Having kick-started this year with a fine show at the 2019 Merzouga Rally, Hero Motosports Team Rally has further bolstered the outfit’s strength by signing Portuguese champion, Paulo Goncalves as its fourth rider. Nicknamed ‘Speedy’, Goncalves brings with him over 12 years of illustrious rally-racing experience, including a series of remarkable performances at the world’s most prestigious rallies. He was the 2013 FIM Cross Country Rally World Champion and has also clinched the runners-up position at the world’s toughest off-road challenge, the Dakar Rally in 2015.
Also Read: Is This The 2019 Hero Karizma?
Hero MotoSports Team Rally recently achieved an impressive podium finish at the 2019 Merzouga Rally in Morocco. Paulo’s entry will add further impetus to Hero MotoSports’ campaign as the Team looks to improve on its already impressive results over the previous three years. Paulo will compete alongside the Team’s ace pilots — the most experienced Indian Dakar participant, CS Santosh, Portuguese star Joaquim Rodrigues, and Spanish sensation, Oriol Mena. Paulo will make his debut for the Team at the Silkway Rally (Russia-Mongolia-China) in the month of July this year.
Formed in 2016, Hero MotoSports Team Rally has already demonstrated immense potential with a series of impressive performances across the world, including two top-10 finishes at the Dakar Rally. Most recently, Oriol Mena bagged a podium finish at the 2019 Merzouga Rally in Morocco. His teammate Joaquim Rodrigues, was not too far behind as he finished the rally at the fourth position.
Talking about the new team member, Dr. Markus Braunsperger, CTO – Hero MotoCorp and Head – Hero MotoSports, said, “First of all, let me extend a very warm welcome to Paulo Goncalves to the Hero MotoSports family and also to the larger Hero family. In a short span of three years, the Team has delivered some impressive results, and now with Paulo’s wealth of experience, there are no doubts that we will be able to lift our performance in every aspect of the rally sport. Paulo’s move also provides acknowledgement to the fact that we have been able to establish ourselves as a sought after team for the top talent in the sport. This bodes well not just for the team, but also for our fans and customers, as at the end of the day, our efforts in motorsports are aimed at building better technology and products for both on and off road. I wish Paulo a great career and success with Hero MotoSports Team Rally and all the best to the team for the upcoming races.”
Mr Wolfgang Fischer, Head – Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “We are very motivated by the entry of Paulo Goncalves into our young set-up. To attract one of the most decorated and respected top rally athletes is a big boost for our Team and an endorsement that we are being looked upon as one of the top teams in rally sport. His experience of numerous race victories and Dakar participation into our lineup will enable us to achieve the next level of competitiveness. We extend Paulo a very warm welcome and wish him a successful stint with Hero MotoSports Team Rally.”
Finally, on joining a new team, Paulo Goncalves, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “First of all I want to express my thanks to Hero MotoSports for showing their trust in me by letting me be a part of this amazing rally project. I am very happy and excited to start this new journey with the team and I hope to contribute to the team’s aim of improving our performance in the rally sport. From my side, I promise to give my everything to be ready and fit to be able to fight for the top positions for my team. Hero MotoSports has been doing a really good job in the last couple of seasons and this young team has shown, that it has the potential to win big. I would like to play my part in bringing these wins to the team. With lots of passion and emotions, my thanks again to the team and I am excited to begin.”