Aravind out of Dakar

Aravind out of Dakar

It was a tough couple of days for both Hero MotoSports Team Rally's riders, but Oriol Mena came through to take his best stage finish of the Dakar yet.

The curse of the weather hit the Bolivian leg of the Dakar rally even before it began here on Thursday. With this pace, the Sherco TVS Factory Rally team's lead racer has jumped up to 15th position in the overall rankings.

Rotten luck has struck Sherco TVS Factory Rally team's Indian rider Aravind KP again. Despite the misfortune, the other two riders kept their focus, riding well in a generally unconventional stage, relying on their navigation expertise to guide them through. This handed over a 40-minute rally lead to Chilean rider Ignacio Casale. The 764km long stage featured a 268km "special" where the riders had to ride through a hard terrain of sand and dust. I am going to attack as much as possible and make up some places. Barreda is now in the fourth position overall but, he is still on the hunt for the Dakar 2018 podium. The sand was really soft and some of the dunes were really massive.

"It was probably one of the toughest stage of the Dakar 2018 and new experience for me". After having been 33rd in the overall standings after the first four stages, his unfortunate injury saw him drop out of the classification. Aravind was in promising 44th position after the fourth stage of the world's toughest rally raid.

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For the fifth stage, the organisers separated the route for bikes/quads and cars/trucks.

While competitors put the rigors of the Peruvian desert behind them with the end of Wednesday's stage, they will now have to contend with the challenge of high altitude in Bolivia. Aravind's dream of becoming the only second Indian to finish the Dakar Rally has shattered again due to this unfortunate incident. Some 30 seconds behind, Price took third, finishing at the exact same time as runner up's Kevin Benavides from Honda.

"I am very proud because it is the first time that an Argentine rider has led the Dakar Rally", said Benavides, who is one minute and fifty-seven seconds clear of van Beveren after the first six stages. With Pedrero the lone rider from TVS Sherco still in the running, he will be looking to close the gap to the leaders before the Dakar Rally moves to Argentina as he looks to accomplish another top 10 finish.

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