Hero Motosports riders find success in day 1 of the 48-hour chrono stage at Dakar

– Both riders feature in the top-10 virtual rankings

Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters – Hero MotoCorp, has successfully completed day 1 of the 2-day Stage 6 at the Dakar Rally 2024.

Shortly after 4pm on Thursday (day 1), both Hero MotoSports riders Ross Branch and Joan Barreda have crossed the 513 km mark on the Stage in the 6th and 10th spots respectively. In the virtual overall rankings, Ross moves one spot down to 2nd, and Joan is at the 10th place.

The 48-hour Chrono is a new format introduced at the Dakar 2024 – a significant upgrade from the erstwhile Marathon stages until last year. Stage 6 has a total of 835 kms to cover across 2 days, of which 626 kms are timed. The Empty Quarter became the playground for this interesting, but extremely grueling 2 days in an endless sea of dunes.

To start with, all competitors left for the Empty Quarter early in the morning on Thursday, leaving their crews behind at the bivouac in Shubaytah. Spending over 8 hours on the bike, conquering one dune after the other, the competitors also had extremely complex navigational challenges to solve across the day. As soon as the clock struck 4pm, all competitors were ordered to halt at the next Break Point zone they come across. There are 6 BP zones spread across the course of the stage for competitors to halt and stay over for the night.

At the end of the first day, only 10 top Rally-GP class riders out of 128 motorbike competitors have made it to Break Point F, and both Hero MotoSports riders are in this group. BP F is the the second-last of 6 such zones, and no competitors have reached the last BP zone.

At the Break Point zone, the competitors have received bare minimum camping material and just enough provisions to make it through the night. They are also cut off from all communication with the outside world – not knowing how they are doing against the competition.

Starting early in the day tomorrow, the competitors will continue on the rest of the special. From Break Point F, our riders have just about 112 kms of dune-surfing left to reach the finish line of Stage 6. Provisional rankings will be available only at the end of Stage 6 tomorrow.

Virtual Rankings – Stage 6 (at the end of 513 kms)
1. Adrien Van Beveren, Monster Energy Honda Team, 06h 30m 39s
2. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda Team, +1m 21s
3. Toby Price, RedBull KTM Factory Racing, +1m 49s…
6. Ross Branch, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +7m 56s…
10. Joan Barreda Bort, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +29m 58s…

Virtual Overall Rankings – at the end of 513 kms in Stage 6
1. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda Team, 25h 40m 50s
2. Ross Branch, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +2m 48s
3. Ignacio Cornejo, Monster Energy Honda Team, +6m 37s…
10. Joan Barreda Bort, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +1h 4m 44s…