Editorial Raid

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Africa Eco Race 2019

Dakar: A day of mixed fortunes for Hero MotoSports Team Rally

When the competitors took to stage 3 today morning, little did they expect what was in store for them. What was expected as 75% sand, turned out to be a heady mix of dunes, rocks, mountains, fesh-fesh and morning fog. The stage from Marcona to Arequipa turned the rally upside down with many top contenders across bikes and cars, losing their way or crashing out of the Dakar. For Hero MotoSports team Rally also, stage 3 brought in mixed fortunes.

 

C.S.Santosh and Joaquim Rodrigues both met with setbacks in their course of the rally today. JRod lost his way in the beginning of the stage, losing some time in the process, only to encounter a tricky waypoint that made him and many others lose even more time. Santosh met with a few crashes, also lost time around the same waypoint before fighting his way through all this to make it to the finish line.
 
Oriol Mena, however, seemed to be doing a completely different stage altogether as he showed his class and skills once again to blaze through the stage in quick time, gaining a few positions in the process. The team however will take a lot of positives from the gritty performances their riders put on today to ensure yet another 100% arrival for the team, on a day that saw a few stalwarts throwing in their towel and bowing out of the Dakar 2019.

For Hero MotoSports Team Rally the stage results place Oriol Mena in 8th place, JRod in 46th and C S Santosh in 64th place. In the overall rankings, Mena climbed a few places from yesterday due to his strong showing today, to end at 12th position, while Joaquim Rodrigues stands at 31st place and C S Santosh on 42nd place at the end of stage 3.
 
Tomorrow, the rally will get ready to tackle the Marathon stage, where no assistance is allowed overnight and the competitors will be left to their own devices to manage their bikes and themselves.
 
C.S Santosh (Comp No: 50): "It was an extremely difficult stage that came with its 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."
 
Oriol Mena (Comp No: 7): "Today was a really tough stage, the kind that we know Dakar for. Conditions were difficult with lot of fog in the mountains, many stones and fesh-fesh. The navigation also was quite tricky. So I decided to ride with caution today, trying to avoid any mistakes and managed to catch all the waypoints. I am happy with the result today and the way my bike is performing. Now we prepare for the Marathon stage!"
 
Joaquim Rodrigues (Comp No: 27): "I spent most of the stage today at the back of the pack in the dust. I developed a decent rhythm soon and passed a lot of guys but then I got lost and had to find my way back. I recovered from that to again end up spending almost an hour in finding a tricky waypoint. A lot of guys lost time around that waypoint too. I think it was a hard day but the important thing is that I made it back to the end with my bike. Tomorrow will be a new start of a new day."
 
Provisional Stage 3 Results
1. Xavier De Soultrait, Yamaha Factory Racing, Yamaha, 04h 07m 42s
2. Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna Factory Racing, Husqvarna, +15s
3. Kevin Benavides, Honda Factory Racing, Honda, +02m 37s...
8. Oriol Mena, Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +11m 15s...
46. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +01h 27m 55s...
64. C S Santosh, Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +01h 57m 57s
 
Provisional Overall Results after Stage 3
1. Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna Factory Racing, Husqvarna, 08h 34m 28s
2. Kevin Benavides, Honda Factory Racing, Honda, +11m 23s
3. Sam Sunderland, KTM Factory Racing, KTM, +12m 12s...
12. Oriol Mena, Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +36m 03s...
31. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +02h 12m 03s...
42. C S Santosh, Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +02h 44m 20s...
 
Press Release,


Marie-France Estenave pour MFE-Live.com

Actus Raid - Dakar