Arequipa (Peru), Jan 14 (IANS) Seasoned Indian rider Aravind KP continued to move up the ranks with a steady pace throughout Stage 6 of the Dakar Rally, overcoming the road book navigation challenges to finish the stage at 48th overall even as his Sherco TVS teammate Lorenzo Santonlino suffered a crash and had to be airlifted.
Santonlino suffered a crash 33km into Stage 6, while the other two members of the TVS team Michael Metge and Adrien Metge finished Sunday's stage from Arequipa to San Juan De Marcona at overall 33rd and 36th positions respectively.
The team rode through four tricky sand dune sectors amidst intense heat and complex navigation. While Santonlino is undergoing treatment in Lima and is out of danger, Aravind, the only Indian rider left in the competition, kept his cool to complete the stage.
Adrien had a challenging Stage 6 facing mechanical issues but was assisted by his brother Michael to help complete the stage.
Commenting on this stage and Santonlino's health, Sherco TVS - Team Manager, David Casteu said: "It was a challenging day for us. Our fastest rider Lorenzo is out of the rally, which is a setback for the team. He showed great promise in the first half of the rally and was the fastest beating even experienced riders. We wish him a speedy recovery."
"I am confident that our other three riders -- Adrien, Michael and Aravind -- will be able to get a good finish for the team. The crew is ready to support them in all possible ways for the challenges that lie ahead," he added.
Elated at completing the stage, India's Aravind said: "I had a good start to the stage with a good rhythm on my motorcycle. But soon the roadbook machine on my motorcycle stopped working and so I had to scroll manually. This broke my rhythm and I had a few minor crashes. It was a challenging day for sure but I am glad to have this stage in the bag."
The seventh stage will be within San Juan De Marcona, where the riders will ride 387 km, out of which 323 km is special.