PUNE: Stage 3 of the 2018 Merzouga Rally one of the toughest day of the event was a fruitful outing for the Indian teams. The first marathon stage consisted of a timed section of 63km after which riders had to negotiate around 240km in the dunes of Rissani erg and Chebbi erg, along with sand in the Fezou region and Ouzina erg before finishing at the campsite.
What made Stage 3 difficult was the fact that the riders had no help from their crew and were relying on themselves or kind fellow riders for help. Joan Pedrero remained the top Sherco TVS Factory Rally team rider as he finished the stage in eighth place.
Lorenzo Santolino dropped a place compared to his standings after Stage 2 to finish 11th. Duplessis Diego Martin also dropped a position to finish Stage 3 in 13th position while his teammate Vanni Cominotto finished in 24th place.
Commenting on his performance in stage 3, Joan Pedrero, rider, Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team says, “I had to negotiate dunes, sand and stones in a special marathon stage. We had to cross the tricky stone terrain. I am glad to have finished it with my bike in a good condition. “
DECENT DAY AT OFFICE FOR ORIOL MENA
- Hero MotoSports Team Rally performed well to improve their overall standings at the end of stage. Oriol Mena, who had faced electrical problems on his motorcycle in Stage 2, rode brilliantly to cover up for the time he had lost in the previous stage. The Spanish rider made sure he didn’t commit any navigation errors and this meant he climbed from 28th position to 14th place by the end of Stage 3. C S Santosh rode cautiously to end the stage in 27th place. Overall, Oriol stands at 16th place and C S Santosh is in 20th place at the end of three stages.
- Commenting on his performance, Oriol Mena, rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “I started well today and attacked from the start to catch the rider in front of me. It was a day of mostly solo riding as I had a good clearance both in front and behind me. I made no navigation mistakes and rode carefully in the rocky section to arrive safely at the Marathon Bivouac.”