Copiapo,(Chile) Aug 17 (PTI) It was a mixed day for Hero Motorsports Team rally at the Atacama Rally as Oriol Mena was placed 13th while Joaquim Rogrigues couldn’t finish the third stage of the event.Also Read - Indian Women's Football Team to Play International Tournament Against Brazil, Chile, Venezuela in Manaus

Mena started strongly but a difficult waypoint towards the end of the stage made him lose precious time to close the stage at 13th place. Rodrigues decided against taking unwanted risk and stopped before the stage came to a closure. Also Read - Fully Vaccinated? Now You Can Skip Quarantine in Chile From November 1

The third stage had challenging dunes where speed and ability are severely put to test. Also Read - Good News! Chile to Open Borders For Vaccinated Foreign Travellers From October 1. Details Here

“I am very happy as it was a good experience. I will try to do as much as possible. It was 260 km in three hours which is nearly 90kmph, so in the end it was okay,” Mena told PTI.

“For me, the challenge is to win Dakar one day. For that, you need trust your navigation skills, be aware about road book dangers yet drive as fast as possible. You need to trust in your road book and try to find a good way.” As far as Rodrigues was concerned, the third stage was disappointing for him. There was some technical snag in his bike which forced him to pull out.

Rodriguez, who was out for about six months because of a back injury, admitted that he is not yet fully fit.

“To go ‘full gas’ again. it’s really a hard work. My back is still hurting and it is playing on my mind. My fitness is still not 100 percent. I have started doing my half training but I am still not yet there in terms of fitness,” he said.

Rodriguez said , ” it’s a long road ahead of me to get back to full fitnes but mental. its the biggest thing to catch seven months from the bike. Its really hard.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.