Kevin Benavides took top honours in the eighth stage of the Silk Way Rally. The Argentinean Monster Energy Honda Team rider overcame rivals to become the first winner of a stage held on Chinese soil.

Stage eight of the Silk Way Rally, on its maiden Chinese outing, proved to be one of the most challenging to date. Monster Energy Honda Team pitted their wits against a variety of terrain types including hard ground, open track, sand and the highlight of the day – the first measure of sand dunes. Before the competitors made it back to the bivouac in Alashan, they had to negotiate a liaison section of 430.37 kilometres, the 326.6-kilometre special, followed by another 29.14-kilometre link section.

It was just the kind of ground that suits Kevin Benavides, who finished the special in first spot, recording a time of 4:20.37. The Argentine looked clearly at ease on terrain similar to the type of ground that he habitually trains on in South America.

Kevin’s team-mate at Monster Energy Honda Team, the Chilean rider Nacho Cornejo was likewise having a notable eighth stage posting fourth on the day. Joan Barreda looked comfortable too. After hunting down the two riders that had set out ahead of him, the Spaniard opened the track for a large stretch of the special. In spite of the handicap, the Spanish ace claimed sixth place on the stage.

Tomorrow sees the penultimate stage of the rally between Alashan and Jiayuguan. It will feature a total of 501.2 kilometres, including 290.30 against the clock. Riders will be tackling the spectacular yet imposing Gobi desert.

Kevin Benavides

Kevin Benavides

Today we had a change of scenery and it was a great welcome to China. The stage had a lot of navigation and sand. We entered the sand with some very large dunes. Today I felt very comfortable in the special, I pushed a lot, but in the end I slowed down and had to ease up the pace. This part of China resembles the areas of Fiambalá and Belén in Argentina, so I felt at home.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Joan Barreda

Joan Barreda

It was a beautiful stage today. I started out calmly, but even so I was able to catch the two riders that were ahead before arriving at the refuelling point. From then on, in the open desert, I began to raise the pace. I was practically alone all day opening the track with some complicated navigation, but I kept up the concentration and I think I had a good stage.

Monster Energy Honda Team
José Ignacio Cornejo

José Ignacio Cornejo

Today was a really fun experience; I felt very comfortable. In some parts of the special the navigation was a bit complicated but fortunately I didn’t have any problems and I was able to get comfortably back to the bivouac before facing the coming stages.

Monster Energy Honda Team
Silk Way Rally

Russia-Mongolia-China, Russia

Rally 2019, Round 2

Sunday 14 Jul 2019, 20:14 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Kevin Benavides ARG 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 04:20'37
2 Adrien van Beveren FRA 20 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +0'42
3 Paulo Goncalves POR 16 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +3'05
4 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'44
5 Luciano Benavides ARG 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +5'15
6 Joan Barreda SPA 10 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6'05
7 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +6'32
8 Sam Sunderland GBR 8 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +7'13
9 Andrew Short USA 7 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +7'24
10 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 6 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +14'40
Friday 12 Jul 2019, 14:59 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Oriol Mena SPA 25 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero 2:13'32
2 Adam Tomiczek POL 20 KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +0'16
3 Joan Barreda SPA 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +3'03
4 Sam Sunderland GBR 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4'52
5 Laia Sanz SPA 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team KTM +5'09
6 Andrew Short USA 10 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +5'31
7 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +5'32
8 Adrien van Beveren FRA 8 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +10'48
9 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 7 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +14'02
10 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 6 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +14'12
11 Luciano Benavides ARG 5 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +14'25
12 Maciej Giemza POL 4 KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +17'08
13 Kevin Benavides ARG 3 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +20'16
Thursday 11 Jul 2019, 09:56 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 3:05'31
2 Kevin Benavides ARG 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'33
3 Paulo Goncalves POR 16 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +2'47
4 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 13 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +6'59
5 Adrien van Beveren FRA 11 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +7'37
6 Luciano Benavides ARG 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +8'33
7 Andrew Short USA 9 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +8'51
8 Laia Sanz SPA 8 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team KTM +8'54
9 Oriol Mena SPA 7 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +9'10
10 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 6 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +9'20
13 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 3 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +24'37
21 Joan Barreda SPA 0 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +2:51'29
Wednesday 10 Jul 2019, 11:19 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 4:15'19
2 Luciano Benavides ARG 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3'46
3 Joan Barreda SPA 16 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +4'57
4 Adrien van Beveren FRA 13 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +7'23
5 Andrew Short USA 11 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +8'38
6 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 10 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +9'10
7 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +9'56
8 Oriol Mena SPA 8 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +10'09
9 Paulo Goncalves POR 7 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +11'49
10 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 6 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +12'33
11 Laia Sanz SPA 5 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team KTM +14'47
12 Kevin Benavides ARG 4 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +18'32
Tuesday 9 Jul 2019, 11:25 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Kevin Benavides ARG 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 2:28'14
2 Joan Barreda SPA 20 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +0'30
3 Luciano Benavides ARG 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +1'54
4 Sam Sunderland GBR 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2'46
5 Andrew Short USA 11 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +5'27
6 Adrien van Beveren FRA 10 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +5'44
7 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +6'15
8 Oriol Mena SPA 8 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +6'34
9 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 7 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6'58
10 Paulo Goncalves POR 6 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +8'09
Monday 8 Jul 2019, 13:47 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 2:20'30
2 Oriol Mena SPA 20 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +0'39
3 Paulo Goncalves POR 16 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +0'50
4 Kevin Benavides ARG 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'07
5 Joan Barreda SPA 11 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +2'40
6 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 10 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +2'41
7 Luciano Benavides ARG 9 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2'56
8 Andrew Short USA 8 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +4'24
9 Adrien van Beveren FRA 7 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +6'13
10 Laia Sanz SPA 6 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team KTM +12'57
11 Maciej Giemza POL 5 KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +14'34
12 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 4 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +16'14
Sunday 7 Jul 2019, 11:48 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Kevin Benavides ARG 25 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 00:30'51
2 Luciano Benavides ARG 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +0'36
3 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 16 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +0'51
4 Joan Barreda SPA 13 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1'06
5 Sam Sunderland GBR 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +1'15
6 Paulo Goncalves POR 10 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +1'36
7 Adrien van Beveren FRA 9 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +2'02
8 Franco Caimi 7 ARG 8 Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +2'51
9 Andrew Short USA 7 Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +3'01
10 Oriol Mena SPA 6 Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +3'31
11 Adam Tomiczek POL 5 KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +4'15
12 Maciej Giemza POL 4 KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +4'47
13 José Ignacio Cornejo CHI 3 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6'10
Provisional Standings
Sunday, 14 Jul 2019
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Sam SUNDERLAND GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
2 Kevin BENAVIDES ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
3 Adrien VAN BEVEREN FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha
4 Luciano BENAVIDES ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
5 Andrew SHORT USA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna
6 Franco CAIMI 7 ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha
7 Oriol MENA SPA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero
8 Laia SANZ SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team KTM
9 Adam TOMICZEK POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM
10 Maciej GIEMZA POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM
11 Joan BARREDA SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
12 José Ignacio CORNEJO CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda