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ADV NewsDakar Rally Champion Kevin Benavides Leaves Team Honda for KTM

Dakar Rally Champion Kevin Benavides Leaves Team Honda for KTM

Team Orange snatches the Argentine Dakar champ from Big Red.

Published on 04.08.2021

After clinching the prestigious Dakar crown this year aboard his CRF450 Rally, the Argentine Kevin Benavides is leaving Honda to join the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team. Benavides, who is arguably one of rally’s hottest properties, has signed to race for the Austrian outfit in a bid to compete for the World Championship title and to defend his Dakar victory.

The 32-year old from Salta began his racing career in enduro, finishing fourth in the FIM Junior Enduro World Championship just under 10 years ago, followed by numerous national championship victories. Benavides switched his attention to rally in 2015 and has since won a number of prestigious rally events with Honda. Most notably he was runner-up in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship in 2017, and enjoyed a second-place finish at the Dakar in 2018 before claiming victory this year. With his 2021 win, Benavides made history to become the first South American rider to ever win the Dakar Rally in the bikes category. 

Kevin Benavides signs with KTM
After playing a pivotal role with Honda at Dakar, Benavides leaves Big Red to race for the KTM Factory Racing Team.

The Argentine adds extra firepower to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s dynamic Dakar-winning line-up and will benefit from the team’s vast experience, with their incredible 18 Dakar wins since 2001. Kevin’s outright speed, experience, and hunger for future victories compliments the team’s ethos and vision, and he will begin a program of testing and familiarization with the KTM 450 RALLY machine in the next few days.


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“I feel so excited to join the Red Bull KTM team, it’s a big, big change for me. As Dakar champion, the move is an important new chapter in my racing career. I have always been a fan of KTM bikes, of Red Bull, and of how the team is organized – I truly believe that it’s the best choice for me to further my racing and to be able to challenge for more Dakar wins and the World Championship title. Looking ahead to next year, the ultimate goal would be to win back-to-back Dakars. I’m really thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to get racing!”

Kevin Benavides leaves Honda for KTM

Benavides’ first competitive outing on KTM machinery is expected to be at the Rally Kazakhstan in early June.

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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8 thoughts on “Dakar Rally Champion Kevin Benavides Leaves Team Honda for KTM

  1. Pingback: Dakar Rally Champion Kevin Benavides Leaves Team Honda for KTM - ADVENTURE & OVERLAND MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL

      • I fully understand that angle of thought and don’t think that it is wrong. But: It also means that there is no connection to a brand other than money. In F1 it is the same.
        Only we hobby riders love our brands and tend to stick to them. I have always been a KawaGirl 🙂
        (though I also own a Honda now) ups …

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