Santosh breaks into top 50 at the end of day 7

    The 31-year old, riding a KTM Rally 450 for Team Kini Red Bull mounted a solid charge despite enduring several spills along the 320 kilometre stage.

    Published On Jan 12, 2015 08:07:00 PM

    1,375 Views

    Santosh breaks into top 50 at the end of day 7

    Santosh breaks into top 50 at the end of day 7

    After hovering around the fringes of top 50 for the past week, Indian rider C S Santosh finally broke into the half-century mark as he was classified 49th overall at the end of day seven.

    The 31-year old, riding a KTM Rally 450 for Team Kini Red Bull mounted a solid charge despite enduring several spills along the 320 kilometre stage, one of which ended up smashing his helmet (his second in this week). He had also suffered a hairline fracture on his toe a couple of days ago but a gritty Santosh refused to let it get in the way of progress.

    “I have never felt so tired in my life. The Dakar is the toughest thing I have ever faced. Can hardly stand today", said Santosh at the end of the day.

    With a huge storm opening up making things even more difficult, Santosh managed to brave the storm (literally!) and finish the stage 66th. This helped him move up a couple of spots in overall standings and finish 49th at the end of the day.

    Sherco – TVS’s Dakar seems to be progressing at a more consistent pace, with French rider Alain Duclos continuing his charge. An engine change for both machines on rest day meant both Duclos and teammate Fabien Planet endured 15-minute penalties, but it did little to affect their overall standings. Planet lies 23rd after stage 7.

    In cars, it was Nasser Al-Attiyah who maintained his Dakar Rally lead at eight minutes as the event reached its rest day, with fellow World Rally Championship regular Yazeed Al-Rajhi scoring his first stage win.

    Giniel de Villiers had carved three minutes out of Al-Attiyah's lead on stage seven on Saturday, and made further gains early on stage eight, helped by his X-raid Mini driver stopping to change a wheel after a puncture

    But Al-Attiyah was able to peg the Imperial Toyota back late on the stage, with de Villiers frustrated by a low-flying helicopter affecting his vision.

    Al-Attiyah therefore maintained his outright cushion at 8m27s heading into the break.

    Results:

    2015 Dakar Rally
    At the end of day seven

    Bikes

    1              BARREDA BORT (ESP)                     HONDA               25:40:48
    2              COMA (ESP)                                       KTM                       25:47:16
    3              GONCALVES (PRT)                           HONDA                25:51:47
    4              QUINTANILLA (CHL)                        KTM                       26:06:04
    5              PRICE (AUS)                                       KTM                       26:10:08              

    Cars

    1              AL-ATTIYAH (QAT), BAUMEL (FRA)                           MINI                      23:11:50              
    2              DE VILLIERS (ZAF), VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)              TOYOTA               23:20:04              
    3              ALRAJHI (SAU), GOTTSCHALK (DEU)                        TOYOTA               23:33:06
    4              HOLOWCZYC (POL), PANSERI (FRA)                         MINI                      24:05:52
    5              TEN BRINKE (NLD), COLSOUL (BEL)                           MINI                      24:08:53

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