That saw Yates move to the top of the standings, where he now holds a 16-second advantage over Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin, with Chaves moving up to third.
Bennett beat Elia Viviani in a sprint finish to win the 159km ride along the Tyrrhenian sea on Friday.
Bennett has finished comfortably in the peloton in 30th position on the stage for the sprinters, a stage won by his namesake - Ireland's Sam Bennett, who claimed his first victory of 2018, and his first stage win in a grand tour.
Colombia rider Esteban Chaves won the 164-kilometer Mount Etna stage on Thursday, jumping to third place in the general classification of the Giro d'Italia. "I had to freewheel for a moment because I knew you was just that bit too early but when the time came I really took it on." .
"It was very hard to get Viviani's wheel, everyone wanted that wheel, and we had to fight for it".
"I feel as if I m getting better and better each day after Israel now, with the bigger picture in mind of getting to the third week as strong as possible and obviously this is the first main objective of the season for me and things are still on track".
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Yates began the day in sixth place, 17 seconds behind race leader Rohan Dennis of Australia, but attacked other general classification hopefuls in the final two kilometres of the 163km stage to Mount Etna.
Britain's Team Sky rider and Tour de France champion Chris Froome lies eights, 1:10 off the lead.
"I felt really good", Yates said. "For us as a team it was ideal". A bit stressful at the final, as always, but okay.
"Tomorrow, if I have the legs, I might try something". "I looked across the road and everyone was looking at each other".
Saturday's eighth stage is a 208km ride from Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano.
In fact, many of them are packed with mountainous climbs and it will be a struggle for some of the fast man to make it as far as Rome on 27 May.