Dakar Rally | Goncalves does well to stay 14th overall

Braving it out: Paulo Goncalves of Portugal steering through a tough terrain during the day two of the Dakar Rally.

Braving it out: Paulo Goncalves of Portugal steering through a tough terrain during the day two of the Dakar Rally.  


Santosh, battling a wrist injury, finds the going tough

Amidst tough riding conditions, including rocky terrain and heavy dust, Paulo Goncalves of Portugal held his own to finish 12th in Stage 2 and 14th overall at the Dakar Rally here on Monday.

Goncalves led the Hero MotoSports Team even as his other colleagues — Sebastian Buhler and C.S. Santosh — found the going equally and extremely difficult to finish in 21st and 53rd respectively.

The second stage took the competitors from Al Wajh to Neom for a special stage of 367Km.

Goncalves rode steadily with the sole objective of getting his bike to finish stage 2 without any damages either to vehicle or to himself.

Add to the rough terrain, the super marathon stage brought with it its own difficulties. That stage meant that Goncalves got only 10 minutes to work on his bike.

Buhler, too, did relatively well — he improved his position from 31st the other day — fighting through dust and rocky sections to finish 25th overall. Joaquim Rodrigues ended up 48th but his overall results will not be counted under wild card regulations.

Goncalves said all he wanted was to complete the race. “...I arrived without any issue with the bike so we are in a good shape to finish the second part of the super marathon on Tuesday. I will try to increase my pace day by day without making mistakes to get the team to a good finish.”

Santosh, who suffered a wrist injury on Sunday, rode reasonably well with persistent pain to end the race. “It was a really difficult day for me with all the pain in my wrist from Sunday’s crash. The stage was really rocky and all the impact was coming onto my hand making it really difficult to hold the bike,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sherco TVS’s Harith Noah finished in 51st position.

In Stage 3 on Tuesday, the rally will do one more loop around the city of Neom covering 404 km as part of special stage including the highest section of Dakar at an altitude of 1400m.

The results (Provisional placings): Stage 2: Hero Motorsports Team Rally: 12. Paulo Goncalves; 21. Sebastian Buhler; 53. C.S. Santosh.

Overall provisional rankings after Stage 2: 1. Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM Racing) 07h: 05m.22s; 2,. Pablo Quintanilla (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) +01m 18s; 3. Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda) +01m 32s; Hero Motorsports: 14. Goncalves; 25. Buhler; 48. Santosh.

(The writer is in Saudi Arabia at the invitation of Hero MotoCorp)

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 3:58:47 PM |

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