Halfway there, with half the distance of the world's most gruelling off-road rally raid still to go. CS Santosh has something to be proud of for sure, in that his performance during the first six stages of the Dakar has been good and consistent, especially for a rider competing in his first ever edition of the event. Before heading to the Dakar Santosh had told us that his goal was clear - that he was only focussed on finishing the Dakar. And, by the looks of it, he just might do that.
As the Dakar reaches the halfway mark, Santosh is ranked 52nd in the motorcycle category
At the end of the fifth stage of the event, that lead from Copiapo to Antofagasta, Santosh, or Chunchunguppe Shivashankar as his name is listed in the official Dakar entry list, was placed 51st overall in the motorcycle category. He had improved vastly since the very first stage of the event that saw him ranked 85th overall. And with the rally then proceeding from Antofagasta to Iquique, Santosh had his work cut out for him with the motorcycle riders and quad bikes doing an extra stretch during the stage.
As things would turn out, the Kini Red Bull rider, astride a KTM 450 Rally, would put in a consistent performance at the event. On the stage that would see motorcycle riders cover a total of around 650km, Santosh would manage to take the KTM home 64th in the stage, with a timing of 5hr 21min 29sec. This would put him 1hr 41min 19sec behind stage winner Helder Rodrigues.
Santosh is also currently ranked 52nd overall in the motorcycle category as the Dakar has completed six stages.
With the Dakar now having reached the halfway mark, the riders are set for a day of rest before the rally continues on from Iquique and takes them into Uyuni.