Merzouga: Joaquim Rodrigues and CS Santosh hold steady

Joaquim Rodrigues © DR

Hero MotoSports Team Rally riders, Joaquim Rodrigues and CS Santosh have overcome the hardest stage of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally in Morocco. The 2 day Marathon stage tested the riders with zones that were quite dangerous and very technical, thus challenging the riders’ bike control to the maximum.


After staying overnight on their own, under the stars of the Moroccan desert and another episode of bad sand storm, the riders went to work this morning to complete the penultimate stage of the race. Already made difficult by the absence of the mechanics and the support crew, the second day of the Marathon stage of 206 km tested the riders with many dunettes, big stone fields and tricky navigation throughout.

Joaquim Rodrigues, made a good run today, taking control of the stage with his cool head, steadfast resolve and ever improving navigational skills. He was in fact very close to clinching the stage victory, only missing it by 1:07 min. In the end he finished today’s stage in the 4th place, his best stage finish since winning the prologue.

For CS Santosh too, the stage started well but a nasty crash after that impacted his progress in the stage greatly. Santosh lost a lot of time due to the crash and finished the stage in 36th position.

With only the last stage remaining to be conquered, Hero MotoSports Team Rally will be looking to make a last dash in the short 50 km special of Grand Prix Dunes and bring home a good result for the team.

Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “I lost a bit of time yesterday in the Marathon stage, looking for a secret waypoint but today I started off really well and got myself to the end in a very good position. For now, we just wait for the last stage tomorrow and bring my bike home for Hero MotoSports Team Rally