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 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.
RedBull KTM Factory Racing
03h 20m 43s
Honda Factory Racing
. Oriol Mena
Hero Motosports Team Rally
Hero Motosports Team
+01h 55m 14s
Provisional Classifications after Stage 3
06h 44m 23s
Husqvarna Factory Racing
+02h 18m 36s
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 in this stage 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.”
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