The second stage of the Silk Way Rally sees Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides continue his command at the head of the overall race leader board after a valiant effort opening the track throughout the stage in the Siberian taiga.
Taiga is the name given to the Siberian forest. The tracks found there are made up mainly of earth and rocks that tend to be very damp and full of muddy quagmires. The entire second Silk Way Rally stage played out in such terrain, vastly different from the pampas and deserts which the rally raiders are normally used to.
Kevin Benavides, winner of the first stage, got lumped with opening the track today, which he did from start to finish over 212 kilometres of special stage, full of narrow potholed track studded with rocks. The forest section gave way to faster stretches of track requiring deft navigation. The previous enduro experience worked to the Argentine rider’s advantage, allowing him to minimize the handicap of opening the way throughout the entire day’s racing. Benavides posted a swift time that sees him hang on to top spot in the overall rankings.
Joan Barreda, Benavides’ Spanish team-mate, feeling ill-at-ease in conditions that didn’t suit his riding style, nevertheless managed to make it through the tricky stage. Barreda finished 2’40 adrift of the winner on the day and occupies fifth position in the general standings at a similar distance from the leader. Meanwhile, Chilean rider Cornejo likewise reached the goal without major mishaps but with a sense of achievement after the ordeal and can now look forward to the sections of the rally in the steppes and the desert.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, sees the third stage, between Ulan Ude and the capital of Mongolia, Ulan Bator. There will be a total of 691.35 kilometres of stage, although only 243 km will be against the clock.
Results Stage 2
|1||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||2:20'30|
|2||Mena Oriol||SPA||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+0'39|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+0'50|
|4||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1'07|
|5||Barreda Joan||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'40|
|6||Caimi Franco||ARG||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+2'41|
|7||Benavides Luciano||ARG||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+2'56|
|8||Short Andrew||USA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||+4'24|
|9||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+6'13|
|10||Sanz Laia||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+12'57|
|11||Giemza Maciej||POL||Orlen Team||KTM||+14'34|
|12||Cornejo José Ignacio||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+16'14|
Provisional standings after Stage 2
|1||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||2:52'28|
|2||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+0'08|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+1'19|
|4||Benavides Luciano||ARG||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+2'25|
|5||Barreda Joan||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+2'39|
|6||Mena Oriol||SPA||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+3'03|
|7||Caimi Franco||ARG||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+4'25|
|8||Short Andrew||USA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||+6'18|
|9||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+7'08|
|10||Giemza Maciej||POL||Orlen Team||KTM||+18'84|
|12||Cornejo José Ignacio||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+21'17|