Jaisalmer: Defending champion of the Moto Category R Nataraj crashed out on Tuesday on Day 2 of the 16th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm after suffering a gearbox failure, while Hero Motorsports rider CS Santosh continued to lead the Rally after Leg 2.
Meanwhile, defending champion in Xtreme category, Team Maruti Suzuki Motorsport driver Suresh Rana also conceded his lead to slip to second in the timesheets.
Aaron Mare of South Africa was the quickest rider of the day as he completed Stage 3 in 1 hour 11:20 minutes and Stage 4 in 37 minutes 29 seconds, to cut down Santosh’s lead at the top to 2 minutes and 14 seconds.
At the end of Leg 2, Santosh leads the timesheet with the total timing of 3 hours 3.06 minutes, while Mare’s timing is 3:05:20. Mare’s Angata Racing team-mate Sanjay Kumar maintained his third spot with 3:21:27.
Team TVS Racing team, who suffered their second retirement in as many days, saw their rider Santolino Lorenzo climb up to fourth while other riders Tanveer Abdul Wahid and RE Rajendra slip down the order.
Rana concedes the lead
In the Xtreme category, Suresh Rana and PVS Murthy were leapfrogged by Abhishek Mishra and V Venu Rameshkumar, as the lead changed after the Leg 2.
The pair of Mishra and Rameshkumar took 1 hour 27:20 minutes and 48 minutes 13 seconds to cover the stage 3 and Stage 4 respectively. While Rana and Murthy needed 1 hour 28:31 and 48 minutes 21 seconds to cover the same stages, wiping out their 33 seconds lead at the end of Leg 1 and now he trails by 38 seconds.
Overnight’s third-place holder Gaurav Chiripal and Srikanth Gowda too slipped to fourth in the standings as Raj Singh Rathore and Sagar Mallappa moved to third.
Provisional Results (Leg 2):
Xtreme: 1. Abhishek Mishra and V Venu Rameshkumar (3 hours 44 mins 07 secs); 2. Suresh Rana and PVS Murthy 3:44:45; 3. Raj Singh Rathore and Sagar Mallappa 3:53:11
Moto: 1. CS Santosh (Hero Motorsports) 3 hours; 03 mins 06 secs; 2. Aaron Mare (Angata Racing) 3:05:20; 3. Sanjay Kumar (Angata Racing) 3:21:27.