Pisco (Peru), 8 January 2018: Hero MotoSports Team Rally regained the momentum to make a solid show on the 2nd Day of the Dakar Rally 2018, shrugging off the unfortunate events of the Day 1 where their main rider, J-Rod Rodriques, dropped out of contention after an accident where he fractured his wrist and was airlifted to a hospital.
Stage 2 was the first full-length stage of the Dakar with a short 12-km liaison section followed by a 267-km loop of Pisco. It is a challenging stage with tricky canyons in the first 40 km of the stage which make it only tougher by the series of dunes that follow.
With a tough stage on the cards, both the Hero riders decided to be cautious and steady. Oriol Mena finished the stage at 27th place and Santosh at 29th.
The third stage of the Rally will commence on January 8, when it moves to the next location of San Juan De Marcona, where the competitors can expect to encounter a Chott (dry/marshy saline lake), a number of canyons and almost 60% sand during the course of the 504 kms of riding.
C.S Santosh (Comp No: 49) said: “The Dakar really kicked off today with a difficult stage. The sand was really soft and some of the dunes were really massive. I started really slow but then gained a good rhythm. I had fun today and really happy to make it to the end of day 2.”
Oriol Mena (Comp No: 61) said: “It was a really hard day today but I covered the 1st half at really good speed and caught up with three riders in front of me. Before the re-fuelling station I had slight problem and lost a few minutes there but happy that I finished today and now have one day less to arrive at Cordoba.”
Joaquim Rodrigues (Comp No: 26) said: “Thanks to all the friends and my team for the support and wishes. I am doing ok now and will be flying back home soon to complete my recovery. Sorry, my Dakar was short this year, hard luck but I will come back stronger. All the best to CS and Mena to make it to the finish line at Cordoba safely”
Provisional Stage 2 Classifications: 1. Joan Bort Barreda, Honda Racing, Honda, 02h56m44s; 2. Adrian Van Beveren, Yamaha Official Rally Team, Yamaha, +2m 54s; 3.Matthias Walkner, redBull KTM Factory Racing, KTM, +4m 24s; 27. Oriol Mena Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +24m 55s; 29. C.S. Santosh, Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +26m 07s.
Overall Provisional Classifications after Stage 2
- Joan Bort Barreda, Honda Racing, Honda, 03h18m36s; 2. Adrian Van Beveren, Yamaha Official Team, Yamaha, +2m 30s; 3. Matthias Walkner, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, KTM +4m 50s; 27. Oriol Mena, Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +28m 12s; 28. C.S. Santosh Hero Motosports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +28m 26s.
You can follow Hero MotoSports Team Rally at www.heromotosports.com