Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Kevin Benavides has put in an excellent performance on day four of the 2024 Dakar Rally to complete the stage in third place. Opening the timed special following his stage three win, the KTM 450 RALLY racer navigated perfectly from the front on stage four to finish just over three minutes behind the eventual winner. Toby Price endured a tough day four, losing a little time due to a navigation error to ultimately complete the stage in 15th place.
Although a little shorter than the two previous days at the Dakar, the timed special on stage four saw competitors race for around three hours against the clock. The route from Al Salamiya to Al Hofuf was less demanding in terms of the terrain covered, but with high speeds and some tough navigation, focus was required throughout.

Leading out into the fast tracks and open desert of the stage, Benavides, who celebrates his 35th birthday today, did an incredible job of opening the special. Although he was eventually caught by one rider at the 178-kilometer mark, he continued to lead, and as such, accumulated the maximum in bonus time. Completing the stage as third-fastest moves Kevin up to fourth in the provisional overall standings.

Kevin Benavides: “It’s been a good day for me today. I really enjoyed opening, and I think I did a good job and didn’t lose too much time to the guys behind. The stage was really fast – a lot different to the previous few stages – and there was still quite a lot of tricky navigation, so I had to really focus on my roadbook. At the refueling, I noticed I had a big cut on my rear tire, which was worrying, so from there to the finish I tried to take as much care as I could. Tomorrow, we have a shorter special, but a lot of liaison with a really early start, so I’ll get some rest now and hopefully carry today’s speed into stage five.”

In contrast to his teammate, Price had a tougher time racing through the 299-kilometer timed special on day four. Following a solid start to the stage, a mistake just over 100 kilometers into the special dropped Toby down to 23rd on the timesheets. After regrouping and fighting back, the Australian was able to gain back several minutes and several places to ultimately finish in 15th. Price now lies eighth in the overall standings at the close of day four.

Toby Price: “Not the best day for me – with so many tracks ahead of us in the sand and some tough navigation on the stage, we got lost a little midway through and ended up losing some time. It’s still very early days with a long way to go, but it’s always frustrating to have a rough day. There were a lot of spectators out there on the special, which is always good to see. Overall though, I’m happy to be here at the finish in one piece and still well in the race, so we’ll focus on tomorrow and see what that brings.”

Provisional Results – 2024 Dakar Rally, Stage 4

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 2:51:11
2. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 2:54:10 +2:59
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 2:54:29 +3:18
4. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 2:55:37 +4:26
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 2:56:36 +5:25
Other KTM
15. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:06:19 +15:08

Provisional Standings – 2024 Dakar Rally (after 4 of 12 stages)

1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 17:27:13
2. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 17:28:28 +1:15
3. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 17:32:09 +4:56
4. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 17:47:52 +20:39
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 17:49:43 +22:30
Other KTM
8. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 18:02:07 +34:54

Click here to download hi-res images from the 2024 Dakar Rally.
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