Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides has taken the overall lead in the Atacama Rally after a dominant victory on the second, and longest, stage of the Rally.
This second stage, the longest of the Atacama Rally, with a total of 440.88 kilometres ‰ÛÒ including 375.91 against the clock ‰ÛÒ had the start of the special stage delayed due to the usual appearance of the ‰Û÷camanchaca‰Ûª, a dense local fog that kept the security helicopter, which guarantees race safety, firmly grounded. Once the action got underway, it did so over 73 kilometres less than had previously been scheduled, reducing the special to a total of 303 kilometres.
Benavides set a cracking pace on a battle ground of mostly track, but with some off-piste where he was able to really put the Honda CRF450 RALLY through its paces. By the end of the 303 kilometres, the Monster Energy Honda Team rider had opened a one minute margin over second placed Sam Sunderland and third placed Toby Price. As a result Benavides now lies 1‰Ûª53‰Û