Dakar 2018: Oriol Mena ends Stage 10 in fourth position
After the cancellation of Stage 9, the 2018 Dakar Rally moved to Belen, Argentina, for its 10th stage. This proved to be one of the toughest stages of the Dakar, with competitors facing issues on several fronts. It was also the first full stage in Argentina, with competitors tackling 797km in total, of which 373km comprised the special stage. Despite all the challenges that the stage posed, the Hero MotoSports Team Rally riders managed to have another successful outing.
A strong performance from Oriol Mena resulted in 4th position at the end of Stage 10 for the Hero MotoSports Team Rally rider
In fact, for the team's rookie rider, Spaniard Oriol Mena, the tenth stage turned out to be his best so far in the Dakar. Mena navigated without error, and ended the stage in fourth position. Mena demonstrated true sporting spirit when he stopped and called for rescue of a fellow rider who crashed in front of him. Overall, his performance ensures that he now moves to 14th position overall at the end of the 10th stage of the rally.
CS Santosh had a tough outing. While the Indian rider started the 10th stage well, he suffered a crash during the second half of the stage. This knocked him out for a while. But Santosh managed to get back astride his motorcycle and finished the stage in 44th position. This puts him 40th overall at the end of the 10th stage.
44th in Stage 10 for CS Santosh who suffered a massive crash in the latter half of the day's running
Speaking of his performance, Oriol Mena said, "I am really happy with my Stage performance. We had decided that today would be a good day to attack for me and I did that from the word go, yet riding safely. I also successfully managed the tough navigation in the 2nd part of the Stage and got all the waypoints correctly. I had to stop to help Luciano Benavides, who had a really bad crash just about 20 km before the end of first part. Unfortunately he is out of the race and my best wishes for him, but this is how the Dakar is. Fortunately for me, it was a good day today and I want to thank all my team-mates who put in a lot of hard work for me. So one day more and one day less!"
Meanwhile Santosh said, "I began the Stage well and was enjoying it, but 20 kms before the neutralization point, in the fast-piste section, I took a big jump, landed on some rocks and had a big crash. It was very difficult from then on and somehow I made it to the end of the first special. I met the Team there and we were able to quickly fix the bike and I got going again to finish the stage. It was a really tough day but we got it done and now only three more days to go for Cordoba."
Competitors now prepare for the second marathon stage in the motorcycle category.
Provisional Stage 10 Classifications
1. Matthias Walkner Redbull KTM Racing KTM 04h 52m 26s
2. Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +11m 35s
3. Gerard Guell Farres RedBull KTM Racing KTM +16m 21s
4. Oriol Mena Hero MotoSports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +20m 45s
44. C.S. Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +01h 53m 15s
Overall Provisional Classifications after Stage 10
1. Matthias Walkner Redbull KTM Racing KTM 32h 21m 03s
2. Joan Bort Barreda Honda Factory Racing Honda +39m 42s
3. Kevin Benavides Honda Factory Racing Honda +41m 23s
14. Oriol Mena Hero MotoSports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +01h 57m 08s
40. C.S. Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +09h 06m 02s