CS Santosh and co-rider Joaquim Rodrigues had contrasting fortunes in the 39-km special stage as Hero MotoSports Team Rally made a good start at Dakar 2017.
Rodrigues, who entered the first-time section in 27th place, made a blazing run to complete the 39-km stage in 29 minutes 42 seconds. He gained nine places in the provisional general classification to move up to 16th in the starting order.
The Portuguese rider, who is making his Dakar debut, finished a place ahead of defending champion Toby Price, according to a release.
In contrast, Santosh decided not to take risks. Starting the stage in 42nd place, he slipped five places after completing the special with a total time of 32:45.
“Being the first stage of Dakar, I was pretty nervous. It took time to understand the kind of stage. There was a lot of water and lots of puddles and a few river crossings. So, it was an interesting stage. I didn’t really push because there is a long way to go,” said Santosh.
“I am happy how I did today and minimised the mistakes. I am looking forwards to tomorrow’s stage.”
Aravind KP, who made his debut at Dakar with Sherco TVS, was 63rd, after starting the rally at 77th position.