Dakar 2019 Stage 6 Report: After the riders were done with their day’s rest, a huge disappointment awaited the Indian contingent as stage 6 began. Lorenzo Santolino, TVS-Sherco’s all-star rookie who had been blazing through the stages on the RTR 450 bowed out of the rally after a tremendous crash. The rider who was one of the most watched first-timers at this years’ Dakar rally, crashed out 33 kms into the first stage. He was then airlifted to Lima where there will be a further assessment of his injuries.
From there on forth, the stage 06 of the Dakar only got worse for team TVS-Sherco as Michael Metge finished a dismal 31st in the day, which bumped him up to 36th place overall. Among the finishers from TVS-Sherco, it was Adrien who had the worst day, finishing in 77th place for the day, which sends him flying down the overall rankings in 33rd place overall. The silver lining for Team TVS-Sherco, was Indian rider KP Aravind who has been doing a spectacular job, riding with unmistakable maturity finished the day in 42nd place. This pushes him to 48th place, with leeway to climb a few more spots before the rally ends.
Meanwhile, at the Hero MotoSports camp, things were a little better with all riders still on the motorcycle at the end of the day but progress was slow. Oriol Mena now leads the way for the two Indian teams in 20th place in the day, which dropped him to 13th place in the overall rally. Meanwhile, Joaquim Rodrigues had a strong start to the day but then lost time as Oriol Mena ran out of fuel mid-stage which meant Joaquim had to stop to refuel the bikes. J-Rod finished in the day in a 30th place which puts him 25th in the overall standings.
In the overall standings, it was Pablo Quintanilla from Husqvarna that seemed to have unstoppable pace on stage 6, taking over the lead from the Honda contingent. Over the stage, the rampant Huskie had spaced out the Honda’s leaving an almost 2-minute gap between him and Honda’s Kevin Benavides. KTMs were left slightly in the dust with Matthias Walkner and Toby Price taking third and fourth place almost four minutes off the Huskie. Yamaha’s Adrien van Beveren was fifth.