While Yamaha's Xavier de Soultrait continued to top the overall classification after the second special stage of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally in Morocco yesterday, Sherco-TVS' Juan Pedrero moved up to fourth overal after the first real test for the riders in which they had to tackle 188kms of desert running.
A GAME OF NAVIGATION
It required them to be on top of their game too, with a particular focus put on road book preparation and navigation as Hero Motosports Team Rally's Joaquim Rodrigues discovered when he missed going past a secret waypoint, which is likely to lose him time once the results become official and all the penalties are calculated.
However, Rodrigues' teammate CS Santosh rode what he claimed was the best stage since he started to compete on the international cross-country rally stage in 2013.
The Bengaluru native made an improvement on his overall standing to be placed 14th overall in the general Moto classification and 15th among the top rally riders, which included a rider who was not included in the Moto classification.
HICCUP FOR ARAVIND KP
Meanwhile, his compatriots Aravind KP and Tanveer Abdul Wahid of Sherco-TVS ended up 33rd and 34th overall in the general Moto classification.
Aravind had a fall that cost him time, forcing him to drop out of the top 20 where he had been after the opening stage. International cross-country rally debutant Wahid managed to improve upon his classification of 65th after the opening stage.
Fifty one riders remain classified in the general Moto standings with four more stages left to run.
Today's stage is a 175km run into the Moroccan desert that runs in a loop.