SKR SS2: Hero MotoSports secures their first ‘stage podium’

Oriol Mena © Pep Segales

Oriol Mena and Paulo Goncalves make it a 2nd and 3rd place finish in stage 2

The first in the series of long stages of the Silkway Rally covering 411.5 kms including a special stage of 212kms went underway today from Baykalsk to Ulan-ude.

Hero MotoSports Team Rally riders consolidated their good performance of stage 1 with a fantastic run today to tame the stage 2 of the Silkway Rally with great authority, breaching the top 5 rankings.

Oriol Mena in particular was on a roll today, relentlessly pushing ahead to catch several riders ahead of him, in a fast stage. His great performance today resulted in a 2nd place finish in the stage, enabling him to climb up to 6th position in the overall rankings. Paulo Goncalves was not the one to be left behind, as he too, made a blazing run to get another solid stage under his belt. With a commendable 3rd place finish today, he moved up by a few of places to a 3rd place in the overall rankings, breaking into the top 3, early in the rally.

Today’s stage offered fast navigation in a diverse set of landscapes to the competitors, starting with a stony broken road section filled with water holes, then following it up with an endure style special section passing through the forest, river bridges, Siberian hills ending in a fast dash to the finish line across steppe plateaus.

Paulo Goncalves (Comp #4): « It was a good stage for me today. There were a lot of stones and water fills in the beginning but 90% of the stage was in the forest terrain. Towards the end it became a bit slippery but the bike handled superbly. It’s just the beginning of the rally so my focus is on arriving in the same way for the rest of the rally. »

Oriol Mena (Comp #25): « I rode really well today and am quite happy with the results. It was a fast stage today with muddy holes to start with. I rode carefully in this section to avoid any crashes. After about a 100kms the terrain changed into a fast piste and hard ground. Finally after 150 kms of eating a lot of dust at the back of the lead pack, I pushed hard and managed to overtake the rider in front of me. I am feeling good on the bike and quite confident, so happy to see the back of one more day. »

Provisional Rankings of the Stage 2
1. Sam Sunderland, Redbull KTM, 02h 20m 30s
2. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +39s
3. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports, +50s
4. Kevin Benavides, Monster Energy Honda, +01m 07s
5. Joan Barreda, Monster Energy Honda, +02m 40s…

Overall Rankings at the end of the Stage 2
1. Kevin Benavides, Monster Energy Honda, 02h 52m 28s
2. Sam Sunderland, Red Bull KTM, +08s
3. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports, +01m 19s
4. Luciano Benavides, Redbull KTM, +02m 25s
5. Joan Barreda, Monster Energy Honda, +02m 39s
6. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +03m 03s…

Press release,