First, we congratulate Aravind KP for his achievement of completing the 41st edition of Dakar! His approach was calculated and his focus was finishing the rally and in the process, the Sherco TVS rider has gone down in history as the second Indian to complete the Dakar. He took home his RTR450 rally bike number 48 to 37th place overall in the 2019 edition of Dakar. He finished the final stage in 42nd place. “I am overjoyed and overwhelmed. I don’t have words to say. It was the shortest stage but it was the longest one for me”, said an ecstatic Aravind after completing the rally.
His teammate Adrien finished the stage in top ten, coming in ninth place. Overall, he is placed 22nd. Michael Metge finished the last stage in 75th place and as of now we do not know what setback he had. He won stage 9 of the rally, giving the team the best result in an individual stage in this year’s Dakar. In overall standings, he is placed 25th. We extend our hearty congratulations to team Sherco TVS for its performance in this year’s Dakar. This is TVS Racing’s fifth Dakar outing.
Like every other team, Sherco TVS had its fair share of difficulties during the course of the rally. The first moment of jubilation came in stage 5, when the team’s fastest rider Lorenzo Santolino broke into the top three in stage classification. His performance had been consistent until then. In the first stage he stood at the 25th place overall. The next stage saw him jump to 15th place and in the following stages he climbed up the ladder to be placed in 11th place overall. What happened next was a big blow to the team. The unexpected had happened, as Lorenzo Santolino had suffered a nasty crash in stage 6, that put an end to his debut Dakar outing. Just the previous stage had saw him break into the top three in stage classifications and the next day, he was airlifted to the hospital and his bike too was airlifted. It was a chilling sight to see his RTR 450 dangling on the ropes of chopper. Such is the cruel nature of this rally.
The spirit might have taken a beating in the Sherco TVS camp, but the show must go on and it came to the Metge brothers to rise to the occasion. And they did. Let’s recap a bit, shall we? While Michael had a good start with his 12th place finish overall in the first stage, he had a fuel outage in the second stage due to which he dropped down the order to 62nd overall. He made up for lost places and leapfrogged to 28th place in third stage. The next two stages saw him climb up the ladder to 24th place, but in stage 6, his brother had mechanical issues with his bike and Michael stopped to help him. The brothers completed the stage, and the price was a small setback for Michael. This was also the stage where Lorenzo exited the rally due to the unfortunate crash. He bounced back in the seventh stage to finish it in 14th place, jumping to 31st place overall. The final stages saw Michael put a consistent performance and he won the penultimate stage of the rally, this climbing the ladder to 22nd position. Now, after 10 stages, he occupies the 25th place overall.
Adrien Metge posted consistent performance in the first few stages of the rally and he broke into the top 20 in the second stage itself. Till stage 5, he was in the top 20 but a mechanical issue in stage 6 saw him drop down the order to 33rd place overall. The next stage saw him lose pace due to slow riders in front of him, but managed to finish the stage without incidents and was placed 32nd overall. Stage 8 was a good run for him, as he finished the stage in top 15 and took the 26th place overall. The penultimate stage saw him finish in 20th position as he couldn’t push the bike and himself too much because he was in physical strain. Nevertheless, he managed to break into the top 20. The final stage saw him take the 13th place and in overall standings, he has finished his Dakar outing in 22nd place.
So, a good run overall for team Sherco TVS at this Dakar, as they managed to post some good results despite the exit of its star rider in the middle of the rally.
This year’s edition wasn’t short of drama and following the Dakar is never short of watching a thriller flick, as the competitors brave the extreme conditions to emerge victorious. Grit, determination, fitness, ultra fast reflexes and the ability to tame their machines in the unforgiving conditions while keeping it all together if sh** hits the fan and then soldier on no matter how difficult the situation – the men and women who compete the Dakar can be classified as superhumans.
Here are the overall results:
|1||Toby Price||KTM Factory Team||33H 57′ 16”|
|2||Matthias Walkner||KTM Factory Team||34H 06′ 29”|
|3||Sam Sunderland||KTM Factory Team||34H 10′ 50”|
|22||Adrien Metge||Sherco Rally Factory||+ 08H 38′ 55”|
|25||Michael Metge||Sherco Rally Factory||+ 09H 59′ 10”|
|37||Aravind Prabhakar||Sherco Rally Factory||+ 15H 51′ 27”|