Today, Team Hero MotoSports announced their four-rider squad for the Dakar Rally 2020, which is scheduled to take place between 5th – 17th January 2020 in Saudi Arabia. This rally will be taking place in the dunes of Saudi Arabia and will commence at Jeddah, passing through Riyadh and conclude 12 stages later at Al Qiddiya. For the first time, Team Hero MotoSports will be participating with a 4-member squad at the Dakar Rally 2020. The riders participating are: Joaquim Rodrigues, CS Santosh, Oriol Mena and Paulo Goncalves.
Vikram Kasbekar, Executive Director – Operations (Plants) and Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp, said, “In a short span of time Hero Motorsports Team Rally has already crossed several significant milestones, which is a matter of pride for us. Going ahead, I am sure the team will achieve even better results. Our participation in the Rally events is also proving us with valuable insights into developing our future line-up of products. Some of these learnings have already been incorporated into products such as Xpulse 200 and its Rally-kit. I am sure the Dakar 2020 is going to be yet another exciting experience and the team is fully geared up for the challenge.”
Announcing the Team today, Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “We have had a good year so far and we want to close it on a high note with a strong performance at the Dakar 2020. The preparations for the Team have been good and all riders are in good shape. The bikes have also been performing without any glitches. Now we will enter the last phase of our preparation before heading to the Dakar at a new destination, Saudi Arabia. It will be a new challenge for everyone. We are determined to complete well and improve our results this year.”
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotorSports Team Rally said, “I can feel the difference between this year and the last. I feel much fitter and that has reflected in my performance also. The Team has had an exceptional ‘Road to Dakar’ this season with podium finishes and of course the win at Pan-Africa Rally. We have been training particularly hard with the focus on delivering a good performance and I look forward to an exciting Dakar in 2020.”
CS Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “This season of the Dakar is a comeback for me after the crash last year. I am confident of the preparations and good momentum built through the year with strong performances, including the first-ever top-5 finish in an International Rally (Pan-Africa Rally) for me. I look forward to delivering a solid performance, enjoy the process and arrive at the finish line.”
Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “I am getting back to the competitive rally racing after the accident during a training session in Maroc recently. I am entering the toughest race of the calendar with a cautious outlook and a target to cross the finish line safely at Dakar 2019.”
Paulo Goncalves, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “Representing Hero MotoSports Team Rally has been very exciting for me and I am very happy to join this promising team. The initial couple of outings with the Team during Silkway Rally and Rally-Du-Maroc have been very encouraging and full of exciting possibilities. The whole team is focussed on better results this year and pre-season testing has been very positive. So, I am feeling strong for this season and I hope we make history together.”