Motorcycle Racing News Dakar/FIM Cross Country Rallies KTM's MEO Claims Dakar Rally Stage 6; Honda's Benavides in Overall Lead...

KTM’s MEO Claims Dakar Rally Stage 6; Honda’s Benavides in Overall Lead (Video)

2018 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Results, Motorcycle: Video Recap

The 2018 Dakar Rally wrapped up the first six-days of racing Thursday with a shortened stage 6. Friday is the only rest day in the 40th edition of 2018 Dakar Rally before eight-consecutive stages that will combine to make about 3,300 miles.

The 195-mile stage 6 special began on the shores of Lake Titicaca, about a third of it shortened due to unsafe conditions, and finished in Peru’s capital of Bolivia. Conditions were muddy, and snow covered the highest points of Lake Titicaca, which at 4,000 meters is the highest lake above sea level.

2018 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Results: KTM Antoine Meo
KTM’s Antoine Meo

A new stage winner emerged Thursday when Red Bull KTM 450 Rally pilot Antoine Meo claimed the victory. The 33-year-old Frenchman finished a mere 30 seconds ahead of both Monster Energy Honda’s Kevin Benavides and Red Bull KTM’s Toby Price.

After the win, Meo said: Today was a good day. I am so happy to take my first win of this year’s event – it feels great. The stage was very long and it was so cold out there. I had a great battle with Toby for the whole stage but as we neared the finish, the last 10km got really muddy and very slippery so I knew I had a chance to make up some good time. I took the risk, pushed on really hard and managed to beat him. Tomorrow we have a rest day, which will be nice and then it’s onto the second half of the rally.”

With his second-place finish, Benavides bumped Yamaha’s Adrien Van Beveren – who took over after stage 5 – from the top of the standings. Benavides now has a 1:57-minute lead over Van Beveren. In third, 3:50 minutes behind, is the other factory KTM pilot, Matthias Walkner.

“I am very proud because it is the first time that an Argentine rider has led the Dakar Rally,” Benavides says. “I’m very happy too, because the idea was to get as high up the rankings as possible before the rest stage, so I can not be happier. I’m a little tired, we’ve had rain, mud, fast roads. But I was fast and felt comfortable on the bike. Now we have a day to rest and prepare the second week.”

2018 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Results: Honda's Kevin Benavides
Honda’s Kevin Benavides

As for the notable Americans, Monster Energy Honda’s Ricky Brabec is 11th overall, and Rockstar Husqvarna’s Andrew Short, a former Supercross competitor, is 22nd.

During Friday’s much-needed rest day in La Paz, Bolivia, riders will be able to familiarize themselves to the extreme altitude of the Bolivian Altiplano – the city of La Paz itself sits at 3,640 meters above sea-level. Racing will resume on Saturday with the 452-mile stage seven, La Paz to Uyuni, the first of the two marathon stages for the bikes.

2018 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Results, Motorcycles

Pos. Exp. Drive-Team Mark-Model Time Variation Penality
1 47
KEVIN BENAVIDES
MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 16h 33′ 20”
2 4
ADRIEN VAN BEVEREN
YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM 16h 35′ 17” + 00h 01′ 57”
3 2
MATTHIAS WALKNER
RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 16h 37′ 10” + 00h 03′ 50” 00h 01′ 00”
4 5
JOAN BARREDA BORT
MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 16h 42′ 53” + 00h 09′ 33”
5 8
TOBY PRICE
RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 16h 42′ 59” + 00h 09′ 39”
6 19
ANTOINE MEO
RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 16h 44′ 02” + 00h 10′ 42”
7 23
XAVIER DE SOULTRAIT
YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM 16h 44′ 44” + 00h 11′ 24” 00h 02′ 00”
8 10
PABLO QUINTANILLA
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING 16h 50′ 02” + 00h 16′ 42”
9 3
GERARD FARRES GUELL
HIMOINSA RACING TEAM. 16h 51′ 28” + 00h 18′ 08”
10 9
STEFAN SVITKO
SLOVNAFT RALLY TEAM 17h 02′ 31” + 00h 29′ 11” 00h 01′ 00”
11 20
RICKY BRABEC
MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 17h 03′ 54” + 00h 30′ 34”
12 68
JOSE IGNACIO CORNEJO FLORIMO
MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 17h 07′ 25” + 00h 34′ 05”
13 40
JOHNNY AUBERT
GAS GAS MOTORSPORT 17h 15′ 59” + 00h 42′ 39” 00h 01′ 00”
14 33
DANIEL NOSIGLIA JAGER
HT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING 17h 22′ 02” + 00h 48′ 42”
15 12
JUAN PEDRERO GARCIA
SHERCO TVS RALLY FACTORY 17h 26′ 46” + 00h 53′ 26” 00h 01′ 00”
16 77
LUCIANO BENAVIDES
KTM FACTORY RACING TEAM 17h 34′ 42” + 01h 01′ 22”
17 15
LAIA SANZ
KTM FACTORY RACING TEAM 17h 36′ 35” + 01h 03′ 15” 00h 02′ 00”
18 44
RODNEY FAGGOTTER
YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM 17h 38′ 05” + 01h 04′ 45”
19 29
DANIEL OLIVERAS CARRERAS
HIMOINSA RACING TEAM. 17h 39′ 25” + 01h 06′ 05”
20 61
ORIOL MENA
HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY 17h 47′ 27” + 01h 14′ 07”
21 60
JONATHAN BARRAGAN NEVADO
GAS GAS MOTORSPORT 17h 48′ 05” + 01h 14′ 45” 00h 05′ 00”
22 54
ANDREW SHORT
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING 17h 53′ 30” + 01h 20′ 10”
23 27
DIEGO MARTIN DUPLESSIS
MEC TEAM 17h 55′ 02” + 01h 21′ 42” 00h 10′ 00”
24 14
MICHAEL METGE
MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 17h 55′ 42” + 01h 22′ 22” 01h 00′ 00”
25 18
ALESSANDRO BOTTURI
BOTTURI ALESSANDRO 18h 02′ 04” + 01h 28′ 44”

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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