Kaven Benoit Explains His Comeback to Journal Express
We plugged Kaven Benoit‘s interview with www.journalexpress.ca into Google Translate for the English-speaking fans of the former champion:
MOTOCROSS. The call of competition was too strong for Kaven Benoit. Four years after having abandoned his passion, the pilot originally from Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil is making a comeback in the Canadian motocross championship.
Over the past few days, Kaven Benoît announced his return to the KTM professional team through a funny video posted on social media. In 2023, the 34-year-old will be racing in the 250 class, formerly known as MX2.
“It’s not a project I had in mind, but when I was offered a place in the team, it reignited a little flame in me. There is always a bit of nostalgia when I think back to my two Canadian championships. It was in this class and on this bike that I had my two best years at national level, in 2014 and 2015. I thought about it for a long time, because it involves a lot of things, but I I finally chose to go for the adventure, ”said Kaven Benoît in an interview with L’Express.
Slowed down by various injuries, Kaven Benoît announced his retirement in 2018, shortly after finishing fifth in the Canadian championship in the 450 class. Over the past two summers, he has returned to the track in the Quebec motocross championship. Supported by the Yamaha dealer in Saint-Césaire, he won the Quebec title in 2021 and 2022.
“I had fun racing at the provincial level. It gave me the taste, but it was really a weekend hobby. By having the chance to have a racing team, which is not usual at the provincial level, I did not have to do any mechanics on my bike. I was not in great physical shape, but with my experience, I managed to hold my own,” said Kaven Benoit, who also continued to be involved as a motocross coach.
Convinced of being able to compete with the best pilots in the country in the 250 class, Kaven Benoît nevertheless specifies that he will not aim for victory at all costs during each race. Despite his reputation as a daredevil, the veteran has mellowed over the years.
“In the past, the goal was always victory. I am confident that I can win races, but today I have a little voice that reminds me that I also have family responsibilities,” explained the father of two children aged 2 and 4.
“I know I still have what it takes to win, but I’m not going there to prove anything. If I feel victory is within reach I will go for it, but if I feel it is not my day I may accept a second or third place. By being a father, I will not take as many risks as before.”
At the age of 34, Kaven Benoît will be a true dean on the Canadian circuit. In the 250 class, the majority of riders are actually under 20 years old.
“I will be racing against youngsters who are barely half my age! I see it as a nice challenge. I’m really motivated. My biggest card in my game will be my experience. Mistakes, I don’t make many. Over a long season, this consistency can pay off,” said the former number 26, pointing out that the KTM team will also rely on one of the best young riders in the country in the 250 class.
Already back in training, Kaven Benoît will refine his preparation in the southern United States this winter, after having completed the self-construction of his house in Sainte-Perpétue. The Canadian Motocross Championship is set to get under way in early June in Western Canada. The best riders in the country should once again make a stop in Deschambault, Quebec.
In the 450 class, remember that Dylan Wright won the Canadian motocross championship in 2022. The Drummondville native of Ontario was dominant, winning each of the nine installments of the national circuit.