KEVIN BENAVIDES LEAVES HONDA TO JOIN KTM FACTORY RACING
KEVIN BENAVIDES JOINS KTM
The 32-year-old one time Dakar winner joined the KTM Factory Racing for a new chapter in his career. Effective immediate from 7th of April 2021 Benavides will compete in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship and the prestigious Dakar Rally with his new ride.
The Argentinian began his racing career in enduro. Finishing fourth in the FIM Junior Enduro World Championship just under 10 years ago and many more national championship victories. Benavides switched his attentions to rally in 2015 and has since won a number of prestigious rally events. 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.
Kevin Benavides: “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. I have always enjoyed taking on new challenges in my life and I’m really looking forward to getting to know the team, the bike, and pushing myself even harder. The plan, after my first visit to the factory in Austria, is to head out to Dubai and get some time on the bike, and with the team. The goal for this year is to try and adapt to the bike as quickly as possible and get to know all the people in the new team so that I feel comfortable and can concentrate on my riding. I hope to be able to continue my own training program – I like to spend as much time on the bikes as possible, including the rally bike but also motocross and enduro, too. Looking ahead to next year, the ultimate goal would be to win back-to-back Dakars. I have already been lucky enough to be a factory supported rider in enduro years ago, so to now be back on a KTM and in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rally team is a dream and a real honor. I’m really thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to get racing!”
Jordi Viladoms – KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “This is an exciting time for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and we are pleased to be welcoming Kevin to the team. His results speak for themselves and I am sure his wealth of knowledge, experience, as well as his competitive motivation, will bring a lot to our team. This, combined with our vast experience, ensures a strong collaboration, which we believe will be of great benefit to all of us. Our rally program is enjoying some changes as we focus on the future as well as our goals of winning the World Championship, and bringing the Dakar title back to Austria. We look forward to beginning our testing program with Kevin, ready for the first round of the World Championship in the next few months.”