Another successful Rally for Hero Motosports Team Rally

Joaquim Rodrigues © DR

Both riders finish – JRod finishing in Top 10
The 2017 edition Afriquia Merzouga Rally concluded today near the town of Erfoud, in Morocco, with the Indian team Hero MotoSports Team Rally returning yet another impressive performance at an intrnational rally raid event.


Team rider Joaquim Rodrigues finished the Stage 6 today in 2nd place, giving himself an impressive 9th position in the overall standings. Team’s Indian star rider CS Santosh ended the Rally at 17th position in the overall standings, turning-in a steady performance following a spine injury earlier in the year. He finished the 6th Stage in 24th position.

Today’s Stage of the rally tested the riders in a single loop of 50 kms, in Motocross-style. Before turning off the engines, the riders completed a total of 1,200 demanding kilometres through the Moroccon desert.

Participating in the Rally for a second consecutive year with Hero MotoSports, JRod had lost a few positions in Stage 3, when he got stuck in a sand-storm and suffering a damage to the bike’s cooling system. This is yet another great result for the Team’s Portuguese rider who is growing in promise and stature with each rally he participates in.

His Indian team-mate CS Santosh ended his week in the top 20, in overall rankings. This is an impressive performance from the rider, given the difficulty in making a comeback after an injury , more so in rally because of the extremely tough conditions the riders have to face, but Santosh’s gritty performance proved once again that why he is considered the India’s best in rally racing.

With this Hero MotoSports Team Rally rounded-off the first half of this season with four great perofromance – Dakar (January), Desert Storm (February), India Baja (April), Merzouga (May). The Team will continue building momentum upto the Dakar 2018.

Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, « It was a good last stage for me, arriving second. There was a big battle happening in the dunes which was a lot of fun. I pushed hard and made it to the lead but I lost time due to two crashes. Very happy for a good result for the Team. It was a good rally for us and now we focus on the next rallies to come. »

CS Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, « What a great end to a fantastic 6 days of racing here in Morocco. It has been a year since my journey with Hero began and I have definitely made a lot of progress from the way I rode last year to this year. I came here with the target to gain experience and finish the Rally with a decent result. I’m happy to have achieved both. Overall, an exciting and purposeful Rally for the whole team. »

Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, « Another 100% finish for the team with both the riders arriving at the finish line. We couldn’t ask for more as it was a really good race. We overcame the challenges and our struggles and finished the race. And that’s what matters. Just as last year, Merzouga is proving to be a good training and testing ground for the bikes and the riders. This year was more difficult than before in terms of navigation and to have a complete race like that is very useful for the riders. Congratulations to the whole team and greetings to India. »

Provisional Results Stage 6
1. Xavier De Soultrait, Yamaha, 1:05:48 Hr
2. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +00:03 sec
3. Ivan Cervantes , KTM, +00:06 sec
24. CS Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +11:48: min

Provisional Results Overall
1. Xavier De Soultrait, Yamaha, 14:54:36 Hr
2. Gerard Farres Guell, KTM, +13:07 min
3. Franco Caimi, Yamaha , +22:31 min
9. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +01:35:07 Hr
17. CS Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally , +03:37:58 Hr

Press Release,