Morocco Stage 1: Careful departure for the Hero Motorsport

Joaquim Rodrigues © DR

The truncated stage 1 of the Rally Du Maroc went underway today from the bivouac at Fes, as the riders took to the starting line in the order of their prologue rankings. The 225 km stage tested the riders with really tough and tricky riding conditions and a mix of terrains that included hard pack and dangerous rocky mountain ravine trails.

 

Hero MotoSports Team Rally had a cautious start with all the 3 riders focussing on bringing their bikes safely across the finish line. Paulo Goncalves was the second rider to open the stage today and had to ride without the help of the tracks from other riders, making it difficult for him to push ahead. With dangerous ravines and hard pack on the offer today, he decided to ride safe and finished the stage in the 16th place. JRod too had a tough day in the office as he started at the back of the pack and rode in terrible dust through the stage, which meant that he too had to ride with caution to bring the stage home. He finished the stage in the 18th place. For C S Santosh, the day wasn’t much different from his teammates as he too was challenged hard by the dangerous mountain turns and ravines to finish in 36th place. At the end of the stage 1, Paulo is in 15th place, JRod in18th and C S in 35th place in the overall standings.

The stage 2 of the rally tomorrow will form the first part of the Super Marathon stage running for 435 kms and will see the riders arrive at the marathon bivouac, without the support of their assistance crew, left on their own, to take care of their bikes and themselves until the end of the Super Marathon, the day after.

Paulo Goncalves, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, « It was a tricky and dangerous stage today. I started in the 2nd position and opened the stage, so it’s normal to have a modest start I this situation. I decided to ride safe and not take any unnecessary risks. I am happy with finishing the stage today and getting a good feeling on the bike. Will try to build it up from here in the next stages. »

Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, « I didn’t have a great stage today, which was expected as I started at the back of the pack. It was terrible to ride in the dust for the entire stage and so I focussed on getting the bike safely at the finish line. Happy to bring the first stage home for the team and looking forward to a better performance tomorrow. »

C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, « It was by far one of the hardest stages I have ever done. The track was through the mountains, it was rocky and always turning so it was a really difficult and physical stage. I made a mistake in the beginning, and also had a crash and hurt my leg, so it was difficult to get into any kind of rhythm. Overall I am just glad to have finished this stage and we will see tomorrow how it goes. »

Provisional Results of the Stage 1
1. Sam Sunderland, RedBull KTM Factory Racing, 03h 16m 41s
2. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda Team, +52s
3. Matthias Walkner, RedBull KTM Factory Racing, +02m 08s…
16. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +08m 51s…
18. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +10m 35s…
36. C S Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +52m 16s…

Provisional Overall Results at the end of the Stage 1
1. Sam Sunderland, RedBull KTM Factory Racing, 03h 42m 45s
2. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda Team, +01m 08s
3. Matthias Walkner, RedBull KTM Factory Racing, +01m 52s…
15. Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +09m 47s…
18. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +12m 11s…
35. C S Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +55m 52s…

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