CS Santosh returned inside the top-50 in the overall classification of the Dakar Rally after finishing 39th in Saturday’s Stage 7.
After a rest day, the Dakar resumed with a 727 km marathon stage between La Paz and Uyuni, with riders timed for a stretch of 425 km.
Santosh, who dropped down the order in Stage 3 after running out of fuel, continued to recover positions, finishing 1hr33m11s behind stage topper Joan Barreda on Saturday. The result propels him to 46th in the general classifications, with half of the rally still to run.
“After the much deserved rest day at La Paz, the first Marathon stage kicked off from La Paz to Uyuni,” he said.
“The landscape changed from sandy dunes to lot of off-piste, river beds and harder ground. I continued keeping a steady pace, despite a troubled ankle due to an earlier crash.”
Santosh’s Hero teammate and Dakar rookie Oriol Mena was equally impressive, finishing 17th in the timesheets to move up to 20th in the standings.
Meanwhile, Joan Pedrero remains the top rider on an Indian bike, the sole remaining Sherco TVS entrant holding the 16th spot after finishing 21st in Stage 7.
Pedrero and Mena are separated by 11m19s heading into the second marathon stage after the latter shaved off the Sherco TVS rider’s lead by nine minutes on Saturday.