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On the Stage 2 of the 2020 Dakar, Ross Branch won in the bike category to give Botswana its first victory on the rally. However, Toby Price lost the overall lead from Stage 1 to Sam Sunderland who managed to finish the Stage 2 in second place.
2020 Dakar Stage 2 took place between Al-Wajh and Neom with a special stage distance of 367 kilometers and liaison stage distance of 26 kilometers. The 367 kilometer grueling stage was mostly composed of soil along the beach's shore line with a mix of rocky and sandy terrain.
Our Indian teams Hero MotoSport Rally team and Sherco TVS Rally factory racing team rider have managed to have a good outing in these extreme conditions with the Stage 2. Indian ace rally rider C S Santosh managed to finish the second stage in 50th position, and placed 47th in the overall ranking.
C S Santosh 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."
On the other hand, TVS's Harith Noah came back fighting after his massive crash on Stage 1. At the 2nd Stage of the 2020 Dakar he managed to finish in 52nd position. This helped the young rider to improve his overall standings from 105th after Stage 1 to 65th after Stage 2.
Paulo Goncalves and Sebastian Bühler, riders from the Hero's staple managed to finish the Stage 2 in 13th and 23rd position, respectively. 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.
Sherco TVS Rally riders Lorenzo Santolin, Adrien Metge, and Johnny Aubert managed to finish the second stage in 19th, 20th and 24th place respectively. Lorenzo Santolino and Adrien Metge managed to set their 17th- and 18th-fastest times in the stage as well, respectively.
Ex-F1 racing driver, Fernando Alonso's day was not as good as the Stage 1. He has increased his pace on the first part of the stage leading to Neom. However, an impact with rock after 160 km ripped a wheel off his Toyota, which led to the former Formula 1 champion losing 2 hours and 30 minutes for repairs. This resulted in 63rd position finish on the Stage 2, and placed overall in 47th position for the Spanish racing driver.
Sam Sunderland who is now leading the bike category said,
"All in all, It was a good day and I'm just trying to keep a steady rhythm, to keep building throughout the race. It's not so easy when you're in the dust because you have to pay so much attention to the tracks in front of you, to not lose the way and try to miss any rocks. It's really difficult, really difficult so far".
Hero MotoSport Rally Team Standings After Stage 2
14th Position - Paulo Goncalves
25th Position - Sebastian Buhler
47th Position - C S Santosh
Sherco TVS Rally Team Standing After Stage 2
16th Position - Adrien Metge
19th Position - Johnny Aubert
23rd Position - Lorenzo Santolin
65th Position - Harith Noah
Overall Standing Bike Category After Stage 2
1st Position - Sam Sunderland (RedBull KTM Racing Team)
2nd Position - Pablo Quintanilla (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna)
3rd Position - Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda)
Thoughts About The 2020 Dakar Stage 2
Indian riders and teams seems to have a calm and composed approach to on of the most extreme races in the world. Harith Noah managed to claw up a few places due to an impressive Stage 2 outing. We will bring you a complete report of the Stage 3 as the race progress tomorrow.