Look at the stage finish times for the final stage of the Merzouga Rally, and you'll notice that second-placed Joaquim Rodrigues from Hero is just three seconds behind him. Another three seconds behind Rodrigues is Ivan Cervantes, on a KTM. You have to remember that everyone started together, unlike the other starts - the finish must really have been something to see!
Juan Pedrero Garcia was in his almost-usual place, fourth, while his Sherco TVS teammate Adrian Metge brought it home in 11th place. CS Santosh of Hero Motorsport finished 24th, while, Wahid Abdul Tanveer finished 30th on his Sherco. Aravind KP was 36th for Sherco TVS.
The overall win went, as expected, to the model of consistency, Xavier de Soultrait, on his Yamaha. Gerard Farres was second on his KTM and Franco Caimi was third on his Yamaha - a stunning result for someone who has just switched to the team from a Honda. Juan Pedrero Garcia just missed out on a podium, finishing just under 16 minutes adrift of third place. Here are the overall classifications for the rest of the riders from Hero Motorsport and Sherco TVS:
Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) - 9th overall.
CS Santosh (Hero) - 17th overall.
Aravind KP (Sherco TVS) - 21st overall.
Wahid Abdul Tanveer (Sherco) - 27th overall.
The Merzouga Rally is part of the Dakar Challenge, which means that the winning rider in the Dakar Challenge gets free registration for the upcoming Dakar race. The winner at Merzouga was Polish rider Maciej Giemza, who finished 10th on his KTM.