DAKAR DEBUTANT ORIOL MENA OF HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY BREAKS INTO TOP 202018-01-09 10:01
With the third stage of the Dakar Rally moving from Pisco to a very windy and dusty San Juan De Marcona, Spanish debutant rider Oriol Mena of Hero MotoSports Team Rally today overcame tough navigation to clock-in a fast time and finish the stage at the 13th place.
During the stage, he also stopped for a few minutes to help a fellow competitor who crashed in front of him. This may result in a time refund, which will further improve his rankings. By finishing the stage at 13th place, Mena also broke into the top 20 in overall rankings at the 20th position, pending the time refund decision.
On the other hand, C S Santosh of India lost a lot of time as he ran out of fuel, 30 km short of finish, due to a loose fuel cap. As a result, he slipped down in the rankings, closing the Stage 3 at 101st position and overall at 57th. With nine more stages pending, he will aim to make up for as much lost time as possible.
The stage, which was described as “for the hardened off-roadies”, was fought mainly off-piste with the terrain offering 63% sand and more dunes. A total of 504 km was on offer today with a Special Stage of 296 km followed by a 208 km Liaison bringing the competitors to the San Juan De Marcona bivouac to rest for the night.
The Rally will camp in San Juan De Marcona for the 4th Stage as well, where a change in the landscape at the start is expected to provide a new challenge to the riders but not before hitting dunes again for total run of 444 kms including the liaison.
Oriol Mena (Comp No: 61) said: “This was the first really difficult stage with tough navigation. I stopped for a few minutes at 50 km to help No. 17 who got knocked out due to a crash in front of me. After that I managed to get my concentration again and made up good speed to arrive home in quick time. I am quite happy with my day and enjoying my experience out there.”
C.S Santosh (Comp No: 49) said: “I started with a good rhythm today, then went on with the flow in the 2nd part of the stage. I had no issues with the navigation as well. Unlucky for me, the rear tank cap was not closed properly after re-fuelling and I lost my rear tank fuel before I realized it. Finally, I ran out of fuel 30 km short of the finish and had to wait and ask for fuel from some of the slower riders coming at the back. In the process I lost over an hour’s time today. It was not the best day, but I take the positive that I am still in the race and that’s what counts.”
Provisional Stage 3 Classifications
1. Sam Sunderland RedBull KTM Factory Racing KTM 03h 20m 43s
2. Kevin Benavides Honda Factory Racing Honda +03m 03s
3. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Racing KTM +03m 28s
13. Oriol Mena Hero Motosports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +09m 25s
101. C.S. Santosh Hero Motosports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +01h 55m 14s
Overall Provisional Classifications after Stage 3
1. Sam Sunderland RedBull KTM Factory Racing KTM 06h 44m 23s
2. Kevin Benavides Honda Factory Racing Honda +04m 38s
3. Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +05m 00s
20. Oriol Mena Hero Motosports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +32m 33s
57. C.S. Santosh Hero Motosports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +02h 18m 36s
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