Dakar 2021 Stage 4 | CS Santosh crashes out, Joaquim Rodrigues finishes strong
JRod’s impressive P6 stage finish masked by CS Santosh’s crash; Buhler holds on to P24 for Hero MotoSports Team Rally
After finishing at P20 in Stage 3, Hero MotoSports Team Rally's Joaquim Rodrigues put on an excellent performance to finish P6 in Stage 4. This incredible stage finish has now moved him up three places from P19 to P16 in the overall standings. Sebastian Buhler finished the Stage in P24 with a consistent performance to retain P24 in the overall standings as well.
Despite the solid performance from the two riders, the team faced a setback as CS Santosh crashed late in Stage 4, ending his 2021 Dakar run. Thankfully, he wasn’t seriously injured. The rider was said to be stable and conscious when the medics arrived on scene. He has been shifted to a hospital in Riyadh for further medical treatment. Another update on his health followed through in the evening where no physical injuries were reported. However, due to an impact on the helmet, Santosh has a minor clot in the head and has been kept under observation for 24 hours. He was P34 in the overall standings and was making steady progress up the leaderboard.
Stage 4 appeared pretty solid for Sebastian Buhler as well until a mistake towards the end cost him some time. Waffi Fischer, manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, explained that it was a roller coaster of a stage as one rider had the best finish yet and another had crashed. A very emotional Waffi also said, "We all have our fingers crossed for Santosh to come back soon and hope for the team to continue without any further crashes."
Stage 5 of the rally will take the riders from Riyadh to Al Qaisumah, a total of 661km inclusive of a timed 456km special stage. Stage 5 is expected to have tougher and more technical dunes along with the occasional rocky tracks. We hope that JRod and Sebastian Buhler continue to put up strong and consistent performance while wishing Santosh a speedy recovery.