Jaisalmer: Abhishek Mishra and Aaron Mare took decisive steps in clinching the titles in Xtreme and Moto Category after Leg 4 of the 16th edition of Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm here on Thursday. With the short stage of 25kms in Leg 5 on Friday, the duo should clinch the title, barring any issue forcing them to retire from the Rally.
The Leg 4 of the Desert Storm contained two stages, 4A and 4B with two sub-stages. The Stage 4A was flagged off at Majid ki Basti and ended at Asu Tar, while the next sub-stage started at Asu Tar and ended at Bhuwana. The same stage was reverse for 4B and was a night stage for Xtreme category vehicles.
As per the provisional results, Mishra and his navigator V Venu Rameshkumar continue to lead the filed in Xtreme category by more than 15 minutes with the total time of 11 hours 15 minutes and 54 seconds.
Raj Singh Rathore too maintained his second spot with the timing of 11:30:57, while Vikram Jain moved in the third place with a total time of 12:20:21, after Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport endured torrid time in the field.
Their last two remaining cars failed to make it home in stage 4A as Sharma driving a prototype four-wheel drive S-Cross ground to a halt in the morning stages with a damaged radiator. Dharampal Jhangra driving yet another prototype four-wheel drive, Vitara Brezza suffered a turbo failure that forced him to stop.
There was no such trouble for Mishra, as he won the two morning stages by a comfortable margin before repeating his show in the night stages that were part of Leg 4B.
In the Moto class, the night stages were cancelled in the interest of rider safety. Instead, the organisers, Northern Motorsports, ran three stages in the morning to mark the completion of leg four in the Moto class.
Spanish Rider Santalino Lorenzo of TVS Racing continued to shine as the Rally progressed winning all three stages and got close to the timing of Mare, but could not take the lead.
Going into the final stage, Mare leads the timesheets with a total time of 7 hours 44 minutes and 22 seconds while Lorenzo is currently in second place with a total time of 7:49:43. While other Angata Racing rider Sanjay Kumar maintained his
Despite leading the timesheets, the title is not in the bag just yet for Mare as it was reported that KTM 450 is suffering from an internal oil leak, while Kumar is dealing with gearbox issues with his bike stuck in third gear. With just 25 km left in the 2018 Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, the game is still wide open in the Moto class. The fourth leg turned out to be troublesome for TVS Racing as Tanveer Abdul Wahid was forced to retire with
Xtreme: 1. Abhishek Mishra and V Venu Rameshkumar (11 hours 15 minutes 54 seconds); 2. Raj Singh Rathore and Sagar Mallappa 11:30:57; 3. Vinam Jain and Karan Malik12:20:21
Moto: 1. Aaron Mare (Angata Racing) 7 hours 44 minutes 22 seconds. 2. Santolino Lorenzo (TVS Racing) 7:49:43; 3. Sanjay Kumar (Angata Racing) 8:18:56