Stage 1 of the 9th edition of
the Afriquia Merzouga Rally began at Timbaktu hotel and saw the racers battle
across two loops of 110.7 kilometers and 96.01 kilometers respectively. At the end of the stage, the overall rankings
of the Sherco TVS Factory Rally team were as follows - Joan Pedrero stood at P6
followed by Lorenzo Santolino at P9. Duplessis Diego Martin had a great stage 1
climbing up to P12 with the other debutant Vanni Cominotto finishing at P27.
Commenting on his performance,
Joan Pedrero, Racer, Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team says, “The stage was a test
of our navigational skills and included dunes, sand as well as water
zones. I am happy with my performance
and look forward to improving my rankings in the next stage.”
Meanwhile, Hero MotoSports
Team Rally started its first international rally of the year on a positive note
with both the riders delivering a steady first stage on Monday.
Oriol Mena, the first of the
two riders to start the stage, rode solid from the beginning, tackling the
tricky navigation to finish at 11th position, in the stage as well as overall
rankings. Teammate C S Santosh also made a cautious and steady start to his
Merzouga campaign and brought the bike home safely, overcoming the navigation
challenge to finish at 20th place in the stage and overall rankings.
Stage 1 comprised of just over
200 kms of two loops. The first part of the stage tested the riders with
relatively complicated navigation leading onto the second loop that offered
dunes, sand and water zones.
Stage 2 on Tuesday will make a
run of 175 kms in the region of Erg Chhabbi with the difficulty levels being
tuned up a notch. The stage is expected to be fast but at the same time require
physical toughness with tougher navigation as well.
Meanwhile, leading the pack after
Stage I was Joan Barreda Boat of Honda Racing, followed by Franco Caimi of
Yamaha Racing and Quintanilla Pablo of Husqvarna.
Stage 1 Results
1 10 Barreda Bort Joan RALLY
MOTO HONDA 03:22:16 00:00:00 00:01:00
2 3 Caimi Franco RALLY MOTO
YAMAHA 03:29:52 00:07:36 00:00:00
3 7 Quintanilla Pablo RALLY
MOTO HUSQVARNA 03:33:10 00:10:54 00:00:00
6 4 Pedrero Garcia Juan RALLY
MOTO SHERCO TVS 03:36:06 00:13:50 00:00:00
9 36 Santolino Lorenzo RALLY
MOTO SHERCO TVS 03:43:15 00:20:59 00:00:00
11 17 Mena Oriol Rally MOTO
HERO 03:50:17 00:28:01 00:00:00
12 18 Duplessis Diego Martin RALLY
MOTO SHERCO TVS 03:51:21 00:29:05 00:00:00
20 29 Chunchunguppe
Shivashankar Santosh RALLY MOTO HERO 04:22:32 01:00:16 00:00:00
27 31 Cominotto Vanni Enduro MOTO
SHERCO TVS 05:01:43 01:39:27 00:00:00
Source: Sherco TVS, Hero MotoSports, Merzouga Rally 2018
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