Almost two months after disputing the first date of the FIM Cross Country World Championship, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Kevin Benavides returns to the capital of the United Arab Emirates together with his team, Monster Energy Honda, to carry out a test and adjust details for what is coming: the following dates of the World Cup and the next Dakar 2020 en Saudi Arabia.
The best South American in the history of the Dakar 2019 is recovering from a shoulder injury and is excited about the tests they will carry out in the desert.
“The idea of the trip is a test for the team to try new things on the bike. For me it is a very good opportunity to get in touch with rally bikes after the first date of the World Championship ”, Kevin stated.
“I went for a run with a bad shoulder, but more than 40 days have passed and it is the opportunity to see how it evolved. I did a lot of hard work during this time, with a lot of physical recovery, with physical therapists. My biggest problem is a calcification on my shoulder that was bothering me for workouts. But with physio and shock wave treatment, I recovered my shoulder a lot and this is a test to feel the sensations in the desert again ”, explained the runner-up of the 2017 World Championship and the 2018 Dakar.
Kevin explained the work they will do during a six-day trial in the United Arab Emirates: “We are going to test with roadbooks because the dune area is very good and it is also an area close to where the 2020 Dakar will be competed and it is very good to test and continue doing kilometers in the dunes. I'm very happy to do the test to gain confidence in the bike and continue to improve my navigation. Also, the team has prepared updates for the bike so that is going to be good ”.
The rider, who also excelled in international enduro and who after going to the rally competed in the Dakar in 2016, 2018 and 2019, with a fourth, second and fifth place, respectively, said: “For my part, I am happy for the work that I was able to do this time. It was very hard to get back to feeling good with my shoulder, the injury was complicated and I avoided surgery so I had to work hard to feel good and now try to give my shoulder confidence and solidity ”.
Benavides' agenda this year includes the Silk way rally, from July 7 to 19; the Atacama Rally, from September 1 to 7; and the Morocco Rally, from October 3 to 9.