Hero MotoSports Team Rally is ready for the Dakar Rally 2019
12 Months ago
After an entire year of racing through terrains ranging from the Sam Dunes of Rajasthan to the Moroccan deserts, Hero MotoSports Team Rally are finally gearing up to race their limits once again at the Dakar Rally as they announce its team of three riders for the 2019 edition.
The team will feature all the three riders - the most experienced Indian Dakar participant, CS Santosh, Portuguese star Joaquim Rodrigues, and Spanish sensation and ‘Best Rookie of the Dakar 2018’, Oriol Mena. Throughout the last two editions, the team has consistently displayed improvement through their performance. The first year saw the team secure a 100% finish with both JRod (12th) and Santosh zooming past the finish line. The following year saw rookie rider Oriol Mena securing a top-10 finish and winning the rookie moto category.
Addressing the press at the conference in Delhi, Dr. Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp and Head of Hero MotoSports said, “We are enthusiastic and absolutely ready for Dakar 2019. Looking at this high-octane event, which is expected to be even tougher than last year, our focus remains on finishing the Rally. This year has been very good for the Team in terms of preparations and training as it has participated in events across the globe and delivered strong finishes. We aim to ride that momentum in the upcoming Dakar Rally in January.”
CS Santosh, “This will be my third Dakar with Hero MotoSports and fifth overall. It has been a very exciting three years and I’m geared up for yet another rendezvous with this unique event. I am satisfied with the preparations and look forward to delivering a solid performance. We have had a good training season and I tried to make every session count. Ultimately, it’s about enjoying the process and arriving at the finish line.”
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said: “It feels great to ride again, after my accident at Dakar 2018. The recovery has been tough and long but thanks to the prayers and love from my fans I am able to ride again. I have been training particularly hard with a focus on arriving at the finish line safely. This will be my third Dakar and I’m very excited to be riding with my team again and hopeful of delivering a good performance. “
Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said: “I couldn’t have wished for a better debut in rally racing with Hero MotoSports Team Rally providing a fantastic platform and support to me. Had a good year and a great outing at the Dakar 2018. This also raises the stakes for me at Dakar 2019, so I have been training hard and aim to improve my performance this year. Dakar is a very exciting and challenging encounter for a rider. I am feeling thoroughly upbeat about riding with my team amidst an exceptionally talented group of competitors.”
With the Dakar Rally only days away, we get ready to prepare for the greatest ride of our lifetime. In its 41st edition, the 2019 race will take our Heroes on a 5,000-kilometre journey around Peru, starting and finishing in Lima, from January 6-17, 2019. There will be a total of 3,000 kilometers of racing divided between 10 special stages, where 70% of the terrain will be covered in sand.
Leading up to the Dakar 2019, Hero MotoSports Team Rally participated in many rallies across the globe on its ‘Road to Dakar’ initiative. The team kicked off its campaign in April 2018 at the Merzouga Rally in Morocco, where it achieved a Top-15 finish. In August, the Team headed to the Atacama Rally in Chile, immediately following it up with a podium finish at the BAJA India Rally. It ended 2018 with a Top-15 finish at the Peru Desafio Inca Rally in September. Now, our Heroes are set to test and race their limits with the Peruvian sand playing a decisive role in the quest for top honours.