Atacama Rally 2018: Hero MotoSports' Oriol Mena finishes Stage 2 in 10th place, Joaquim Rodrigues 15th
Stage 2 of the Atacama Rally 2018 in Chile on Thursday brought with it some gains for riders of Hero MotoSports Team Rally. Oriol Mena and Joaquim Rodrigues managed to end the stage in good stead despite the trying conditions, which saw Stage 2 being reduced by 73km. The revised 303km stage was started after a three-hour delay in the morning owing to foggy conditions and poor visibility. Mena finished the day in 10th position to reach overall standing of 13th position. Meanwhile, Rodrigues who is making a comeback after his injury during the 2018 Dakar ended Stage 2 in 15th place to manage an overall standing of 14th.
Mena seemed to have had the stronger run for the day as he even caught up with riders who had started before him. The terrain during the stage was a mix of hard pack and rocky mountains. Added to the conditions, it made for a fast-paced by technically challenging of riding.
Echoing this, Mena said, "It was a really fast and good stage for me. The piste zone and enduro style trial sections right up to the refuel point were very fast and technical. I had a great run today but tomorrow is a new day which I am sure will give more opportunities to me to do even better."
Rodrigues fought off the rocky surface with some caution. "The trial sections in the first half of the stage had a lot of rocks and it wasn't too good for my back and the second part was even faster. I still don't have that much speed in me to go full gas all the time, so decided to take it easy and get myself back to the bivouac. The bike is working pretty good, so I am happy with my overall performance so far," he said.
Tomorrow, the rally will move on to the Stage 3 with another 260km to be run on the clock.
Here are the provisional standings for Stage 2:
1. Kevin Benavides - Honda Racing 3hr 44min 04sec
2. Sam Sunderland - KTM Factory Racing +1min 01sec
3. Toby Price - KTM Factory Racing +2min 05sec
10. Oriol Mena - Hero Motorsports +13min 13sec
15. Joaquim Rodrigues - Hero Motorsports +31min 43sec
Provisional overall ranking after Stage 2
1. Kevin Benavides - Honda Racing 6hr 39min 39sec
2. Pablo Quintanilla - Husqvarna Racing +1min 53sec
3. Toby Price - KTM Factory Racing. +6min 04sec
13. Oriol Mena - Hero Motorsports +50min 18sec
14. Joaquim Rodrigues - Hero Motorsports +1hr 07min 45sec
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