Dakar 2019, Stage 1: Top 20 start for Hero's Santosh
CS Santosh’s fifth Dakar campaign got off to a promising start as he finished inside the top 20 in the first stage of the cross-country rally.
The 2019 edition of Dakar began in earnest on Monday, with competitors covering a modest competitive distance of 85 km from Lima to Pisco in Peru.
Hero MotoSport’s Santosh completed the stage in 1hr06m49s, which placed him 20th in the timesheets at the end of the day.
“We finished the first day, first stage of Dakar. I’ve got good memories from here last year,” Santosh said.
“I had a very good first stage and I did the same this time around also. Kevin [Benavides] passed me very early. I latched onto him until the river.
“And after that there was a lot of dust but I just did my own thing. And really happy to bring the bike home in the first stage. I’ve got a good feeling.”
Sherco TVS’ Michael Metge set a time that was just 6m49s slower than stage pacesetter Joan Barreda to finish 12th, the highest position for any rider from the two Indian teams.
He edged out Hero’s Oriol Mena, who finished just two spots behind in 14th.
Meanwhile, Joaquim Rodrigues - who had a horrifying crash in Dakar last year - was classified 23rd in the third of the Hero bikes, just ahead of Sherco TVS pair Adrien Metge and Lorenzo Santolino.
The trio were separated by less than a minute at the end of stage 1, with the gap between Rodrigues and Metge a mere two seconds.
Finally, Aravind KP’s effort only yielded the 71st fastest time, but with nine stages still remaining he has enough time to claw his way back up the pack.
#48 Sherco TVS: Aravind KP
Photo by: TVS Racing
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About this article
|Drivers||CS Santosh , Aravind KP|
|Teams||Hero , Sherco Racing|