Hero MotoSports' Mena, Santosh 27th & 28th at Dakar Rally

2018 Dakar Rally

Barreda is now 12th overall, one position behind American teammate Ricky Brabec, who finished a disappointing 24th in Stage 4 and dropped from fourth overall to 12th overall, 21 minutes and 7 seconds out of the lead.

The third stage of the Rally will commence on January 8 when it moves to the next location of San Juan De Marcona, where the competitors can expect to encounter a Chott (dry/marshy saline lake), a number of canyons and nearly 60 per cent sand during the course of the 504 km of riding.

In the bikes category, Yamaha's French rider Adrien van Beveren stayed on top in a stage won by Honda's Spaniard Joan Barreda.

Speaking of his performance in Stage 5, Oriol Mena said, "It was probably one of the toughest stage of the Dakar 2018 and new experience for me".

Meanwhile, CS Santosh played it safe, keeping a steady pace as the rally neared the halfway mark, finishing the stage in 52nd position.

2018 Dakar Rally
Hero MotoSports' Mena, Santosh 27th & 28th at Dakar Rally

The 2018 Dakar Rally reached half time completing Stage 6 with both Indian teams showing decent progress over the day.

I'm happy to be done for today because it was tough. and I'm delighted with having left the other guys behind. This year showed early signs of what could follow when the first part of the sixth stage from Arequipa in Peru to La Paz had to be cancelled owing to bad weather and foggy conditions. The trucks and the cars, therefore, were the first to discover the stage, even before their riders, as they made their way through the sands of Tanaka, traversing through 30km or so of mountain dunes. "Now, we have about 450km to make it to the Bivouac at Arequipa and it will be another day in the bag", said Mena. Oriol Mena continued his solid run to finish the stage at 23rd position, and at overall 21st place. Aravind's dream of becoming the only second Indian to finish the Dakar Rally has shattered again due to this unfortunate incident.

It was Stage 5 victor Joan Barreda who led the bikes off the start alongside the banks of the Titicaca Lake. It was a very hard stage, the dunes are very tough and the course was very hard to negotiate. Overall good day and I brought the bike home.

The rally leaves Peru and enters Bolivia on Thursday, bound to the country's capital La Paz.

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