Dakar 2019 Stage 5 Report: As the 2019 Dakar entered the second of the perilous marathon stage, exhaustion, dehydration and a lack of rest would have been weighing the pack down as they settled in for the long ride home. Almost without saying, it was certain that day 2 of the marathon stage would not be without event. One of the major casualties from the day’s stages was Indian rider CS Santosh who crashed out on day 5 and needed to airlifted from the stage to a local hospital. With severe bruises to his hip, Santosh needed to be airlifted out to a hospital. Thankfully, we can confirm that he is recovering and stable. This is Santosh’s second disappointment since his 2016 run on a Suzuki! The disappointment would have been compounded for the Indian rider considering his strong performance thus far in the rally.
Stage five at the 2019 Dakar wasn’t all bad, with the news of the day coming out of the TVS-Sherco racing camp. TVS-Sherco rider Lorenzo Santolino took third place in the stage, right on the tail of Yamaha’s Xavier de Soultrait and KTMs Mathias Walkner, but was briefly pushed down to fourth place after Sam Sunderland was credit 10 mins for helping out a fellow rider. Then received his position back after Walkner was handed a 6 and a half minute penalty. Santolino is now leading the pack for the two Indian Teams at the 2019 Dakar in 11th place overall.
As for the rest of the TVS Sherco contingent, Adrien and Michael Metge played on consistency but dropped a few places in the process finishing in 25th and 30th place respectively in the day. They go into tomorrow, Adrien is holding his 16th place while Michael has climbed an additional two positions to 24th. Meanwhile, KP Aravind had a good day keeping not only his nerve and his motorcycle intact, but he also finished the day in 49th place climbing 11 spots overall to 53rd. Going into Stage 6, Aravind will be looking to focus on the finish and learn all the ropes of the Dakar.
The Hero MotorSport riders had a disappointing day with all riders crashing out during some point in the day or the other. Despite the crashes, the remaining riders did manage to make it to the end of the day. Mena rode the rest of the day maturely to finish in 12th place, four and a half mins behind TVS’ Lorenzo. The same went for Joaquim Rodrigues did well finishing 18th place for the day, and 28th overall. The 2019 Dakar will now go into rest day, meaning that the Mechanics in the biovacs will have a chance to prepare the machines for the rest of the Dakar, and reverse whatever damages was done to the machines over the last two days!