– Indian Team bolsters rider line-up ahead of the Dakar 2024
Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, Hero MotoCorp – has further bolstered its team line-up with the signing of top-rider Joan Barreda Bort.
Joan Barreda Bort, from Spain, is a rally-raid athlete with a solid reputation in the circuit. Best labelled as a ‘Dakar legend’ – Barreda exemplifies persistence, commitment and passion for the rally sport. In his illustrious career, the 40-year-old has won 12 international races, and finished the Dakar Rally 7 times.
In 13 consecutive Dakar Rally appearances, he has 30 Stage wins, holding the title of winning the maximum number of stages at the mighty Dakar (amongst active competitors in the Bikes category). He is a popular face in the Dakar bivouacs and his best Dakar result is a 5th place in two editions – 2017 and 2022. In 2014, Barreda won a staggering 5 Stages out of the 13.
‘Bang Bang’ – as he is popularly known – is famous for his trademark style of aggressive riding and a consistent attack for victory all through a rally. He is a 5-time winner of the popular Spanish Baja, and has won several international rallies such as the Merzouga Rally, Andalucia Rally, China Grand Rally, Qatar Cross-Country Rally, and Rallye Des Pharaons, among others.
This is also a ‘life coming full circle’ moment for Joan and Hero MotoSports team manager Wolfgang Fischer. Both of them, along with erstwhile Hero rider (late) Paulo ‘Speedy’ Goncalves, were part of the same team in 2012.
The seven-year-old Hero MotoSports Team Rally is at its peak form, having made it to the big leagues in record time. They finished the 2023 World Championship with an overall 4th position, raking in 2 Stage Wins at the Dakar 2023, and top positions at various rallies through the year. With another top-class rider on-board, the team will now aim to hit loftier targets.
Joan Barreda Bort’s first outing with the Hero MotoSports team will be in January next year, at the Dakar Rally 2024 – which is also the inaugural race of the 2024 season of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC). He will be joining fellow riders and Rally GP class competitors Joaquim Rodrigues, Ross Branch and Sebastian Buhler, to form a 4-rider squad. For the Dakar veteran, this move to a younger, nimble squad comes from a deep motivation to share his core expertise, and utilize his potential to scale the team up.
Joan will be present at the Hero MotoCorp booth at the EICMA 2023 on November 7.