Santosh takes lead; Helly placed second

Bangalore’s CS Santosh is on course to retain his title as India’s top biker as he took the lead after the first day of the 12th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm rally, which was flagged off from New Delhi.

Following Santosh is 55-year-old Helmut Frauwallner of Austria, the champion of last year’s Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalaya.

Both Santosh and Helmut, popularly known as Helly, are riding foreign bikes at the Desert Storm.

While Santosh is riding a Suzuki RMX 450, Helly is on a Yamaha WR450F in the rally moto category.

In third place is Chandigarh’s Mohit Verma, the defending champion.

The event is running with the highest number of competitors ever at 250.

The six-day rally will end at Jaipur on March 1 after covering about 2,200kms.

The 2014 edition of the Desert Storm was flagged off with 55 teams in Rally Xtreme (4X4) and 35 teams in Rally Moto. In addition, there were 35 teams in Rally Ndure and 25 teams in Rally Xplore.

Kolkata’s Somdev Chanda with navigator Nirav Mehta, defending champions, is leading Rally Endure at the motorsport marathon. Chanda/ Mehta are driving a Maruti Gypsy for team Maruti Suzuki.

In Rally Xplore, Sanjay Takale and Mustafa of team Maruti Suzuki are leading their category, driving an SX4.

Second in this category are Rajesh Chalana and Yogesh Gupta, again driving an SX4 for team Maruti Suzuki while third is Nitin Yadav with navigator Ravi Bansal, driving a Tata Aria.

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