Editorial Raid

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Africa Eco Race 2019

Merzouga: A tricky stage 4 negotiated well by the Hero

The penultimate stage of the Merzouga Rally sprung up some tricky situations for both the riders of Hero MotoSports Team Rally. They lost some time initially in trying to find the right way into the stage but managed to get on to the right path with each other’s help. Later JRod broke his GPS while negotiating a tricky downhill section, forcing him to stop a few times to fix it correctly, losing more time in the process. Even with these difficulties the duo made up some good time to finish the stage reasonably well, though not on par with results they would have aimed for today.

Oriol Mena finished the stage in 6th position, while JRod closed the stage in 11th position. With just one more stage to go, Oriol Mena retains his place in the top 3 with a 3rd place while JRod stands at 4th place in the provisional overall rankings.
 
The part 2 of the marathon stage was another long day, with 219 km special to be run under the sun, before the riders could get back to the comforts of the Rally bivouac at Xaluca Hotel, and get reunited with their assistance. This stage was a critical stage of the rally in terms of the difficulties and the dunes to be tackled. In a way, the results of today’s stage will contribute significantly towards determining the final standings of the competitors.
 
Now with the toughest of the stages behind them, the main focus of the competitors will be to keep their head down and make it to the finish line without unwarranted trouble, but not before the dishing out a final challenge of the Grand Prix Dunes.
 
Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, "Today was a difficult day. Just after the start both I and JRod lost some time in finding the right way ahead. Finally with each other’s help we managed to get back on the right track. After that I found my rhythm back and got the bike safely back to the bivouac. It’s only one day left now to bring the rally home so that’s what my focus is on now."
 
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, "It was a trying day for me today. I lost time right at the start of the stage in finding the right track and then broke my GPS a bit later while trying to come out of a downhill trial section and then had to stop a few times to get it fixed correctly. So it was quite a tricky task for me to get to the finish line today but in the end what matters is to make it to the finish line and I am happy with that."
 
Provisional Rankings of the Stage 4
1. Ross Branch, BAS Dakar Team, 03h 28m 15s
2. Adrien Van Beveren, Yamaha Racing, +03m 57s
3. Maurizio Gerini, Solarys Racing, +04m 33s
6. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +08m 58s
11. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports, +22m 15s
 
Provisional Overall Rankings after the Stage 4
1. Adrian Van Beveren, Yamaha Racing, 14h 33m 01s
2. Ross Branch, BAS Dakar Team, +22m 58s
3. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +30m 17s
4. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports, +34m 18s
5. Alessandro Botturi, Africa Dream Racing, +43m 43s


Marie-France Estenave pour MFE-Live.com

Autres actus Raid - Merzouga