The Argentinean Monster Energy Honda Team rider was, for the second time, the fastest in the Merzouga Rally. Benavides, who had previously won the prologue, triumphed in an error-free second stage ride and moves up into second place overall, behind team-mate Barreda, as the race arrives at the marathon stage.

The Honda CRF450 RALLYs are so far dominating the Merzouga Rally. Kevin Benavides clinched the third consecutive victory for a Monster Energy Honda Team rider, after taking top spot in the prologue and Barreda’s victory in the first full stage. The Argentine reached the finish line while scoring the day’s best time and is rewarded with a move up the overall leader board into second place.

The second best rider in the Monster Energy Honda Team on the day proved to be José Ignacio Cornejo, who finished fifth with a swift pace. Joan Barreda, opened the track after winning the stage yesterday, a difficult job, but succeeded in not dropping much time to the pursuing pack and in doing so holds on to overall top spot.

Ricky Brabec woke up this morning to headache and a discomfort which hampered his performance. Nevertheless, the American battled on to post seventh position and is one position higher in the general rankings. Portuguese Paulo Gonçalves kept a cautious pace, avoiding errors or falls conceded some time to his team-mates.

Tomorrow begins the first part of the marathon stage, which will feature a 63-kilometre liaison and a 239.21-kilometre special stage against the clock. Riders will spend the night in the camp located at the foot of the dunes, without the possibility of receiving mechanical assistance.

Kevin Benavides

STAGE: 1st OVERALL: 2nd

I felt very well today, I went out to attack with a great pace. I felt very good about the bike. In the end, I saw the ones in front and over the final kilometres of dunes, I wanted to attack but something made me think about not forcing and not risking to finish the stage safe and sound. I arrived well, I won the special and we are good in the race.

Paulo Goncalves

STAGE: 13th OVERALL: 15th

It has been a beautiful stage with many dunes at the beginning and at the end. I took it with caution, I felt good and I had no problem, except for a small difficulty in the final part with a waypoint. I'm encouraged and try to throw a little in the days that are left but the important thing is not to make mistakes or fall to or get hurt.

Joan Barreda

STAGE: 6th OVERALL: 1st

It was a good stage for me, after a long time without being in front, opening the track, today I tried to push without making mistakes. I doubted over some waypoints, where I lost some time, although the pace of opening the track was good. I am happy with the stage, which has a lot of sand and for others it has been easy to follow my tracks. Tomorrow I will go back and am well-placed to finish these two days which are the marathon stage.

Ricky Brabec

STAGE: 7th OVERALL: 6th

Stage two for me was not ideal: I woke up this morning with a pounding headache and the bubble guts. You have to be really careful here in Africa of what you eat and touch, it was up to me and today it was a slow go with all this going on. Not the best result but had a smooth run and still with three days to go to a lot of change. Tomorrow is Marathon stage and hopefully with the medicine I took this afternoon I will feel better and come out in a better position "after all the stages I have won have been marathon stages" today we recover, hydrate, and get ready for the marathon . Looking forward to some rougher terrain.

José Ignacio Cornejo

STAGE: 5th OVERALL: 7th

This stage went well, it was shorter but with more sand. I felt good and minimized the mistakes I made yesterday. I kept a good pace and finished fifth. Still, I think it can be improved in the coming days. I am very motivated for the marathon stage and I hope to improve something in the overall standings too.

2018 Season
Stage   Merzouga

Stage 2 results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Benavides Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 2:41'54
2 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +2'16
3 Price Toby AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3'41
4 Caimi Franco ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +7'42
5 Cornejo José Ignacio CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'10
6 Barreda Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'17
7 Brabec Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'35
8 Pedrero Joan SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +11'29
9 Duplessis Martín ARG Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +15'22
10 Santolino Lorenzo SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +16'26
11 Svitko Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +16'47
12 Cerutti Jacopo ITA Moto Racing Group - MRG Husqvarna +17'30
13 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +18'45
14 Short Andrew USA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +19'24
15 Botturi Alessandro ITA Botturi Racing Yamaha +19'46
2018 Season
Stage   Merzouga
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Barreda Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
2 Benavides Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
3 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna
4 Caimi Franco ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha
5 Price Toby AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM
6 Brabec Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
7 Cornejo José Ignacio CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
8 Pedrero Joan SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco
9 Santolino Lorenzo SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco
10 Duplessis Martín ARG Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco
15 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda
Location Information

Merzouga, Mequinez-Tafilalet, Marruecos - View in Google Maps