The penultimate stage of the Dakar Rally 2018 brought the competitors from San Juan to the city of Cordoba, covering a total distance of 907 km which includes the special stage of 424 km.
Both riders of Hero MotoSports Team Rally took on the stage with the sole objective of bringing the bike home without getting into any untoward incidents just one day before the final stage.
Spanish rookie Oriol Mena kept the pressure on to inch closer to his debut Dakar finish with a 8th place in today’s stage. Overall, he now stands at 8th position at the end of stage 13.
Indian ace rider CS Santosh also held his nerves and brought home a solid and steady stage for the team, finishing today at 33rd position. At an overall level, today’s finish takes him to 34th position with only the last hurdle remaining between him and his 3rd Dakar finish.
Stage 13 of the Dakar Rally offered the last taste of the dunes of San Juan and also an area of fesh-fesh around the famous WRC mountain-pists around Cordoba, which tested their nerves.
Moving on tomorrow, the ultimate stage 14 will be contested in Cordoba itself before the winners of the Dakar 2018 could be crowned. However, focus and keeping it cool will be the key as the competitors will still need to cross around 30 rios, that’s as many potential pitfalls, meaning that the competitors could not afford to let their guard down till the very last km is in their bag.
Oriol Mena (Comp #61): « It was a good day today for me. I rode really safe today so no crash or mistakes made. I want to thank my team mates who have been working really hard for me over the last couple of weeks. My rankings have been improving and I am first in the rookie class as of now but we will see the final results after tomorrow’s finsih. Important thing is to make it to the finish line at Cordoba tomorrow. »
C.S Santosh (Comp #49): « Today was the last big stage of the Dakar with long liaison and long special. You think it is going to get easier in the last day but it doesn’t. The first 100 kms were so hard but the second half was really nice and fast. I had a lot of fun today on my bike, was trying to go as fast I could and enjoy the last day. Tomorrow we bring it home! »
Provisional Stage 13 Classifications
1. Toby Price, RedBull KTM Racing, KTM, 04h 48m 33s
2. Kevin Benavides, Honda Factory Racing, Honda, +02m 03s
3. Antoine Meo, RedBull KTM Racing, KTM, +02m 44s…
8. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +21m 54s…
33. C.S. Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +01h 07m 52s…
Overall Provisional Classifications after Stage 13
1. Matthias Walkner, RedBull KTM Racing, KTM, 41h 33m 42s
2. Kevin Benavides, Honda Factory Racing, Honda, +22m 31s
3. Toby Price, RedBull KTM Racing, KTM, +27m 45s…
8. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +02h 23m 29s…
34. C.S. Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, Hero MotoSports, +11h 16m 29s…