Joaquim, CSSantosh ready for second half of the Dakar

Joaquim, CSSantosh ready for second half of the Dakar
Highlights

Hero MotoSports Team Rally might be the youngest team in the Dakar paddock, but the results of the first week indicate that it has punched way above its weight in the fight against the big boys of the rally-raid circuit.

Hero MotoSports Team Rally might be the youngest team in the Dakar paddock, but the results of the first week indicate that it has punched way above its weight in the fight against the big boys of the rally-raid circuit.

With the first half of the 2017 edition of the Dakar behind it, the two riders, Joaquim Rodrigues and CS Santosh, have given the team plenty of positive takeaways in a race that is being hailed as the toughest Dakar in South America till date.

The biggest surprise so far has been the performance of Rodrigues, who is running in 11th position in the provisional overall general classification just 1 hour 10 minutes 20 seconds behind the leader at the half way mark. The Portuguese rider has been on pace and spot on with navigation right from the start on January 2.

The highlight of his debut appearance in the Dakar has been the consistency and maturity with which Rodrigues has handled some of toughest stages in the rally so far where many other seasoned riders have faltered. Santosh, who is making his third appearance in the Dakar, too has a number of positives to look back on.

Barring the third stage, when he paid a heavy price for missing a way point, India’s top cross-country rider has enjoyed a consistent race on most of the days. Currently placed in 70th position in the provisional overall general classification, Santosh will be relying on his experience and knowledge of the Dakar to move up the order in the second half of the rally.

More importantly, both the riders have managed to avoid heavy crashes in the five stages so far, which a big psychological boost going into the second half of the Dakar. The most important aspect of Hero MotoSports Team Rally’s first Dakar campaign has been the rock-solid performance of both the bikes.

Even at altitudes in the Bolivian Altiplano, where other bikes have struggled with performance in the thin air, the Hero Speedbrain 450 Rally has delivered flawless performance. After a trouble-free first week in the rally, the team is confident that both the bikes will make it to the finish podium in Buenos Aires on January 14.

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