Kevin Benavides has reflected on his performance in stage 1A of the 2022 Dakar Rally on New Year’s Day.

The reigning Dakar champion in the bikes category started the title defense on Saturday. He finished 4th in stage 1A with a 2-minute gap to the winner Daniel Sanders. It meant that he would have to choose his starting position for Sunday’s stage 1B. The KTM rider was delighted with his performance.

“It’s not easy to start the Dakar with the prologue. A lot of emotions, nerves, and everything. I think I did a good prologue,” Benavides said.

“It was really important today to have a good result, because in the afternoon we will choose the [starting] position for tomorrow, so that was the strategy, try to have a good prologue, so I’m happy for that.”

It is the first Dakar Rally for Benavides at KTM. The Argentine was happy with the team and equipment.

“I also feel really, really good with the bike and the team,” he added.

Benavides is yet to decide where he will start the next stage: “I don’t know, I have 600 kilometers of liason just to think about it [the starting position], so we’ll see in the afternoon.”

Hi everyone! My name is Anton, I am 19 years old and I am an aspiring motorsports journalist. I love motorsports for those emotions and excitement it brings.