The victory of the most extreme rally goes to Kevin Benavides, who wins the Dakar 2023 on the last day. Very good Paolo Lucci and Lorenzo Fanottoli.
An unconventional Dakar, back to being the tough one it once was even if decidedly shorter than the first editions. The KTMs dominated in front of Skyler Howes' Husqvarna but the real satisfaction is having 2 Italians among the top 50 riders.
Kevin Benavidez, Toby Price e Skyler howes they suffered like everyone else but the real show was watching them compete with just a few seconds left until the end. And it was precisely the final day that made the difference and only those who held up to the last kilometer without errors managed to win first place in the most extreme rally that every year thrills thousands of drivers and people from all over the world. La Dakar Rally longest disputed in Saudi Arabia was reduced to a sprint. Kevin confessed that he had to go back once to validate a waypoint, but Toby did it three times. At the finish, the Argentine therefore joined the club of two-time Dakar winners (2021 and 2023), 43 seconds ahead of the Australian (victorious in 2016 and 2019).
Let's start right from Paul Lucci, that finishes his first Dakar in 15th position after 14 days of grueling competition. A route that saw the riders suffer among rocks, sand, cold, torrential rain, wind and so on and so forth. Lucci and Fanottoli were able to maintain a constant pace, conservative but not too much, with the right balance that allowed them to compete well until the end.
Paul Lucci, born in 1993, of Castiglione Fiorentino, particularly distinguished himself for navigation and tenacity. Despite the crash in the 5th stage, he never gave up, he suffered and got back on the saddle with the desire to move forward and reach the end. In the small Tuscan town we know very well that there is a particular guardian angel, Fabrizio Meoni, but we have no doubts about Paolo Lucci's abilities and now that the "Dakarian" medal shines on his chest we know that he is already thinking about the next edition .
The second Italian in the standings is Lorenzo Maria Fanottoli (47th) who last year was forced to retire due to an injury. Born and raised between Italy and Africa, he has sand and dirt roads in his blood and this year the desire to finish was unparalleled, as confirmed by his coach Oscar Chickens which prepared him very well to face all the pitfalls of this race. Lorenzo also suffered from a bad crash at the beginning of the race but he was able to recover immediately, concentrating until the end to make no mistakes and preserve himself and his motorcycle until the end.
Il Tecnosport team it then played a key role in assisting its riders, both on motorcycles and in cars with 10 cars in the Classic category, all placed very well and made it to the end.
The other Italians in the race also did very well Cesare Zacchetti (64th), which now has sand instead of blood, Ottavio Missoni (70th), at his first experience, Franco Picco (72°), who finished his umpteenth Dakar, Iader Giraldi (78th) ed Eufrasio Anghileri (89th).