Hero MotoSports Team Rally’s Oriol Mena finished an impressive fourth in the 10th stage to jump to the overall 14th spot in the Dakar Rally here.
Showing gritty performance and flawless navigation, the Spanish rider on Tuesday was aggressive from the beginning and finished the stage in a very commendable fourth position — his best Dakar stage finish till now. He had a timing of six hours, 46 minutes and 11 seconds
He also stopped and called for rescue for a fellow rider, who crashed in front of him, displaying excellent sportsman’s spirit. Overall, he now stands at the 14th position with a timing of 34 hours, 18 minutes and 11 seconds at the end of Stage 10.
Stage 10 was the first full stage in Argentina with a total run of 797 km out of which 373 km were allocated to the special stage and an initial long liaison of 424 km. Meant to be a day of navigation contest, it however soon turned into a day filled with a lot of unfavourable developments with crashes, exits and riders getting lost through the day.
Following the overnight halt at Salta, the stage proved to be one the toughest stages of this Dakar.
“We had decided that today would be a good day to attack for me and I did that from the word go, yet riding safely. I also successfully managed the tough navigation in the 2nd part of the Stage and got all the waypoints correctly,” Mena said in a release.
“I had to stop to help Luciano Benavides, who had a really bad crash just about 20 km before the end of first part. Unfortunately, he is out of the race and my best wishes for him, but this is how the Dakar is.”
Mena’s teammate C.S. Santosh started the stage quite well until he suffered a crash in the second half of the stage that knocked him out for a short while.
However, with a quick intervention from the team, Santosh managed to finish the difficult stage at the 44th position, which puts him at the 40th position overall with a timing of 41 hours, 27 minutes and five seconds.
“I began the Stage well and was enjoying it. But 20 kms before the neutralisation point, in the fast-piste section, I took a big jump, landed on some rocks and had a big crash. It was very difficult from then on and somehow I made it to the end.”