Day 2 of the 2019 Dakar Rally brought mixed fortunes for Hero MotoSports and Sherco TVS. The second stage, which began from Pisco and ended in San Juan de Marcona comprised 553km of liaison and 342km of special stage. The route was more complicated than it was on the opening day, meaning there was a major shake-up in overall rankings after the second day of rally.
Sherco TVS team had mixed results after the completion of the second stage. The team’s rookie rider Lorenzo Santolino finished the second day in 12th position overall, an improvement of 13 places from yesterday. Not only Lorenzo, Adrien Metge, too, improved his overall position to 16th. Aravind KP, who was in 70th position yesterday, steadily progressed to 61st position. As for Michael Metge, the rider who was top Sherco TVS rider on day 1, he suffered a fuel outage during the stage and his progress was delayed by one and a half hours. After day 2, Michael is placed 60th overall.
For Hero MotoSports, stage 2 turned out to be more challenging, too. CS Santosh suffered a technical glitch – a clutch issue, to be precise – during the stage and, as a result, his position dropped down to 33rd overall from 20th on day 1. Teammate Joaquim Rodrigues also faced a fuel related issue, meaning he also lost some crucial time. He finished the day at the 32nd spot overall. On the other hand, Oriol Mena continued his impressive run on the second day as well. He finished the stage in 17th and is now 16th overall. He was 14th on day 1.
As for the front-runners, the reigning Dakar champion Matthias Walkner of KTM turned out to be the fastest rider in stage 2 as he beat teammate Ricky Brabec by just 22 seconds. Joan Barreda of Honda Factory Racing finished the stage in third, but in the overall rankings after day 2, he is still placed at the top, ahead of the KTM duo of Walkner and Brabec.
In the four-wheel category, there were some major changes in the rankings. Stage 2 saw nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb storm to the top of the timesheet in his Peugeot as he finished day 2 as the fastest driver. Behind him was Nani Roma in a Mini, who was only 8 seconds adrift. Bernhard Ten Brinke took the third spot, driving his Toyota Hilux. The top drivers from day 1, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Carlos Sainz struggled to finish in top 3. Attiyah, who finished day 1 on top, is now 8th overall, while Sainz has slipped down to 6th from 2nd. Overall, Giniel de Villiers leads ahead of Ten Brinke, making it a Toyota 1-2. Roma is in third.
On the third day, the rally will leave for Arequipa, covering 799km. The stage is going to be one of the most difficult stages of this year’s rally, so expect some major shake-up in the rankings again.