Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsports team of the Hero MotoCorp emerged victorious at the 2019 Pan Africa Rally. This is the team’s first Rally win for the season.
Team Rider Joaquim Rodrigues ‘JRod’ was crowned the winner, as he achieved victory for the Team after a consistent run throughout the six days and 1500 kms of the Rally. This is his second international victory with Hero MotoSports, the first one being BAJA India in 2017.
JRod has had a solid season so far, making a painful and long recovery from his crash in the Dakar 2018. This win puts him in good stead for the remaining two big rallies of the season, including the Dakar Rally 2020.
His team mate, the only other rider for the Team in this Rally, CS Santosh also had a memorable rally as he achieved his personal best and the best ever result by an Indian in a rally outside India. His fifth place finish was the outcome of some really gritty and consistent performances across all the five stages of Rally. This result will provide a boost to his confidence and preparations for Rally Du Maroc and the Dakar 2020.
For Hero MotoSports Team Rally, which was set up only three years back, this is the first win of this season and the second overall in their still young career in the international rallying. This season the Team’s performances have seen a consistent improvement over the previous years. The Team has already achieved three podium finishes this year, including the podium finishes at the Merzouga Rally, Desert Storm, and the victory here at Pan Africa Rally 2019 today.
With the strong momentum of good performances, the next stop for Hero MotoSports Team Rally will be the Rally Du Maroc in October, which is considered to be the last training round before the Dakar Rally. With Dakar 2020 in sight, the four rider strong Hero MotoSports will look to further intensify its focus delivering good results.
Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager and Head, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “A fantastic week of racing came to a highly deserved culmination today for JRod and Santosh. My compliments to the entire team for putting up a great performance and thanks to our fans and supporters. JRod’s journey has been an inspiring one! From his dream debut at the Dakar and winning the first ever rally for Hero MotoSports in 2017, to his severe injury in Dakar 2018, and then to make an impressive come back today, is something special. Santosh has been a Global Ambassador for the Indian motorsports fraternity and posting his best ever result today, will bring a lot of positivity for him and the sport in India. Looking forward to our next race in eight days, where for the first time, we will start with the full strength four rider configuration. ”
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “I am really happy with this win. The past couple of years have been difficult for me after my crash at the Dakar in 2018. My road to recovery has been long and painful and I am happy to be finally getting back to my 100%. My confidence is back and my back is really good now. Congratulations to Santosh also for doing a great job and posting his personal best. My thanks to the entire team for supporting me and giving the best possible support. This win is for Hero MotoSports Team Rally.”
C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “It’s been a really good race for me. I was consistent and getting better with every stage. You always push yourself to do better than before, race your own limits. Finishing fifth here today is very satisfying. I am quite happy with the way this season has progressed and with my training, so all we have to do now is to build on it to the Dakar. Big congratulations to my buddy JRod for a fantastic win and a big thanks to the awesome team here and our fans.”
FINAL OFFICIAL RESULTS OF THE STAGE 5
1. Maurizio Gerini Solarys Racing Team 57m 29s
2. Xavier Flick Team Casteu +03s
3. Adrien Metge TVS Sherco Factory Team +52s
4. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports +02m 00s
10. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports +03m 52s
FINAL OFFICIAL OVERALL STANDINGS
1. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports 16h 21m 43s
2. Jacopo Cerutti Solarys Racing Team +11m 34s
3. Sebastian Buhler Team Buhler +31m 29s
4. Maurizio Gerini Solarys Racing +01h 13m 08s
5. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports +01h 22m 43s
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