Dakar Day 4 Report: As the riders entered the first half of Dakars gruelling two part marathon stage, the focus quickly shifted from outright stage times to survival. Since the stage was not just about bringing the bike back to Parc Ferme in one piece but also demanded that the bike be good enough to survive the next days stages with no assistance from your team of mechanics at the biovac. If something’s broken on your bike you best be able to repair it yourself without eating too much into your rest time.
From the Indian contingent Hero MotorSport Oriol Mena and Sherco TVS’ Lorenzo Santolino finished the day just shy of the coveted top ten. Both riders, have been leading the charge for their teams since day 2 and have put on an outstanding show of consistency and courage. The two have taken the fight to KTM, Honda and Yamaha with their Indian backed motorcycles. On day 4 it was Lorenzo who was a tad quicker than Mena finish the rally in 10th place, just 14 seconds ahead of Mena who took the 11th spot.
TVS Sherco’s other contenders, the Metge brothers’ Adrian and Michael too have been keeping the consistency on this crucial stage holding onto their positions in this extremely difficult stage. While Adrian held onto his 16th place his brother recovering from a botched day two finished in 26th place. Further back, Hero MotorSports Joaquim Rodrigues, CS Santosh and TVS Sherco’s KP Aravind were having a hard time fighting their way through the slower pack at the Dakar 2019. Aside from the criss-cross track left behind by lost competitors, the riders at the back were left in the dust of the front runners. Despite these challenges both riders finished in 31st and 44th on the overall standings. Aravind looks to be on a more mature mission this year round with his sole objective to finish the rally and has dropped down a few spots again to 64th overall.