Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Hero MotoSports' Mena, Santosh 27th & 28th at Dakar Rally

Hero MotoSports' Mena, Santosh 27th & 28th at Dakar Rally

On the flip side, and there always seems to be one in the Dakar Rally, 2017 champion Sam Sunderland will not be 2018 Dakar Rally Champion. Aravind was in promising 44th position after the fourth stage of the world's toughest rally raid. I did make a mistake with my navigation that was my own fault and cost me a little, but generally I am feeling really positive about the day. His expertise not only helped him, but competitors too, who followed him on the hard trail to ensure they don't make any mistakes.

CS Santosh stands 51st in the overall rankings, while teammate Oriol Mena's strong performance helps him climb to 21st overall. Prior to KP, Sherco TVS also lost Adrien Metge on Stage 2 after injuries to his shin.

CS Santosh played it safe, and ended the stage in 52nd position. This will also mark the rally's first marathon stage of 425 km. The 30-year-old rider in his second attempt to complete the Dakar Rally has been forced out due to a broken ankle after a crash in Wednesday's stage 5 which started from San Juan De Marcona and finished in Arequipa in Peru.

With a tough stage on the cards, both the Hero riders chose to be cautious and steady. The former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham manager, who was making his debut in the rally, felt back pains after his vehicle crashed against a sand dune in the fourth stage. Competitors were challenged by the tricky canyons in the first 40 km of the stage made only tougher by the dunes that followed.

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The retirement of Aravind has left Sherco TVS with only a single rider, Joan Pedrero. Barreda is now in the fourth position overall but, he is still on the hunt for the Dakar 2018 podium.

It was Stage 5 victor Joan Barreda who led the bikes off the start alongside the banks of the Titicaca Lake. "I know that if I keep calm and stay focused on my job, we can finish these sand stages with a good overall result".

The sixth stage of the rally saw the action move from Peru to Bolivia as riders traversed through the 758 km long stretch from Arequipa to La Paz. I thought it might be at the top of a dune. The young Spaniard finished the stage in 11th place and is placed 21st overall.

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