What promised to be the longest stage of the day started on a very slow note as the stage 2 of the Atacama Rally got delayed by almost 3 hours owing to foggy conditions and poor visibility in the morning. Further it was decided to reduce the stage by about 73 km to avoid some riders arriving after the sun set. However, unlike the weather, the intentions of the Hero MotoSports Team Rally were very clear, that is to bring another stage in the books safely.
Both the riders kept their cool and rode with caution and safety to finish the stage 2 successfully. Oriol had a particularly strong run today as he managed to catch several riders starting in front of him. Today’s gain saw him finish the stage at 10th place. While JRod too had a solid run as he continued to keep it calm and steady finish the stage in the 15th position. After today’s stage, JRod and Oriol Mena are strongly placed at 13th and 14th place respectively in the overall rankings.
Today’s special stage ran for a total of 303 km after being reduced from an original run of 376 km and challenged the rider’s with another day of a mix of hard pack and rocky mountains making it a fast but extremely technical to run.
Tomorrow, the rally will move on to the 3rd stage with another 260 kms to be done on the clock.
Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor # 16) : « it was a good stage, really fast. The trial sections in the first half of the stage with lot of rocks were not too good for my back and the second part was even faster. I still don’t have that much speed in me to go full gas all the time so decided to take it easy and get myself back to the bivouac. The bike is working pretty good so overall happy with my performance so far. »
Oriol Mena (Competitor# 14) : « it was a really fast and good stage for me. Especially the piste zone, and enduro style trial sections right up to the Refuel point were very fast and technical, which I like. Had a great run today but tomorrow is a new day which I am sure will give more opportunities to me to do even better. »
Provisional Rankings for Stage 2
1. Kevin Benavides, Honda Racing, 3hr 44m 04s
2. Sam Sunderland, KTM Factory Racing, +1m 01s
3. Tony Price, KTM Factory Racing, +2m 05s
10. Oriol Mena, Hero Motorsports, +13m 13s
15. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero Motorsports, +31m 43s
Provisional Overall Rankings after Stage 2
1. Kevin Benavides, Honda Racing, 6hr 39m 39s
2. Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna Racing, +1m 53s
3. Toby Price, KTM Factory Racing, +6m 04s
13. Oriol Mena, Hero Motorsports, +50m 18s
14. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero Motorsports, +1hr 07m 45s…