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Dakar 2019 stage 5 results are out and it brought some bad news for Hero MotoSports fans. CS Santosh had a severe crash which made him unable to complete the stage. Santosh was airlifted to a hospital in Tacna and is currently being treated. This was his fifth attempt at Dakar and it is sad to know thta he couldn't complete it.
The fifth stage of Dakar 2019 extended from Moquegua to Arequipa; a distance of 776km (including a 345km special). It consisted of the longest and most varied timed sections in the entire rally. The route was picturesque with winding routes and canyons. You can check the results of Stage 4 here.
The stage was won by Ricky Brabec from Monster Energy Honda team in the Moto category. Meanwhile, the second and third positions were taken by Matthias Walkner and Toby Price; both from Red Bull KTM Rally Factory team.
Coming back to Hero MotoSports, all three Hero MotoSports riders crashed at some point, but only Santosh was unfortunate enough to retire. Oriol Mena crossed the line in the 16th position while Joaquim Rodrigues came 18th.
Sherco TVS Racing showcased a better performance in Stage 5 with the brothers, Adrien Metge and Michael Metge finished in the 24th and 30th positions, respectively. Aravind KP pushed himself to a good extent and went up to the 49th place (11 spots ahead than Stage 4).
Meanwhile, CS Santosh was not the only rider who suffered a crash. Monster Energy Honda's Paulo Goncalves broke his hand and also had a minor head injury. Sam Sunderland from Red Bull KTM Rally lost close to 10 minutes after stopping to help Paulo. Dakar officials took note of this effort and awarded him a 10-minute bonus.
Since it's a rest day that followed, all Dakar participants can recharge themselves and get ready to face the next set of challenges.
Stage 5 of Dakar Rally 2019 was not the best for Hero MotoSports, especially due to CS Santosh's retirement. However, the team is determined to be back on track in the next stage. Stage 6 extends from Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona.