As the Dakar Rally 2019 is inching closer to the grand finale, the drama quotient wasn’t less in the penultimate stage of the rally. Team Sherco TVS got a big boost in the form of Michael Metge, who finished stage 9 in the first place. This is the best result for the team in a particular stage in this edition of Dakar. Overall, he is in 22nd position. Earlier Lorenzo broke in the top three in stage 5. Team Sherco TVS has dedicated Michael’s first place finish to Lorenzo Santolino, who went out of contention due to a crash in stage 6. Michael is looking to continue with his current form to end the rally on a high.
After winning the stage, Michael said: “It is an unbelievable feeling to win a stage at Dakar. The stage was challenging and there was a lot of dunes and fesh-fesh. I started in the second line at the wave start and I pushed all the way through the stage. Soon, I caught up with the first riders and went past the leader quite quickly. Full credit to the team mechanics for preparing my bike, which has been performing beautifully in the sand dunes. I dedicate this win to my wife and two children, who are my pillars of support.”
Aravind KP had a good start in the beginning of the stage, taking the lead for the first 190km of the stage. But due to mechanical issues he faced in the middle of the stage, he dropped down the order. Luckily he had some local help to get back in contention and finish the stage in 55th position. Overall, he has retained his 39th place. After stage 9, he said: It was a mixed day for me but that is what the Dakar is all about. I started really well taking the lead in the mass start. But things changed half way, as my bike had issues. There were tense moments as I wanted to complete the stage at any cost. Thank god for the local help who assisted me in restarting the bike and finish the stage. This is the spirit of Dakar and I am lucky to have experienced it.”
Adrien Metge didn’t push too much due to a physical strain. Despite his physical pain, he managed to finish the stage in 20th position, In overall rankings, he is behind his brother at 23rd position.
The penultimate stage saw a mass start in waves of 10, similar to the first marathon stage. The riders had to ride through another loop in Pisco which is full of tricky sand dunes, which resulted in the elimination of many competitors. The total length of the stage was 410km. The final stage of the rally will see competitors cover a distance of 358km along with a loop of Pisco in a 112 kilometer special stage, before moving to Lima , where it all started, for the celebrations.
Provisional Stage 9 results are as follows:
1 Michael Metge Sherco TVS Racing
2 Daniel Jager Nosiglia MEC Honda Racing
3 Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna Factory Racing
20 Adrien Metge Sherco TVS Racing