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Africa Eco Race 2019

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Desafio Inca: Hero MotoSports plays it safe in the stage 2

It was a mixed day of sorts for the Hero MotoSports Team Rally today at the Desafio Inca Rally as they finished with two of the three riders across the finish line at Ica.

Joaquim Rodrigues started really well today to settle into a nice rhythm before ending into a minor fall towards the end of the first lap of stage 2.

He suffered a twist in his back and minor damage to the bike, but managed to bring the bike to the end of the lap 1. Though not serious, but the team management decided to not risk it further, and decided to opt out of lap 2 for JRod, bringing the stage 2 to a premature close for him. JRod, is in fact not the first rider to do so, as a few other top riders opted out of the lap 2 of stage 1 as well, in order to keep it safe, conserving themselves for the Dakar.

Teammates Oriol Mena and C S Santosh continued their good run to finish the stage 2 safely to get some more laps and valuable experience under their belt. Stage 2 was again predominantly dunes and fesh-fesh combined with some tough navigation on the offer throughout the 2 laps making up the 350 kms of the stage. Both Oriol and Santosh kept it safe and steady to finish the stage in the 10th and 17th positions respectively while JRod stands at 21st place in the stage 2 rankings. At an overall level, Mena is 12th, Santosh 16th and JRod 22nd.

For Hero MotoSports, and as for most of the teams, the main objective remains the learning and exposure to Peruvian terrains in view of the Dakar 2019. With that in mind, they will head into the final stage tomorrow with a relatively shorter run of 200kms to bring the last rally before the Dakar into the books.

Joaquim Rodrigues (Comp #11): “Todays’ stage was going good. I was riding safe and easy. I managed to cut a lot of riders in front of me but there was a lot of dust. Towards the end of the lap 1 I had a minor fall where I twisted my back and also the bike a bit. Managed to make the bike straight enough to bring it at the end of lap 1. We decided to opt out of the second lap for safety and to be in the best shape for tomorrow.”

Oriol Mena (Comp #14): “Today was a really good stage for me. I made really good navigation today without any mistakes in both the laps so I am quite happy with my learning. Next stop is the Dakar so it’s important to learn as much as possible about the difficult Peruvian terrains. Looking forward to the final stage tomorrow to close another rally for the team.”

C S Santosh (Comp #24): “A lot of distance was covered in the sand today. I think the stage was much faster than and not as difficult with the navigation as yesterday but still got lots to learn. I’m having a much better feeling today as we go into the final stage tomorrow.”

Stage 2 - Provisional Classifications
1. Kevin Benavides, Honda Team Rally, 03h 55m 21s
2. Matthias Walkner, Redbull KTM Factory Team, +54s
3. Paulo Goncalves, Honda Team Rally, +2m 55s
10. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +15m 45s
17. C S Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +56m 20s
21. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports team Rally, +04h 04m 39s
Overall Provisional Classifications at the end of stage 2
1. Andrew Short, Husqvarna Factory Racing, 08h 12m 43s
2. Matthias Walkner, Redbull KTM Factory Team, +11m 20s
3. Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna Factory Racing, +14m 20s
12. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +38m 18s
16. C S Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +01h 50m 16s
22. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports team Rally, +09h 47m 16s

Press Release,

Marie-France Estenave pour MFE-Live.com

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