Kevin Benavides feels that he is in contention for the 2022 Dakar Rally title in the bikes category after stage 3.
Benavides had a solid performance on Tuesday. Though he finished 8th in stage 3, he lost only four and a half minutes to the winner Joaquim Rodrigues. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider reflected on the day.
“Today was a really nice stage, really fast. I started in the third position, so I pushed a lot at the beginning, then after refueling, I caught the guys in front,” Benavides said.
“There were really tricky notes on the navigation, but I rode on the front and then also with Skyler [Howes]. In the last part with Skyler, Sam [Sunderland], Joan [Barreda Bort], and myself we opened very fast over the last kilometers. We pushed a lot and I think it was a really good day for us.”
After a difficult start to the 2022 campaign, the reigning champion understands that he needs to push hard.
“Now, that is the game: I need to push day by day. I will try to be consistent. At Dakar, you never know when something big can happen, so I think what is important is to stay very focused on the roadbook and the navigation. Finally, I think I’m in the game, so we need to play”.