- Oriol Mena finished eight in stage 3, sits 12th overall
- First two stage-leader Joan Barreda moves out of the competition
- Hero’s CS Santosh dips further in the overall standings
The third stage of the Dakar Rally 2019 ended up with some surprising results. Spanned across 799km with a 331km special section, the route led the riders from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa. The day ended with the Honda rider Joan Barreda, who had been maintaining the lead, moving out of the rally as he got stuck in sand midway and failed to resume in the race. Replacing him at the top position in the overall standing was Pablo Quintanilla from Husqvarna.
The fastest in stage 3 was Yamaha’s Xavier De Soultrait who got his rank pushed from 12th in stage 2 to sixth in stage 3. While Honda faced disappointment due to Joan’s exit, his team mate Kevin Benavides made up for it by pushing harder and grabbing the second position, up from eighth in stage 2. The third position is held by KTM’s Sam Sunderland who jumped up from the sixth spot in the previous stage.
Indian boy CS Santosh (Hero MotoSports) had a great start on the first day but, owing to relentless challenges, has now dipped down to 42nd position. This was due to the trouble in finding his waypoint. A similar hurdle came across Hero’s Joaquim Rodrigues’ way which made him settle at 31st position. However, Oriel Mena emerged much stronger who went blistering along the track and ended up a brilliant eighth in stage 3 and 12th overall.
A similar performance was showcased by Sherco TVS’ Michael Metge who went all out in stage 3 promoting his rank from 62nd to 28th. Meanwhile, his brother Adrien hovered around the same position as the previous day and remained higher up at 15th rank. Just two positions higher was his team mate Lorenzo Santolino while struggle continues for the Indian rider Aravind KP who is currently 61st in the chart.
Intense challenges await the riders in stage 4 as this will consist of the longest timed section in the rally – 405km. Moreover, the riders will not meet their crew at the end of the day which means no technicians at their disposal. The 4th stage stretches from Arequipa to Moquegua, Peru.