It was a mixed day of sorts for the Hero MotoSports Team Rally today at the Desafio Inca Rally as they finished with two of the three riders across the finish line at Ica.
Joaquim Rodrigues started really well today to settle into a nice rhythm before ending into a minor fall towards the end of the first lap of stage 2.
He suffered a twist in his back and minor damage to the bike, but managed to bring the bike to the end of the lap 1. Though not serious, but the team management decided to not risk it further, and decided to opt out of lap 2 for JRod, bringing the stage 2 to a premature close for him. JRod, is in fact not the first rider to do so, as a few other top riders opted out of the lap 2 of stage 1 as well, in order to keep it safe, conserving themselves for the Dakar.
Teammates Oriol Mena and C S Santosh continued their good run to finish the stage 2 safely to get some more laps and valuable experience under their belt. Stage 2 was again predominantly dunes and fesh-fesh combined with some tough navigation on the offer throughout the 2 laps making up the 350 kms of the stage. Both Oriol and Santosh kept it safe and steady to finish the stage in the 10th and 17th positions respectively while JRod stands at 21st place in the stage 2 rankings. At an overall level, Mena is 12th, Santosh 16th and JRod 22nd.
For Hero MotoSports, and as for most of the teams, the main objective remains the learning and exposure to Peruvian terrains in view of the Dakar 2019. With that in mind, they will head into the final stage tomorrow with a relatively shorter run of 200kms to bring the last rally before the Dakar into the books.
Joaquim Rodrigues (Comp #11): “Todays’ stage was going good. I was riding safe and easy. I managed to cut a lot of riders in front of me but there was a lot of dust. Towards the end of the lap 1 I had a minor fall where I twisted my back and also the bike a bit. Managed to make the bike straight enough to bring it at the end of lap 1. We decided to opt out of the second lap for safety and to be in the best shape for tomorrow.