Pune: The two Indian teams competing in the ongoing Merzouga Rally got off to a good start for the opening stage, with solid finishing positions for their riders.
Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team’s Joan Pedrero Garcia led the way, slotting in at sixth position at the end of Stage 1, which was won by Honda’s Joan Barreda Bort.
The rest of the TVS outfit also did well, with Lorenzo Santolino ending the stage in ninth position, while Martin Duplessis Diego ended the stage in 12th position. The team’s fourth rider, Vanni Cominotto, ended the stage 27th.
While, Hero MotoSports Team Rally’s Oriol Mena and CS Santosh finished 11th and 20th respectively after the first stage in the Merzouga Rally in southeastern Morocco.
Mena, the first of the two riders to start the stage on Monday, rode solid from the beginning, tackling the tricky navigation to finish at 11th position with a timing of three hours, 44 minutes and 13 seconds.
Santosh also made a cautious and steady start to his Merzouga campaign and brought the bike home safely, finishing 20th place in the stage with a timing of four hours, 14 minutes and 50 seconds.
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 will be 175 km long including two loops– the opening and closing sections will be run in the dunes of the erg. It will be a test of the racer’s physical endurance as well as navigation techniques and is touted to be a very tough stage.