Rally competitors mourn the passing of Paulo Goncalves.
Monster Energy Honda Team’s Kevin Benavides has captured victory on stage seven of the 2020 Dakar Rally, although the day was overshadowed by the tragic passing of Paulo Goncalves.
The 40-year-old was taking part in his 13th Dakar, crashing 276 kilometres into a special that was ultimately won by his former teammate Benavides, who tried in vain to assist the Portuguese rider together with Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – the first competitor to reach the scene of the accident.
The Portuguese star made his Dakar debut in 2006 and had finished four times in the top 10, including an impressive performance as runner-up to Marc Coma in 2015. Gonçalves, the 2013 cross-country rallies world champion, was sitting in 46th place overall after stage six of the 2020 Dakar.
Benavides was ultimately credited the win for the stage after his time was recalculated for assisting Goncalves, while the top five was rounded out by Joan Barreda (Monster Energy Honda Team), Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Luciano Benavides (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda Team).
Price was seventh and sits fourth overall, while it’s Brabec who leads from Pablo Quintanilla (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) and Jose Florimo (Monster Energy Honda Team).
Australian Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha Motor Australia) wound up 29th on day seven for a ranking of 13th, as fellow Aussies Phillip Wilson (Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team), Ben Young (Duust Rally Team), Trevor Wilson (Husqvarna) and Matthew Tisdall (Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team) are now ranked in positions 58, 63, 84, and 102.
Stage eight of the Dakar Rally has been cancelled for the Bike and Quad categories.