With the OiLibya Rally Morocco’s first long special stage testing the riders through a route that took them from the “ocean to the dunes” on Tuesday, Indian riders CS Santosh and Aravind KP — riding at the Rally of Morocco for the first time — made a good account of themselves to climb up the leaderboard in the October 1 to 7 event.
Hero MotoSports Team Rally’s Santosh climbed three places to be classified 26th while Aravind, riding for Sherco TVS Factory Team, climbed five places to 27th position in the provisional ranking after the 291-km special stage. Santosh’s Portuguese teammate, Joaquim Rodrigues was in 14th place in the Rally Morocco, the final round of the FIM Cross Country Rally World Championship.
Tuesday´s flat-out stage, the first part the marathon special stages, was a tough challenge for the riders as there was no team service and the riders had to maintain their bikes on their own. So, they had to ensure they don’t push their bikes beyond the limits even as they tried to catch up with the leaders. Another big challenge for the riders was the navigation through the dunes.
The rally began on Sunday in Agadir with a prologue stage. Rodrigues finished the super special stage in 12th place while Santosh was classified 26th, which determined their start order for the opening stage on Monday.
After Monday’s stage, Santosh was placed 29th while Rodrigues, who crashed at the start of the 120-km special stage, was 24th. Aravind was classified 31st after the opening stage.
Santosh and Aravind are competing in the bikes/quad segment and will cover a total rally distance of 1,885 km in Morocco, out of which 1,317 km would be special stages.