Extending his reasonably good run, Hero MotorSports’ Oriol Mena finished the marathon stage 4 in the 11th position, maintaining his 12th spot in the overall standings of the 41st Dakar Rally.
Considered as the most gruesome and toughest off-road rallies in the world, Mena preferred to ride the terrain on its merit which allowed him to judge when to push hard and when to be cautious on Thursday.
Rodrigues started the stage at the back and had to ride cautiously for the first part of the stage because the dust created by the front riders made it extremely difficult for him to accelerate.
Rodrigues still managed to gain a few positions to finish 30th and retain his overnight 31st place in the overall standings.
But there was no end to India’s ace rider C S Santosh’s struggle as he finished the stage at the 51st place, to be 44th in the overall standings.
Aiming to get his bike in a good condition into the marathon stage, where no assistance is available for the riders, Santosh too rode cautiously and checked into the marathon bivouac at Moquegua.
The competitors encountered a mix of 70 per cent soft, fesh-fesh and about 30 per cent of gravel and stony terrain in the first half of the marathon stage, which was a total of 511kms, including a 351km long special.
The second half of the marathon stage will get the competitors back from the Moquegua to the Arequipa bivouac to reunite with their teams.