Dakar Rally 2018: C. S. Santosh steady in stage two

India's C. S. Santosh finished 28th on the overall provisional standing at the end of day two of the Dakar Rally.

C. S. Santosh of India and Hero Motorsports rides a 450 Rally Hero bike during Stage 2 of Dakar Rally 2018.   -  Getty Images

India’s C. S. Santosh was placed 28th overall, just behind his Hero MotoSports Team Rally teammate Oriol Mena, after the second stage of the challenging Dakar Rally 2018.

Stage two was the first full-length stage of the Dakar with a short 12km liaison section followed by a 267 km loop of Pisco. Competitors were challenged by the tricky canyons in the first 40 km of the stage made only tougher by the series of dunes that followed.

With a tough stage on the cards, both the Hero riders decided to be cautious and steady. Oriol Mena finished the second stage at 27th place and Santosh at 29th but according to overall provisional standing, the Indian was 28th.

READ: Santosh 13th after 1st stage at Dakar Rally

In the third stage, the Rally moves to San Juan De Marcona, where the competitors can expect to encounter a Chott (dry/marshy saline lake), a number of canyons and almost 60% sand during the course of the 504 kms of riding.

“The Dakar really kicked off today with a difficult stage. The sand was really soft and some of the dunes were really massive. I started really slow but then gained a good rhythm. I had fun today and really happy to make it to the end of day 2,” Santosh said.

Mena said, “It was a really hard day today but I covered the first half at really good speed and caught up with three riders in front of me. Before the re-fuelling station I had slight problem and lost a few minutes there but happy that I finished today and now have one day less to arrive at Cordoba.”

Provisional Stage 2 classifications

1. Joan Bort BarredaHonda RacingHonda02h 56m 44s
2. Adrian Van BeverenYamaha Official Rally TeamYamaha+2m 54s
3. Matthias WalknerredBull KTM Factory RacingKTM+4m 24s
27. Oriol MenaHero Motosports Team RallyHero MotoSports+24m 55s
29. C. S. SantoshHero Motosports Team RallyHero MotoSports+26m 07s

 

Overall provisional classifications after Stage 2

1. Joan Bort BarredaHonda RacingHonda03h 18m 36s
2. Adrian Van BeverenYamaha Official Rally TeamYamaha+2m 30s
3. Matthias WalknerredBull KTM Factory RacingKTM+4m 50s
27. Oriol MenaHero Motosports Team RallyHero MotoSports+28m 12s
28. C. S. SantoshHero Motosports Team RallyHero MotoSports+28m 26s