Santosh out of Daakar Rally

Santosh out of Daakar Rally

The 2016 Dakar Rally campaign of CS Santosh came to an abrupt end when the navigation tower on his Suzuki 450 Rally bike broke just after the first waypoint in today’s special stage.

Despite the handicap, Santosh rode for more than 150km holding the navigation instrument cluster with one hand to complete the Jujuy-Jujuy marathon stage.

Santosh had to stop several times to carry out repairs to the electrical wires that supply power to the various navigation and safety equipment that are mounted on a tower in front of the handle bar. After he managed to cross the final time control of the special stage, the entangled wires short- circuited the bikes electricals causing terminal stalling of his bike.

In the last two days, the Banaglore-based rider made significant progress up the general standing after the setback in the opening prologue stage of the 2016 Dakar due to bike issues that put him right at the back of the field in 128th place for starting the first stage. After the first stage was cancelled, Santosh put in a spirited ride in the second special to improve his standings to 97th place in the general standings.

In the third 190-km special stage from Termas Rio Hondo to the Argentine border town of Jujuy, Santosh rode out of his skin to gain 36 places to finish in 61st place that pushed up his standing to 82nd in the general standings.

On the marathon stage before he was hit by trouble, live tracking showed gaining three more places to move into 58th place within the first 100 km. Earlier, he stopped after a rider in front of him crashed heavily to call the medical chopper for the injured rider.

"It was not in my imagination to end the Dakar this way. It’s real shame that it happened. I was riding well before the navigation tower broke and was hoping to make some more places on today’s stage," said visibly disappointed Santosh after arriving at the bivouac.

He had finished 36th overall in his maiden appearance last year.

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