The riders’ market is not only alive and kicking in Superbike and MotoGP, but in other categories too. Particularly in the off-road and Dakar arena, where KTM has just made a significant move, stealing the winner of the 2021 edition, or rather Argentinian Kevin Benavides, away from Honda.
The news comes like a bolt out of the blue, but represents a very strategic move by the Mattighofen manufacturer, which signs up the current champion with a view to winning the next edition of the world’s most famous Rally Raid, having lost to Honda in the last two years.
The Argentinian’s first words
The 32-year old will not only compete in the 2022 Dakar but also world cross-country rallies. His first race in new colours will be in Kazakhstan in June.
In signing his new contract with KTM, Kevin Benavides had this to say: “I´m off to start a new adventure in my career with KTM. As the current Dakar Champion, it´s a very important decision. I´m a rider who loves challenges and new goals, for which I´m sure that I chose the right path to face them.”
“I'm very excited and motivated to start testing the bike in the next few days and to meet the team. Here in Austria I have had a great reception at KTM and Red Bull, incredible places knowing the factory, competition departments, members and staff. I am ready to get started!”
Translated by Heather Watson