Tuesday marked the first proper test for riders in the 41st edition of the South American rally, with riders covering a competitive distance of 342 km in addition to a liaison section of over 200 km.
Lorenzo Santolino, competing in Dakar for the first time, put on an impressive show to set the 14th fastest time of the day, less than two minutes clear of his teammate Adrien Metge.
Hero rider Oriol Mena finished just behind the Sherco TVS pair in 16th, but remains ahead of both in the overall standings.
After two days of running, he occupies 14th position in the general classification, with Santolino classified 15th and Metge 17th.
Meanwhile, Santosh was unable to replicate his stage 1 performance that put him inside the top 20.
The Bangalore-born rider could only muster the 37th fastest time in stage 2, which places him 33rd in the overall order, one place behind teammate Joaquim Rodrigues.
Aravind KP, the other Indian rider on the grid, was 60th fastest in stage 2, some 20 minutes off Santosh’s pace.
With eight stages still remaining, the Sherco TVS rider occupies 61st place in the overall standings.
Finally, Michael Metge (Sherco TVS) dropped from 12th to 62th spot in the general classifications after suffering a fuel outage 7 km from the finish.
Update: Santosh was forced to slow down due to clutch troubles, while Rodrigues was forced to stop in the middle of the stage and attend a fuel issue.
#50 HERO Motorsports Team Rally: CS Santosh
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool