– Team’s ace rider, Joaquim Rodrigues, charged-up for a highly anticipated comeback to rally racing
– Spanish talent, Oriol Mena preps-up for another impressive run.
After an exciting start to the season with the Afriquia Merzouga Rally in April this year, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport division of the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, is all set for its next expedition at the Atacama Rally 2018.
The Atacama Rally, to be held in Chile’s Atacama region from August 12-18th will be the Team’s second international rally of the year.
Marking its first appearance at the Atacama Rally, Hero MotoSports Team Rally will enter the field with two riders – Portuguese supercross star, Joaquim Rodrigues and Spanish talent, Oriol Mena.
While Joaquim Rodrigues or ‘J-Rod’ as he is popularly known as, will make a much-awaited comeback to rally racing after an unfortunate crash at the Dakar 2018, his co-rider Oriol Mena, will aim to build on his impressive streak after finishing in top 15 at the Afriquia Merzouga Rally 2018.
Spread over 1200 kms and five special stages, the 2018 edition of the Atacama Rally will present the competitors with a challenging, unique and thrilling experience with a combination of mountain, valley and coastal terrains. The race will run exclusively within the Atacama Region, in the city of Copiapo this year. The Rally will witness participation of all the top contenders of the Dakar, including many of the top 15 riders of the Dakar 2018.
Dr. Markus Braunsperger, CTO, Hero MotoCorp and Head of Hero MotoSports, said: « The Atacama Rally presents a good training and evaluation platform for the Team’s Dakar campaign with its similar terrains and the presence of all key competitors of the Dakar rally. We are very close to the next Dakar and this is an apt opportunity to make necessary course corrections, if any. The spirits are high with J-Rod’s return and Mena’s splendid form. We are aiming for another impressive finish in this Rally. »
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said: « I am glad to ride my bike again. I was with the team during the Merzouga Rally as a mentor and I missed racing on my bike the most. I have trained hard these past months and have made great progress. Atacama Rally is a learning ground for me personally and I am aiming to get back to my form. »
Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said: « It has been a great start to the season. The top-15 finish at the Merzouga Rally followed by a strenuous training regime has lifted my energies for the next adventure at Atacama. I am hoping to sustain the momentum and deliver an impressive performance for the team. »