Hero MotoSports Team Rally continued its run at the Andalucia Rally today with mixed results in the second stage. Sebastian Buhler continued to impress with his consistent performance and finished the day at the 13th place. Joaquim Rodrigues, who had a stellar run yesterday, hit a technical snag right at the start of the stage and the team decided to bring him back to the bivouac, avoiding any unnecessary risks.
Santosh found his rhythm and was looking to bring home a good stage, when he stopped to help Joaquim Rodrigues, in getting out of the stage and consequently lost some time. Despite this halt and a navigation error in the second part of the stage, he achieved a commendable 23rd place finish.
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “Today was a short day for me as my bike started having some problem with the electricals right at the beginning of the stage. The team decided to bring the bike back to investigate the issue. These things happen in rallies and that’s why we are here, to test the new equipment and configurations before the Dakar. The team is now working on the bike so that we can be ready to go out tomorrow again.”
Sebastian Buhler, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “Today’s stage was similar to the last one so I had a good outing today as well. I got to spend some more valuable time on the bike and that’s what we are here for. I made a small navigation mistake in the beginning and let the rider behind me catch me but other than that it was all good. Happy to bring another stage to a finish for the team.”
After today’s stage, both Buhler and Santosh have gained positions moving up to the 14th and 21st place respectively in the overall rankings. Joaquim was awarded a heavy penalty for not finishing the stage today and as a result, has been pushed to the end in the overall rankings. He is expected to restart tomorrow.
C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally commented, “I saw that Joaquim needed some help, so I stopped and helped him out of the stage. After that, I got into a nice rhythm and rode quite well in the first half of the stage. In the second part, I made an error of going back to find a waypoint that I could have avoided. Regardless of the result today I felt pretty good on the bike and found a nice flow to my riding. I am learning from my mistakes which will surely benefit me at the Dakar. Now on to the remaining two stages of the rally.”
The Team remains undeterred as this Rally provides the much-needed opportunity to test equipment and configurations in a race environment, before the Dakar 2021. The 243 km second special stage presented the most technical challenge of the rally to the competitors with a twisty and narrow first part followed by sandy tracks and finally ending with faster tracks again. For the third stage tomorrow, the Rally will cover 378 kms including a 233 km special stage starting near the town Arahal, Southeast of Seville.