Stage 3 kicked off the marathon stage for the 2019 Merzouga Rally, requiring competitors to tackle 229km of rockier terrain than what they’d taken on earlier, further reinforcing the threat of mechanical issues. Unfortunately for Sherco TVS, Michael Metge was forced to retire with an engine issue. The Frenchman had enjoyed a strong run before retiring, even winning the previous stage.
“I had a mechanical problem 25km from the finish. The engine broke, there was nothing left to do. However, I had fun on this rally. I opened the stages quite often. It is a very good preparation. Now, the team will try to change the engine in order to finish the rally just for the fun of it,” said Metge.
Aravind KP, meanwhile, completed Stage 3 in 32nd place. After facing some technical glitches in the previous stage that forced him to retire, the Indian rider’s Stage 3 result has helped him climb up to 66th place in the overall standings. Sherco TVS’ third rider, Abdul Wahid Tanveer, remains third in the Enduro category’s overall standings - a consistent performance helping him finish the third stage in 2nd place.
Hero MotoSports enjoyed a successful Stage 3 with both its riders finishing in the Top 3 – Joaquim Rodrigues completed the stage in 2nd place, just ahead of team-mate Oriol Mena. Their strong results put Hero MotoSports in a strong position at the halfway mark of the rally with Rodrigues and Mena 2nd and 3rd in the overall standings.
Overall standings after Stage 3
66. Aravind KP
3. Abdul Wahid Tanveer
2. Joaquim Rodrigues
3. Oriol Mena