Adrian Metge solidifies lead,Gill slips to eighth position

The marathon stage of 190 km did not pose a major challenge for the French rider as he kept his cool to ride through blazing heat and tough terrain.

Gaurav Gill slipped from his overnight second position to languish in the eighth position.   -  Rayan Rozario

TVS Racing’s Adrien Metge continued to lead the Moto category after the third leg of the Desert Storm 2019.

The marathon stage of 190 km did not pose a major challenge for the French rider as he kept his cool to ride through blazing heat and tough terrain even as Hero’s CS Santosh won the stage with timing of (02:44:30) as he clawed some time back to the leader.

Other TVS riders Abdul Wahid Tanvir, R. Nataraj and Rajendra RE were placed third, fourth and fifth respectively.

However, TVS’s Aishwarya Pissay, who had broken into top 10 with a commendable performance on Thursday, could not start the stage due to a technical issue.

“The marathon stage has been the toughest so far in the rally with complex navigation and blazing heat. I found good momentum early and looked to manoeuvre the bike smoothly in the landscape. Tomorrow is the final day of the rally and will be a short stage so it is important for me to stay in the lead and win it for the team,” Metge said.

“This is my first race after the Dakar so I was a bit rusty on the first day. I’ve finally started to enjoy being back and racing here in Rajasthan” CS Santosh remarked after his rise.

“Medge is an incredible rider. But I’m trying my best and I feel I’m pretty much there. I’ve lost the Desert Storm in the last three years while being on the top of the table. So, I know anything can happen here,” he added.

In the four-wheeler category, Samrat Yadav and Lhapka Tsering jumped dramatically up the leader board to climb to the second and fourth position even respectively as Team Sparky Garage’s Abhishek Mishra held on to his lead after SS6 on Friday.

Samrat (with co-driver Kunal Kashyap; 03:00:44) and Tsering (co-driver Venu Rameshkumar; 02:53:46) recorded some of the best timings of the morning in the Extreme Category to be snapping on Mishra’s heels.
 

They even left APRC champion and strong contender Gaurav Gill of Team Mahindra in the shade, who slipped from his overnight second position to languish in the eighth position. Gaurav had a rough day, taking as much as 04:09:26 to complete the morning stage.

Saturday will be the final leg of the rally, which will comprise of 220 km in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer.