Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the Hero MotoCorp Ltd, has begun the Pan Africa Rally 2019 on a positive note with Team Rider Joaquim Rodrigues wining the prologue stage.
The Team’s only other rider in the Rally, C S Santosh, turned in a top 10 finish. With this the rides have locked in their starting orders for the first big stage of the rally.
With the technical and administrative scrutiny completed for all competitors, the Pan Africa Rally 2019 got formally kicked off with the Prologue stage, consisting of a short 70 kms run in the sand. This stage determined the starting order of Stage 1. The first of the five stages of the Rally, will take the competitors for a run of 275 kms, offering a mix terrain with sand, lose gravel and hard pack.
Joaquim Rodrigues and C S Santosh will be looking to get some more saddle time and valuable sand riding experience under their belt in this rally before Hero MotoSports Team Rally takes on the Rally Du Maroc with a full strength four rider team next month.
Together, these back to back rallies, offer a good mix of terrains and provide a good simulation of the expected weather and riding conditions in the first-ever Saudi Arabian edition of the Dakar Rally in January 2020.
Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager and Head of Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “Moroccan terrains provide a really good preparation ground for the Dakar Rally, and this time even more so, because of the very similar conditions we are expecting at the Dakar 2020 in Saudi Arabia. Pan Africa Rally will definitely add to our preparations. JRod started with a win and that’s always good for the confidence of the rider and the Team. We are here to perform and prepare at the same time, so that is going to be our focus.”
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “I Started the prologue really well and got into a good rhythm to win the stage. I am quite happy for myself and the Team. The Rally has just started and there are five long stages ahead, so I am going to keep it safe and try to bring the bike home every day.”
C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “It was a good start for me at the Prologue. I rode well, navigated well and did not commit any mistakes. It’s always a good feeling to bring the bike home in the first stage as you tend to be nervous. So it was a good start and I am looking forward to the first big stage.”
RESULTS OF THE PROLOGUE STAGE
- Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports 58m 38s (1)
- Lorenzo Santolino TVS Sherco Factory Team +01m (2)
- Adrien Metge TVS Sherco Factory Team +01m 30s (3)
- Maurizio Gerini Solarys Racing +01m 38s (4)
- C S Santosh Hero MotoSports +08m 13s (9)
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