Wednesday’s Marathon stage was the longest so far, with riders having to cover a total distance of 774 km - including a 266 km special from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa.
CS Santosh, who remains the only Indian rider to finish Dakar, posted the 52nd fastest time of the day - 1hr25m37s down on stage winner Joan Barreda (Honda) - to marginally improve his overall position from 53rd to 51st.
“I was feeling a bit tired in the morning as I didn’t have a good sleep, so it took me a little time to get going in the stage,” he said. The stage was tough, especially the last 50 km or so,” Santosh said. “The dunes were really churned up and the sand was incredibly soft. It took everything that I had and the machine had to make it through today.” While Santosh was able to make it to the finishing line despite the challenging nature of the stage, KP wasn’t as lucky.
The Sherco TVS rider suffered a crash between way points 3 and 4, breaking his ankle in the process. The injury meant that he will have to wait at least another year to become only the second Indian rider to finish Dakar. KP was also unable to complete the Dakar Rally on his debut last year after suffering two crashes, the last of the two in stage 3 sealing his fate. His 2018 retirement has left Sherco TVS with only a single rider in form of Joan Pedrero, Adrien Metge having suffered an early DNF in stage 2.
Fortunately, there was no stopping Pedrero in the marathon stage, the Spaniard finishing within half an hour of stage topper Barreda in 18th place. He currently sits 15th in the overall table, six places ahead of Hero rookie Oriol Mena, who recorded his best stage result with an 11th place finish.
Article Source : Motorsport