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Morocco Desert Challenge 2019

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Team gains valuable learning in the build up to the Dakar 2019

Peru Desafio Inca Rally 2018 came to a close today at the city of Ica in the Pisco province of Peru. The 3 day rally proved to be an important learning ground for all the teams, providing them with valuable insights into the tough Peruvian terrains as the focus now shifts to the Dakar 2019.

 

All the 3 riders of Hero MotoSports Team Rally started the final stage today with an aim to get the last 200 odd kms under their belt. Riding with caution and safety, the trio finished the stage to bring the rally home for the team. JRod finished the stage in 18th place, and CS in 17th place. Unfortunately, Oriol developed a technical snag in the bike due to which he could not finish the stage, landing him into 33rd position in the stage. Overall, as the rankings stood, Santosh finished on 14th place, his first top 15 finish of the season, while JRod finished at 28th place and Mena in the 30th place.

The team is extremely happy with the proceedings of this rally and the season so far. JRod continues to impress with his encouraging comeback into the rally world with many positives to take home. Oriol Mena is putting in the hard work and learning the sport very fast, gaining in skills and experience with every rally. While C S Santosh has delivered some solid performances showing great promise and improvements over the season.
Now it’s time for the Dakar 2019 to take the centre stage as the team assesses its performance through the season and moves into the last stretch of training and preparations to get ready for their third outing at the most gruelling rally race on the planet.

Wolfgang Fischer (Team Manager): “We are happy to finish healthy and arrive safely at the finish line of the Desafio Inca Rally. It was a very important test and very good training for the team as many of the Dakar days will be conducted in the same region. Unfortunately Mena could not finish the last stage due to a technical snag which we need to investigate and fix but overall a valuable experience for the team. From now on we build up in the right direction in these last couple of months to be 100% prepared for the Dakar.”

Joaquim Rodrigues (Comp #11): “I was feeling good and had a pretty good ride today. Rode relaxed and easy to bring the bike across the finish line. I want to thank my team, friends and fans for all their support in making my comeback possible. Now all the focus shifts to the Dakar.”

Oriol Mena (Comp #14): “I was riding really good today, got into a good rhythm and even caught up with two riders in front of me. I feel comfortable in the Peruvian dunes so this was a good preparation for the Dakar. I am happy with the team work and the bike no a good race overall. Now I will go back and train hard so that we get good results at the Dakar as well.”

C S Santosh (Comp #24): “Finally done with the Inca Rally, it was a good experience for me. Had a good run through the stages and got a flavour of how the terrains are going to be like. I am glad to shake the cobwebs off as we now build ahead to the Dakar. It is going to be a couple of intense months and I am looking forward to it.”
 
Stage 3 - Provisional Classifications
1. Paulo Goncalves, Honda Team Rally, 01h 55m 08s
2. Toby Price, Redbull KTM Factory Team, +02m 02s
3. Sam Sunderland, Redbull KTM Factory Team, +02m 16s...
17. C S Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +28m 04s...
18. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +33m 06s...
33. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +48h 04m 52s...
 
Overall Provisional Classifications at the end of stage 3
1. Paulo Goncalves, Honda Team Rally, 10h 08m 13s
2. Matthias Walkner, Redbull KTM Factory Team, +02m 51s
3. Andrew Short, Husqvarna Factory Racing, +08m 24s
14. C S Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +02h 17m 59s
28. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports team Rally, +46h 51m 59s
30. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +48h 42m 49s

Press Release,


Marie-France Estenave pour MFE-Live.com

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