It was Kevin Benavides who positioned highest for the group. The 2021 Dakar winner had posted the fifth-quickest time on the prologue and attacked stage one instantly from his twenty fourth place begin place. Inserting eighth on the waypoint at kilometer 37, Benavides bought his head down and steadily moved up by the order to finally end in second place, a mere 44 seconds down on the provisional chief.
Kevin Benavides: “I had a great day immediately – it’s at all times encouraging to start out the rally with a robust consequence. It felt like a really lengthy day, however I believe daily main as much as the remainder day will probably be related. I’m pleased with my consequence, I got here second, however lower than a minute or so behind the stage winner. It doesn’t give me the very best begin place for tomorrow, however I’ll purpose to chase down the man forward. Total, I’m completely satisfied to get the rally underway and searching ahead to the remainder of the race.”
Inserting fifth on the stage, Toby Value was happy with how his race bought underway. After recognizing the fallen Sam Sunderland early within the particular, Value determined to purpose for a stable, secure end to the stage. Regardless of his care, the Aussie was nonetheless in a position to deliver his KTM 450 RALLY residence inside the highest 5 and can get pleasure from a robust begin place for Monday’s stage two.
Toby Value: “Stage one has gone okay for me. I noticed Sam (Sunderland) had crashed out at round kilometer 70, and it’s by no means good to see considered one of your mates go down like that. After that I simply centered on my street e book and made certain I didn’t make any massive errors on the way in which to the end. It’s a protracted race and we’ve got a really lengthy technique to go. My aim proper now could be to say secure and constant.”
Because the twenty third rider into stage one, Matthias Walkner had a great alternative to push arduous and catch his rivals forward. The Austrian’s early cost was halted nevertheless when he got here throughout Sam Sunderland at round kilometer 52. After checking on his injured pal and ready for medical help to reach, Walkner was in a position to proceed with the stage the place he lastly posted the tenth quickest time after the minutes he misplaced whereas stopped with Sunderland have been returned.
Matthias Walkner: “That was a extremely powerful stage, particularly as I haven’t raced for such a very long time. My day didn’t have a fantastic begin both after discovering Sam (Sunderland) crashed in one of many extraordinarily rocky river sections. It’s by no means good to see a pal in a scenario like that. I stayed with Sam till the medics arrived and after that I used to be simply on the market by myself. It was tough to gauge my tempo and so I aimed for a great stable end. The bike is working very well, I simply have to proceed doing my greatest and taking every day because it comes.”
The 2023 Dakar Rally continues tomorrow with the 589-kilometer stage two. Riders will face one other lengthy timed particular, with 430 kilometers raced towards the clock.
Provisional Outcomes – 2023 Dakar Rally, Stage 1
1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 3:31:10
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 3:31:54 +0:44
3. Mason Klein (USA), KTM, 3:31:54 +0:44
4. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 3:32:20 +1:10
5. Toby Value (AUS), KTM, 3:32:59 +1:49
10. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:38:55 +5:41
Provisional Standings – 2023 Dakar Rally (after 1 of 14 levels)
1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 4:14:10
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 4:14:29 +0:19
3. Toby Value (AUS), KTM, 4:14:49 +0:39
4. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 4:14:55 +0:45
5. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 4:14:55 +0:45
6. Mason Klein (USA), KTM, 4:15:24 01:14
10. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 4:19:36 +5:26