Sunday, May 19, 2024

Injuries sideline Kevin Benavides for Desafio Ruta 40 again

Kevin Benavides cannot catch a break. After suffering a fractured left arm and various head injuries in a training crash, he will have to skip the Desafío Ruta 40 for the second straight year.

According to a report from El Tribuno, the accident occurred at Mantillo MX Park in Salta while he and brother Luciano Benavides were preparing for the rally. The DR 40 takes place in their native Argentina.

Since winning the Dakar Rally in 2023, Benavides has suffered a rash of injuries in testing accidents that forced him to miss rounds of the World Rally-Raid Championship. He only started two of five rounds last season as he broke his femur before the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, returned for the Sonora Rally where he raced conservatively to a twelfth-place finish, then missed the DR 40 and Rallye du Maroc due to a broken wrist.

His Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team is not registered for the 2024 championship due to budget cuts and poor ROI, which meant they only raced the Dakar in January and did not appear in the two races since. Although KTM AG general manager Andreas Hölzl said the team will return for Argentina and Morocco, Benavides’ injury throws a wrench into their plans as Matthias Walkner is still recovering from a severe leg injury he suffered before the season while their other colleague Toby Price departed the outfit in March.

Benavides finished fourth in the latest Dakar with three stage wins.

The 2024 Desafío Ruta 40 takes place on 1–7 June.

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