a very important experience for Kevin who has shown that he has pace and good navigational skills in such a difficult rally. His overall finishing position should be a great stimulus for him to go back and try and improve in future editions. He was able to enjoy the race with Simone Agazzi’s team, Honda RS Moto Rally Team, who I wish to thank for making it possible for Kevin to compete in the event. In a week’s time most of the team will head off to Argentina to compete in the Ruta 40. Three races – the Merzouga, Sardegna and the Ruta 40 – all in thirty-five days is a great challenge for Team HRC.''