Hero MotoSports Riders Off To A Good Start In Stage 1, Harith Noah Finishes At P31
Hero riders Aaron Mare and Joaquim Rodrigues finished 11th and 22nd respectively at the end of Stage 1. The only Indian rider at Dakar 2022, Harith Noah completed Stage 1 at P31.
Hero MotoSports Team Rally was off to a good start in the qualifying state (Stage 1A) of the 2022 Dakar Rally as both its riders made completed the day in strong positions. The riders Aaron Mare and Joaquim Rodriques went on to complete Stage 1B in Ha’il, Saudi Arabia, taking 11th and 22nd places respectively. The riders are competing in the Rally GP Class and are placed 10th and 19th respectively in the overall rankings. The only Indian rider at Dakar this year, Harith Noah completed Stage 1 at P31. All riders covered over 513 km that included 333 km of the desert as part of the special stage and 180 km of liaison.
Speaking about his performance at the end of Stage 1, Joaquim Rodrigues said, “I made a good start, however, I and 3-4 other competitors who led the stage got lost somewhere around the 165kms mark, and could not find the way ahead. The late starters also caught up with us there, and I lost almost an hour before finding the waypoint and heading to the finish. Anyhow, it’s just the first day, there are 11 more days left to find my way to the top.”
Hero rider, Aaron Mare said, “I had a great stage today with the amazing Hero Rally 450. The stage was quite tricky with complicated navigation, yet I got to ride with some of the other competitors and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I’m eager to get back on the bike tomorrow.”
Stage 1B saw the riders loop around Ha’il navigating their way through sandy dunes and across twisty tracks. Navigation was a challenge for the riders with the tracks not being the most visible, while also turning between stones for a long part. Aaron Mare made his Hero debut this year stepping in for the injured Franco Caimi. The rider though seemed to be at home on the Hero Rally 450 and made the most of the bike despite the navigational challenges.
Joaquim Rodrigues started the stage in fifth place and struggled throughout the day, having lost time finding a particularly difficult waypoint. Nevertheless, the rider is known to make stellar comebacks and we expect the same in the days to come. Meanwhile, Harith Noah had a difficult start too with a crash, a few navigation mistakes and a technical issue. The rider will aim to improve his standings over the next couple of days.
The riders now prepare themselves for the second stage that will be a challenging one and will cover 339 km of sand dunes with an equally long liaison. The riders will begin from Ha’il and then reach their bivouac at Al Qaisumah.
Provisional Rankings – Stage 1B – Rally GP Class
1. Daniel Sanders GasGas Factory Racing 03h 43m 10s
2. Pablo Quintanilla Monster Energy Honda Team + 02m 07s
3. Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Team + 08m 31s
4. Lorenzo Santolino Team Sherco Rallye + 10m 04s
11. Aaron Mare Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 21m 03s
22. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 53m 19s
Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 1B – Rally GP Class
1. Daniel Sanders GasGas Factory Racing 04h 38m 40s
2. Pablo Quintanilla Monster Energy Honda Team + 03m 07s
3. Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Team + 11m 06s
4. Adrien van Beveren Monster Energy Yamaha + 12m 46s
10. Aaron Mare Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 27m 33s
19. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally + 56m 24s