Dakar 2019 Stage 1: Santosh Dazzles On Day One In Peru

Sherco-TVS Racing and Hero MotoSport are closely matched as Honda’s Joan Barreda wins Stage 1

  • Sherco-TVS Racing’s Michael Metge leads the Indian charge, finishes 12th
  • Hero’s Oriol Mena is hot on his tail in 14th
  • Santosh ends the day in the top 20
  • Honda's Barreda wins opening stage, top KTM in fifth
Dakar 2019 Peru Stage 1 Santosh

It has finally begun and what a brilliant performance by CS Santosh on the opening day of the Dakar 2019. The Fast Indian was literally flying through the 84km SS1. He managed a top ten time through the first waypoint and was twelfth on the second. He did slip up a bit to finish the day in 20th, which might just put a bit of a dampener on the overall result. Nevertheless, it should be a great omen for days to come. There could be a possibility of Santosh being bumped up a spot as 19th place finisher Walter Nosiglia Jager missed both the waypoints and thus could incur a massive time penalty. More on this soon.

Michael Metge showed why Sherco-TVS is paying him the big bucks as he ended the day on the cusp of the top ten, in 12th spot. He was signed on prior to the OiLibya rally and has been putting up great performances ever since. Just 18 seconds off and two places behind him is Hero MotoSport’s Oriol Mena. Both these riders started off cautiously but managed to put in strong results when it mattered most.

The recuperating Joaquim J-Rod Rodrigues ended the day in a commendable 23rd spot with the two Sherco-TVS bikes of Adrien Metge and Lorenzo Santolino right on his tail. India’s Aravind KP completed the day in 70th spot.

Dakar 2019 Peru Stage 1 Joan Barreda Bort

At the top of the Moto class is Honda as factory HRC rider Joan Barreda won the stage by a comfortable margin of 1 minute 34 seconds from Husqvarna rider Pablo Quintanilla. Barreda’s teammate Rickey Brabec completed the top three with Adrien van Beveren finishing the day as the top Yamaha rider in fourth. It is not a great start for the defending champions KTM as their trio of Sam Sunderland, Toby Price and Matthias Walkner are fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

Dakar 2019 Peru Stage 1 Nasser Al-Attiyah

In the Cars category, it is Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah who took top honours on the day from 2018 Dakar winner Carlos Sainz. JAKUB PRZYGONSKI brought his Mini home in third while Vladimir Vasilyev and Yazeed Al Rajhi rounded off the top five. Stephane ‘Mister Dakar’ Peterhansel could only manage to finish seventh while multiple WRC champion Sebastien Loeb is a lowly 13th.

While this was just the opening day, the rally intensifies tomorrow as day two will see the cars opening the stage. The timed section will be longer than today with participants having to compete over a distance of 342km from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona.

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