Team Hero MotoSports managed to successfully complete the 2019 Rally Du Maroc with a top-15 finish. These riders took no pressure to fight for a position, so as to not interfere with the battle for the podium. As the team’s priority for this Rally was to test the bikes in a competitive environment before the 2020 Dakar Rally. However, the bikes did not disappoint, as they delivered a flawless performance through the five days of rallying and the team managed to collect plenty of valuable data and feedback. Talking about positions, in terms of overall standings, Paulo Goncalves secured the 13th position, while Joaquim Rodrigues and C S Santosh managed to claim the 15th and 24th position.
Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager and Head – Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “It was a very good preparatory race and we also got a chance to test out a new road-book system before the Dakar. So, all in all, quite a valuable experience. After having lost Oriol to an injury just before the race, our approach was to be cautious and safe to avoid any unnecessary crashes and injuries. From that perspective, it was a success for us as we had no technical issues with the bike, secured a fabulous stage win and posted another 100% arrival with all the three riders and bike crossing the finishing line. A key takeaway from learning perspective will be the navigation and that’s what we will focus on for the next two and a half months leading up to the Dakar. We wish a speedy recovery to Oriol so that he can join us soon so we can put forward our full-strength team, come January.”
Paulo Goncalves, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “Happy to finish the Rally Du Maroc safely. It was quite a tricky rally for me as I committed a few navigation mistakes in the starting stages, compromising the chances of a top result. But the last 2 days were really good where I got back into my rhythm and could win a stage for my team. Today, of course, being the last day, I switched off my race mode and focused on bringing it home. It was a really good experience and training overall and now we start getting ready for the Dakar.”
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “It’s a good feeling to have finished the Rally Du Maroc 2019. It has been a tough week for me since the beginning but a solid experience nonetheless. It was our last race before the Dakar so we wanted to get as much feedback for our bikes for the Dakar and we are all happy with how well the bikes have performed. So, we take a bit of a rest now and then it’s time to focus on the Dakar.”
C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “Finally happy to have finished the Rally today. It was a really tough rally with long stages and tough navigation and then we had the new road-book system as well. Very exhausted at the end of it but today was a good day for me. Made a good stage today, felt comfortable on the bike so I am happy with that. I finished all the rallies that I participated in this year so that’s a really good sign for me and that I am making good progress heading into the Dakar. We’ll see you guys in Saudi Arabia next!”