The sandy sections of the third stage at the Dakar were a visual treat for Ashish
The sandy sections of the third stage at the Dakar were a visual treat for AshishRally Zone/ Cristiano Barni

Ashish Raorane at Dakar 2021: Steady progress in Stage 3

Despite a crash in which the Malle Moto privateer hurt his thumb, Ashish Raorane made up a few spots in Stage 3 at the Dakar 2021

Was really enjoying the dunes today! Had a crash and hurt my thumb a little in the rocky sections, but nothing major – this clearly summed up the progress made by Ashish Raorane in Stage 3 of the Dakar 2021, which was essentially a 629km circuit (including a 403km special stage) around Wadi Ad-Dawasir.

The stage started off really well, with Ashish taking in the unique scenery afforded by the sand plateaus. Post the sandy sectors, the rest of the stage consisted of rocky enduro sections, which was another learning curve for him in terms of riding his 2019 KTM 450 Rally Replica in such terrains. In the midst of all this, Ashish crashed and hurt his thumb, though not enough to impact his momentum

Ultimately though, he was able to overcome, and bump up his rank to 81, an improvement of four spots over the previous stage. This in turn means he’s now stands at 20 (as opposed to 23 at the end of Stage 2) in the Original by Motul category as well.

Stage four is the longest yet in the 2021 Dakar, with an 813km run (including the 337km special) from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Riyadh. For his part, Ashish was hoping to get some extra rest, but tending to an oil leak (along with the rest of the routine maintenance checks) on the bike meant he was up till around 11:30pm local time, preparing every single facet of the next stage.

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