Hero MotoSports Team enjoys successful day in the Morocco

Joaquim Rodrigues © DR

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. The first stage of the OiLibya Rally Morocco proved to be an extremely tough challenge for the riders on their way from Fez to Erfoud. Hero MotoSports Team Rally riders, Joaquim Rodrigues and CS Santosh, were dealt with a rocky route including valleys, stony sections and river beds. As one would expect during such a high-profile race, navigation and endurance was a critical factor in what has already been the longest day of the whole rally.

 

« J-Rod » Rodrigues and CS Santosh impressed during the 270 kilometres long special test with a steady and calculated performance. Rodrigues ended the stage in 11th position, Santosh rode to a very creditable 18th place. The ace Indian rider finished roughly ten minutes behind his Portuguese teammate. In the overall rankings too, the duo sits at a comfortable 11th and 18th position, respectively.
 
Joaquim Rodrigues said, « Today was a long day with a very long stage. I made two mistakes trying to find hidden waypoints so I really lost a lot of time. I rode well in the second part, riding a good speed and navigating well. I had a small crash over some rocks and hurt my arm a little bit. Overall I am happy with today and ready for tomorrow. »
 
CS Santosh said, « The first stage is in the books after starting super early in the morning. We did many kilometres of liason today. The stage was fast and you had to pay attention to the roadbook. I eventually found my rhythm and guess I did a good job today. A decent day for the first stage of the rally. We build from here and carry on forward. »

The OiLibya Rally Morocco, continues on Saturday with the longest special test of the race. The stage will test the riders over a 350-km loop around the dunes of Erfoud.

Stage 1 Results
1. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Husqvarna Factory Rally Team, 3:02’10
2. Walkner Matthias – AUT – KTM Factory Racing Team, +1’51
3. Sunderland Sam – GBR – KTM Factory Racing Team, +4’31
4. Benavides Kevin – ARG – Monster Energy Honda Team, +5’36
5. Goncalves Paulo – POR – Monster Energy Honda Team, 5’46
6. Meo Antoine – FRA – KTM Factory Racing Team, +7’38
7. Brabec Ricky – USA – Monster Energy Honda Team, +12’33
8. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Yamaha Motor Europe, +13’04
9. Pedrero Joan – SPA – Sherco TVS Rally Factory, +13’04
10. Botturi Alessandro – ITA – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team, +14’24…
18. CS Santosh – IND – Hero, +27’56…
     
Provisional Overall standings after Stage 1
1. Quintanilla Pablo – CHI – Husqvarna Factory Rally Team, 3:11’20
2. Walkner Matthias – AUT – KTM Factory Racing Team, +1’34
3. Sunderland Sam – GBR – KTM Factory Racing Team, +4’14
4. Benavides Kevin – ARG – Monster Energy Honda Team, +5’53
5. Goncalves Paulo – POR – Monster Energy Honda Team, +6’30
6. Meo Antoine – FRA – KTM Factory Racing Team, +12’47
7. Brabec Ricky – USA – Monster Energy Honda Team, +13’01
8. Van Beveren Adrien – FRA – Yamaha Motor Europe, +13’09
9. Pedrero Joan – SPA – Sherco TVS Rally Factory, +13’39
10. Botturi Alessandro – ITA- Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team, +16’02
11. Joaquim Rodrigues, POR, Hero, +17’43…
18. CS Santosh – IND – Hero, +29’39…
 
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