Morocco Rally, Leg 3: Santosh hits trouble, TVS Sherco remains ahead
Hero's CS Santosh retired from the day's proceedings in Oilibiya Rally in Morocco after facing trouble on his bike, as TVS Sherco's Joan Pedrero continued to lead among the two Indian teams.
The third leg in the Moroccan rally took the Oriental route, covering 315 km of the second day in the marathon stage, on Wednesday.
After two days of trouble free run, Santosh's 450cc Hero Speedbrain bike encountered problems before the fourth checkpoint.
The Indian subsequently stopped at 185 km mark into the stage, unable to finish the day. The team is waiting for the bike so as to check for the technical issue and hopes to be back for Thursday's run.
Meanwhile, teammate Joaquim Rodrigues was able to complete his running, crossing all the six CP's in the stage to end 16th overall in the standings.
But the Portuguese rider revealed that it wasn't an easy day. "I entered a difficult section with a lot of rocks and dust. I got lost, dropped some time and found my way again," he said.
"Then my front wheel encountered some damage and I had to stop to fix the spokes.
"But when I arrived at the next checkpoint the wheel was completely loose so I had to nurse my bike to the stage finish. I'm glad I made it, there were a lot of bikes breaking down," he added.
Elsewhere, the other Indian Aravind KP was able to see the finish line abode his TVS Sherco, gaining three places to 25th in the standing.
With many riders facing trouble, even though Aravind finished outside the top 20 in all the CP, the Indian would be satisfied to end the day without major reliability issues.
His teammate Pedrero still holds the top spot among the two Indian teams, gaining three places to break into the top 10 once again into eighth spot.
On the ECM Sherco machinery Lorenzo Sanchez Santolino is 13th, with Adrien Metge on 450cc bike having a better day to end 14th, making up four places.
The battle for overall lead saw KTM's Toby Price again on top, displacing Leg 2 leader Paulo Goncalves, after the Honda rider was unable to finish the day.
Both Sam Sunderland (KTM) and Kevin Benavides (Honda) gained two places to be third and fourth respectively - the latter having ended Stage 3 on top.
Morocco Rally, Leg 2: Santosh marginally ahead of Aravind, TVS Sherco keeps lead
Morocco Rally, Leg 4: TVS Sherco's Aravind retains lead, Santosh back