Raorane re-enters 2021 Dakar Rally; Noah makes huge gains in Stage 9
Both the Indian riders left in the competition made good inroads in Stage 9.
In a good news, privateer Malle entrant Ashish Raorane was given all-clear to re-join the 2021 Dakar Rally under 'Experience' category, whereby he won't be a classified finisher in overall rankings, even though, his finishing position would be taken stage wise.
Having missed Stage 6, Stage 7and Stage 8 after his crash in Stage 5, Raorane wanted to re-enter the Dakar Rally after he was released from the hospital. The Indian revealed that S9 was his last chance to do so and he took the opportunity after getting an all-clear from the doctors.
He didn't disappoint aboard his KTM as Raorane earned his best stage result of 60th - at the time of writing - after a marathon run. Like him, even Sherco TVS Racing's Harith Noah was a rider on the charge as he registered his best stage result of 17th place.
This earned him a Top 30 position as he sits 25th in the overall rankings, a gain of seven places from the last stage. Noah is just two places behind teammate Rui Goncalves, who had a tough Stage 9, as Lorenzo Santolino made the most to be seventh in the stage and eighth overall.
Moving to Hero MotoSports Rally Team's side, there were gains for both Joaquim Rodrigues and Sebastian Buhler in the overall rankings. The former is 12th in the overall rankings, while the latter is 16th, despite having a difficult run in Stage 9 due to navigational issues.
Their teammate CS Santosh, meanwhile, continues to remain in an induced coma, as the team along with the doctors are trying to shift the Indian to Bangalore from Saudi Arabia for further treatment. There is progress in his condition but the transfer will be sleeping condition.
The Indian is pushing to complete the rally under Experience category.
[Image courtesy: Dakar Rally, DPPI]