Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motor-sport division of the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd., is charged-up for its second appearance at the world’s most grueling off-road Rally, Dakar Rally 2018
In addition to CS Santosh, India’s most accomplished off-road rider and Joaquim Rodrigues, highly-experienced rider from Portugal, the Team will field Spanish talent, Oriol Mena Valdearcos at the Dakar this year to expand its performance horizon. Inducted in the Team in September 2017, Mena is part of Hero MotoSports’ vision to identify new talent and nurture them into professional rally riders. Mena will be making his debut at the Dakar.
TO PARTICIPATE WITH THREE RIDERS – CS SANTOSH, JOAQUIM RODRIGUES & ORIOL MENA
Hero MotoSports Team Rally is all-set participate in Dakar with the new ‘Hero RR 450’ rally bike. The new bike will be making its debut at the Dakar this year and is an upgrade of the well-proven rally bike from last year, with new design and styling of tank, body parts and front section to improve mass centralization, handling and riding ergonomics. The new ‘Hero 450 RR’ proved its capabilities at the OiLibya Rally in Morocco this year. The key learning from the Team’s rookie year and last year's Dakar experience have been implemented in the bike. There are several improvements in the bike, which have affected an increase in riders’ confidence.
Hero MotoSports Team Rally had an impressive debut year with the distinction of being the only manufacturer team with 100% arrivals at the 2017 edition of the Dakar Rally. The Team also managed to register its maiden win at BAJA India and a podium finish at the Desert Storm.
After making an impressive debut at Dakar 2017 with a stellar 12th place finish, the Team is now fully geared-up to exceed its previous performance at Dakar 2018.
The biggest rally-raid in the world, Dakar, for its 40th edition will cross three countries, starting with Peru on January 6, 2018 and travelling through Bolivia before concluding in Argentina on January 20, 2018. This edition is expected to witness participation of 500 competitors from 60 countries who will cover a grueling stretch of almost 9,000 km. Out of the overall 14 stages, seven will include 100% dunes/off-piste, 1 marathon stage for all categories and 1 marathon stage for bikes and quads only.
In May 2016, Hero MotoCorp forayed into the world of motorcycle rally racing by entering into a strategic partnership with Speedbrain GmbH, the German off-road racing specialist to form Hero MotoCorp Team Rally. In addition to participating in international rallies across the globe, the team will also assist in development and testing of new Hero vehicles concepts, using the data collected from the races.
The team is being headed by Mr. Wolfgang Fischer, Managing Director, Speedbrain and is working under the direct supervision of Dr. Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Hero MotoCorp.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp and Head of Hero MotoSports said, “We are excited and prepared for Dakar 2018. The team is stronger, both in terms of men and machine. We are focused on improving our last year’s performance at the Dakar and believe that we have the right tools to do it.”
Mr. Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said, “The last race for the Team was in October 2017. The riders have undergone intense training sessions, to improve their mental and physical fitness since their Dakar 2017 performance. They had a good run on the new bike at OiLibya and are now more confident on it. There is excitement in the Team with addition of Oriol and the entire team is now raring to have another go at the Dakar.”