Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd., will participate in the Rally Du Maroc with a three-rider team of Paulo Goncalves, Joaquim Rodrigues and C S Santosh.
The team comes to Rally Du Maroc on the heels of registering its first win for the season at the Pan Africa Rally 2019 and will look to continue its run of strong performance in this season.
The Rally Du Maroc, got formally kicked off with a short 7.5 kms prologue stage, locking the starting order of riders for stage 1. All three riders of Hero MotoSports put in consistent performances in the prologue stage with Paulo finishing the stage at 14 position while JRod and CS finished at 22 and 33 positions respectively.
The first of the five stages of the rally, will run for an abridged 226 kms from its original 500 kms due to a route obstruction.
The Rally Du Maroc will provide the Hero Motorsports riders with relevant track experience in sundry terrains of mountain Fe. It will give an opportunity for technical preparations before the Hero Motorsports Team Rally takes on the lauded Dakar Rally in January 2020.
Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, and Head of Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said: “We are now in the last leg of our Road to Dakar and this will be our last competitive race before the Dakar. This is a highly competitive race as all the factory teams participate here, so it gives a nice flavour of a mini-Dakar and allows good preparations. Our goal is to use this opportunity to make the final adjustments in the bikes and rider preparations. Any unnecessary risk this close to the Dakar, will seriously impact our Dakar chances and that’s what we will keep in mind and focus on bringing the race home safely.”
Paulo Goncalves, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said: “We started the Rally Du Maroc with a short Prologue stage. It was short but quite a tricky stage with really slippery terrain in the mountains and lot of ravines. I didn’t have a nice feeling tackling it but it’s just the start and we have 5 long days in front of us so I will try to do my best, taking a day at a time.”
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said: “I didn’t have a great start, made a couple of mistakes and lost some time but it was just the prologue and we have the full rally ahead of us. The bike is riding good and we are ready for stage 1.”
C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said: “I had some nerves going into the prologue which was quite short and slippery. I made a mistake in the beginning but then caught the rider in front, only to ride behind him in the dust, losing some time. It’s a long rally and I am excited to take on the stage 1, so let’s see how that goes.”