As the dust settles on the 2020 Dakar Rally, which marked a new chapter for the event at a new location in Saudi Arabia, we at the KTM Blog have been taking a look through the breath-taking images from this year’s race.
Tag: Luciano Benavides
Chasing the white tiger: Jordi Viladoms talks us through the brand-new adventure of the KTM rally team
After the amazing 1st-2nd-3rd podium in Lima and the 1st-2nd podium in Abu Dhabi, the KTM rally team is again READY TO RACE – this time by taking the road less travelled, diving into the unknown. “I am intrigued by the unknown,” says the team manager Jordi Viladoms, “which is good, but we still might be troubled by some questions.”
With the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the first KTM Ultimate Race checked off and the big news about the Dakar Rally moving to Saudi Arabia, we wanted to elaborate on the moment’s hot topic.
Luciano Benavides’ jumpy ride to the world cross-country rallies podium: “I said to myself I could do it, for myself, and the team”
It was 11am, April 4, when Luciano Benavides, still a junior, rode into the Red Bull KTM Factory Racings Rally Team’s paddock at Yas Marina Circuit as runner-up of the 29th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. A big smile appeared on his face when he took off his helmet. It was the take off the 23-year old Argentinian had been waiting impatiently for quite some time. “In this race I discovered the new me,” he said. The magic can’t be truly explained, but we can at least try.
The Dakar Rally is not a race where you can be complacent. Despite 17 consecutive wins for the KTM Factory Racing Team, each member of staff involved in the rally program is meticulous in the preparation for one of the toughest and most famous races in the world.
KTM Factory Racing’s Luciano Benavides is 23 years old. Joining the rally squad, the Argentinian had no previous experience in the notoriously difficult rally races, but he had the speed, the will and the right kind of personality for the job. Heading towards his second Dakar, which will take place next January, the KTM-ace is optimistic on what he can achieve.
KTM has enjoyed no fewer than 16 consecutive Rally Dakar victories. Even since 2011, when rules changed and engine sizes were reduced to a maximum of 450cc in an effort to bring other manufacturers into the event, KTM have won every single race. With an all-new bike for 2018, KTM once again take to the start well-prepared, well-motivated and hoping to take win number 17 …
Winner of the 2017 Rally Dakar, Sam Sunderland has had a mixed season in this year’s FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. A title contender right up to the final round in Morocco, Sunderland endured a series of minor injuries and bad luck that eventually ruled him out of the running. Despite this, his pace throughout the year has been hugely impressive, with wins at the opening two rounds in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Sam heads into the 2018 Dakar as the man to beat.
With 16 consecutive wins at the notoriously tough Rally Dakar the KTM Factory Racing Team is gearing up for another tough battle in January with the sole aim of continuing this unbelievable success-streak.