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Dakar 2019 Stage 9: Aravind KP On The Verge Of Completing 2019 Dakar

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  • Jan 17, 2019
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TVS Sherco’s Michael Metge grabs a surprise win; Dakar veteran Stephane Peterhansel retires from the race

  • Aravind KP retains 39th position overall 
  • 13-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel retires from the competition 
  • With only 112km to go, Toby Price maintains a lead of only 1m02s over Husqvarna rider Pablo Quintanilla
Dakar 2019 Stage 9: Aravind KP On The Verge Of Completing 2019 Dakar

 

The penultimate round of 2019 Dakar was unlike anything we had seen before. The riders started off in a group of ten to complete a 313km loop of Pisco, which meant the top 10 finishers from the last round started simultaneously, with the gap between them still staying relatively small. We almost expected it to be a recap of the last round.

But that wasn’t the case. Sherco TVS factory rider Michael Metge and Honda privateer Daniel Nosigilia, both of whom started in the second group, surpassed the favourites to finish first and second respectively. Following them was Husqvarna rider Pablo Quintanilla. 

Dakar 2019 Stage 9: Aravind KP On The Verge Of Completing 2019 Dakar

The sole Indian rider left in Dakar, Aravind KP (Sherco TVS), led his group for nearly 200km before suffering from a mechanical issue. However, with the help of fellow riders, the Sherco TVS rider was able to finish in 55th position, retaining 39th place overall. If Aravind manages to complete the next stage without any major hiccups, he will be the second Indian after CS Santosh to finish Dakar in its entirety.  

Meanwhile, Hero MotoSports had a lot to celebrate. Oriol Mena scored a top 10 finish, moving up to 9th position overall, while Joaquim Rodrigues put in yet another decent shift throughout to finish 18th.

Dakar 2019 Stage 9: Aravind KP On The Verge Of Completing 2019 Dakar

As it stands right now, Toby Price (KTM Factory), who is still recovering from a wrist injury,  leads the chart with just a 1m02s over Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) and 6m35s over Matthias Walkner (KTM Factory). With just 112kms to go, Husqvarna has the opportunity to beat KTM’s unbeaten run.

Dakar 2019 Stage 9: Aravind KP On The Verge Of Completing 2019 Dakar

 

Coming to the cars, Qatar-based Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing SA) bagged his third win of the competition. This was helped by his closest rivals - Sebastien Loeb (PH-Sport), Stephane Peterhansel (Mini 4x4) and Cyril Despres (X-Rain Mini JCW) facing a series of misfortunes. 

Dakar 2019 Stage 9: Aravind KP On The Verge Of Completing 2019 Dakar

Dakar legend Stephane Peterhansel, in fact, had to forfeit the race after a crash which hospitalised his co-driver. This is the first time the 13-time Dakar champion had to forfeit the race in over a decade. The current leader Nasser Al-Attiyah now maintains a healthy 51-minute buffer over Nani Roma (X-Raid Team) going into the 112km Pisco-Lima finale. He now closes in on winning his third Dakar title.

Dakar 2019 Stage 9: Aravind KP On The Verge Of Completing 2019 Dakar

 

We’re now headed to the last hurdle of the championship, with just 112km of Dune to cover between Pisco to Lima. To stay on top of the action, stay tuned to ZigWheels!

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