Silk Way Rally 2019

Stage 01Irkutsk - Baikalsk

  • Kevin Benavides, First Leader of the Silk Way Rally

    Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides sees his name inscribed in the Silk Way Rally history books as he becomes the first leader in the maiden outing of the motorcycle category. 

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Kevin Benavides, First Leader of the Silk Way Rally

July 8, 2019


Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides sees his name inscribed in the Silk Way Rally history books as he becomes the first leader in the maiden outing of the motorcycle category. Barreda, posting fourth, and Cornejo both avoided mishaps.

The Silk Way Rally got underway today, Sunday, with a 50-kilometer curtain-raising special stage on route from Irkutsk to Baykalsk, which featured mountain tracks and riverbeds in the surroundings of Lake Baikal. The rain yesterday, which continued overnight, led to a mud-drenched affair, punctuated with some hazardous puddles. Riders with an enduro background faired better, while others employed low-risk, damage limitation strategies to avoid falls.

The quickest over the short distance proved to be Monster Energy Honda Team's Argentine rider Kevin Benavides, who finished the timed special in just over 30 minutes to become the first race leader, some 36 seconds ahead of his brother.

Spanish ace Joan Barreda was the first of the trio to take the start and acquitted himself well to take the day's fourth fastest time, while conceding little. Meanwhile, José Ignacio Cornejo finished in thirdteen place after a cautious start to the rally.

The second stage of the Silk Way Rally will be held tomorrow, Monday. With the start in Baykalsk and the finish in Ulan Ude, riders can expect a 413.72-kilometer total trek including 207 km against the clock. The forest routes to be tackled will feature a fair dosage of small rocks.

Comments

Kevin Benavides, Stage: 1st, Overall: 1st

"I couldn't ask for anything more! To start the race with a nice stage victory is always pleasing. Also, it will really boost my self-confidence which I needed a little. We have worked hard before the race and the results are starting to show. This race promises to surprise us with some very lovely places, but we have to continue working and pushing hard because we have only tackled the first of what will be a lot of tough days that lie ahead."

Joan Barreda, Stage: 4th, Overall: 4th

"It was a short 50-kilometer stage, but it was a difficult, or rather, a complicated one. At the beginning there were many flooded parts with puddles full of plenty of water which made for an insecure ride. We even had a few slight scares, which meant that we had to proceed with caution. It has been a good warm-up, a great way to get a feel for the terrain, as yet unknown to us."

José Ignacio Cornejo, Stage: 14th, Overall: 14th

"There was a lot of mud in the stage because of the rains that fell yesterday. I took things carefully not to make mistakes and avoid falling which would have affected my confidence. I am satisfied with what I have done out on a route that didn't favor my riding style. It has not been a bad day and I hope to keep improving the pace a little as the race progresses."

Results

Silk Way Rally 2019 Stage 1

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team)
2 Luciano Benavides (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
3 Xavier De Soul Trait (Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team )
4 Joan Barreda (Monster Energy Honda Team)
5 Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
6 Paulo Goncalves (Hero Motosports Team Rally)
14 José Ignacio Cornejo (Monster Energy Honda Team)

Overall

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team)
2 Luciano Benavides (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
3 Xavier De Soul Trait (Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team )
4 Joan Barreda (Monster Energy Honda Team)
5 Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
6 Paulo Goncalves (Hero Motosports Team Rally)
14 José Ignacio Cornejo (Monster Energy Honda Team)

Photos