Dakar 2019 Stage 09 Report: As the rally entered the penultimate day, the 2019 Dakar took a strange turn. The 313 km loop around Pisco, saw the riders take off in groups 10, which meant that the top ten riders took off almost together which could have meant for another recap of the disaster of Stage 08. However, it was in this moment of confusion, an unlikely Hero emerged from TVS-Sherco with team factory rider Michael Metge surging forward and passing to set the fastest time for the day. Hot on his heels, also from the second pack was the Husqvarna rider, Pablo Quintanilla.
Further back in the back, the only Indian on the Grid at the 2019 Dakar Aravind KP on his Sherco TVS led his pack for almost 200 km before a short alternator stopped him dead in his track. Luckily, as he saw his Dakar 2019 dreams crashing around him a group of fellow riders offered Aravind the part he needed to restart his campaign. This allowed him to come in 55th on the day and retain his place 39th on the grid. Aravind has just one more stage to go to earn his title as the second Indian in the country of a billion people to finish the Dakar Rally.
That was not it for the good news, with Hero MotoSports’ Oriol Mena putting on a strong performance to finish among the top 10 riders in the rally, moving to the 9th place overall. Joaquim Rodrigues put in yet another decent shift throughout to finish 18th. Overall, however, KTM Factory’s Toby Price still leads the way with a minute lead over Pablo Quintanilla’s Huskies, and his teammate Mathias Walkner. It seems close enough for Husquvarna to make it past the KTMs 1 minute lead, but for that, we will have to wait for tomorrow! The last 112 km stage will set the tone for the weekend.