The second stage of Dakar Rally took the competitors from Al Wajh to Neom for a special stage of 367 kms. It was a trial for the competitors with more rocky terrain and a lot of dust.

Hero MotoSports Team Rally brought home a tough stage 2 of Dakar Rally 2020 today.

Paulo Goncalves rode steadly today with an aim to get his bike to the finish without any damages or technical issues. He finished the stage in 12th position and 14th in the overall standings at the end of stage 2. It was the super marathon stage today for Paulo, being an elite rider. This meant that he got only 10 minutes to work on his bike before depositing it in the Parc Ferme for the second part of the Super Marathon stage, tomorrow.

Buhler also brought home a solid stage fighting through the dust and technical rocky sections to finish the stage in 21st and overall in 25th place. Santosh, nursing a hand injury from yesterday’s crash had to bear the brunt of the rocky sections, impacting his ability to ride fast today. Battling through the pain and his impaired ability to hold the bike, he managed a gritty 53rd place finish in the stage rankings and 48th place in the overall rankings.

Joaquim Rodrigues, re-started today at the end of the entire starting line. As a result, he rode in the dust for the entire stage, but managed to bring the bike home in 48th position. His overall results will not be counted under the wild card regulations.

In the stage 3 scheduled for tomorrow, the Rally will do one more loop around the city of Neom covering 404 kms as a part of the special stage, including the highest section of the Dakar 2020 at an altitude of 1400m.

Paulo Goncalves (Comp No. 8) said, “We finished the stage 2 of the rally today. It was also the super marathon stage for the elite riders and I arrived without any issue with the bike so we are in a good shape to finish the second part of the super marathon tomorrow. I tried to ride safe today especially this being the marathon stage but I have a good feeling with the bike so we are in a good place at the moment. I will try to increase my pace day by day without making mistakes to get the team to a good finish.”

Sebastian Buhler (Comp No: 32) said, “It was a very good stage for me. The stage was very rocky but also fast. There was a lot of dust today making it more difficult to ride. I started with another rider so it’s very difficult to ovetake in dust but I hope to start a bit in the front in the coming stages so that I can out ride this dust and gain some time.”

Joaquim Rodrigues (Comp No. 27) said,” Well as expected, it was a really tough day for me, starting last and then riding behind in everyone’s dust for 367 kms was horrible. I am happy to make it to the finish line. The team is doing well and that’s what counts. Now 10 more days to go!”

CS Santosh (Comp No: 50) said, “It was a really difficult day for me with all this pain in my hand from yesterday’s crash. The stage was really rocky and all the impact was coming onto my hand making it really difficult to hold the bike. I will get this checked now and hopefully will have a better stage tomorrow.”

Provisional Stage 2 Rankings

1.      Ross Branch               Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team           03h 39m 10s

2.      Sam Sunderland        RedBull KTM Racing                              +01m 24s

3.      Pablo Quintanilla       Rockstar Energy Husqvarna                  +02m 21s

12. Paulo Goncalves      Hero MotoSports Team Rally              +09m 32s

21. Sebastian Buhler    Hero MotoSports Team Rally             +20m 03s

48. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSPorts Team Rally             +55m10s

53. C S Santosh               Hero MotoSports Team Rally            +01h 20m 34s

Provisional Overall Rankings

1.      Sam Sunderland        RedBull KTM Racing Team               07h 05m 22s

2.      Pablo Quintanilla       Rockstar Energy Husqvarna                  +01m 18s

3.      Kevin Benavides        Monster Energy Honda                          +01m 32s

14. Paulo Goncalves      Hero MotoSports Team Rally              +13m 10s

25. Sebastian Buhler    Hero MotoSports Team Rally             +48m 37s

48. C S Santosh               Hero MotoSports Team Rally             +01h 57m 52s

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