Dakar Rally: Oriol Mena makes strong finish in stage 2

Oriol Mena continued his good run and finished 17th and was placed 16th in the overall standings at the end of stage 2.

C.S. Santosh had a technical glitch and was placed 37th at the end of second stage.   -  Special Arrangement

The three riders of Hero MotoSports Team Rally successfully completed the second stage of the Dakar Rally here on Wednesday.

Oriol Mena continued his good run and finished 17th and was placed 16th in the overall standings at the end of stage 2. In a fast stage that offered a mix of hard piste, dunes and some seaside riding as well, Mena tackled all of it with ease.

While the other two riders - Joaquim Rodrigues and C.S. Santosh faced difficulties during the stage, with both having to deal with technical glitches. Rodrigues and Santosh finished stage 2, placed 34th and 37th respectively. In the overall standings, Rodrigues was at 32 while Santosh placed at 33rd.

Despite the technical issues, it turned out to be a positive stage for the Hero MotoSports, with all its riders finishing the stage.

In stage 3, the rally will move to Arequipa for an even longer stage of 799km, including a 331km long special section, subjecting the competitors to more challenging dunes.

“Day 2 started really well for me and I had a good rhythm going for the first 80-90 kms. Then on, I started sensing some trouble with my clutch, and decided to ease off to make it to the finish line safely. Had a good stage and now we fix the glitch and go racing again in next stage,” Santosh said.

However, at the end of the day, Mena was satisfied with his performance. “It was a really good stage for me. Day 2 had a mix of hard piste, dunes and some seaside as well, so it was interesting to ride. It was a crazy fast stage but I felt good today and the bike performed perfect. So, another day in the bag and that’s what matters for me.”

Rodrigues, who too had problems with his bike said he was happy to finish the race. “I started the stage well but soon I developed a fuel issue. I had to stop to fix that and somehow made it to the refueling point. I lost a lot of time in the process. After making it to the refueling point, I pushed hard, got into a good rhythm and made up some time as well. Overall, I am happy to finish the stage and look forward to Day 3.”

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