Indian riders in Sherco TVS Rally Factory team and Hero MotoSports battled heavy fog and extreme terrain to finish a challenging Stage 3 of Dakar Rally 2019.
The teams rode to the city of Arequipa in the highlands of Peru amidst intense heat and dry conditions.
For Hero MotoSports, the stage brought in mixed fortunes. C.S. Santosh and Joaquim Rodrigues both met with time setbacks during the course of the day. Rodrigues lost some time in the beginning of the stage and then at a tricky waypoint that made him and many others lose even more time.
Santosh met with a few crashes, and lost time around the same waypoint. However both before fought their way through all this to make it to the finish line.
Oriol Mena, however, seemed to be doing a completely different stage altogether. He showed his class and skills to blaze through the stage in quick time, gaining a few positions in the process.
The stage results placed Mena in 8th, Rodrigues in 46th and Santosh in 64th place.
In the overall rankings, Mena climbed a few places to end at 12th position, while Rodrigues stands at 31st and Santosh on 42nd place.
For the TVS team, Michael Metge bounced back strongly to climb the rankings and in the middle of the stage, he even found himself placed fifth.
Metge gave one of his best performances and managed to finish the stage in the top 15, taking his overall ranking to 28 position.
Lorenzo Santolino was impressive too especially with his navigation and he finished the stage at 10 position, improving his overall ranking to 13.
Adrien Metge lost some time in navigation and had a difficult stage but he was still able to finish and finished 15th.
India's K.P. Aravind, riding at his own pace with the goal of reaching the finish line, stood 61st overall.
The rally will now move to the Marathon stage, where no assistance is allowed overnight and the competitors will be left to their own devices and faculties to manage their bikes and themselves.
Recapping the day, Santosh said, ”It was an extremely difficult stage, throwing a fair share of challenges. I had the wrong lens on for today’s stage and it set me up for the struggle for most of the first part. So, I decided to ride without my goggles, which was really difficult to do. Had a few crashes, lost my way around a waypoint, so in all a very tough day. I am glad to have seen the back of it and still be in the race. ”