FIRST-EVER PODIUM FINISH FOR Hero MotoSports in FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship
Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsports team of Hero MotoCorp, achieved a podium finish at the Silk Way Rally 2021 with Franco Caimi claiming the 3rd position. Sebastian Buhler finished the rally in the 5th position and Joaquim Rodrigues in 9th.
The is the first podium for Hero MotoSports in the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship.
It was another clinical ride by all three riders. A stellar ride from Franco saw him hold on to his 3rd position in the overall rankings, missing out on the second position by a mere six seconds, after close to 3100kms of racing over five days.
Sebastian also had a good rally and his consistency got him the 5th position in the overall standings. Joaquim had difficult times and luck during some stages and this cost him time and positions. Yet, he recovered well to complete the rally in the top 10.
The last stage of the rally it was a repeat of the second stage, except it was heavily degraded with the passing of the cars and trucks a few days prior, and a few sections had to be reconstructed with a bulldozer. The stage started with wide open tracks that then gave way to narrow bumpy routes through the trees in the Siberian forests. Closer to the end, the forest trails became smoother and sandy, allowing the riders to build up speed again towards the finish. The liaison at the end of the stage brought the riders back to Gorno-Altaysk for the podium ceremonies.
With its first podium finish in the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship, the team has once again shown that it is a force to be reckoned with. The combination of a reliable Hero Rally 450, three world class riders and a strong crew, the team has delivered three excellent rallies in as months, and optimistically looks forward to the next event in their campaign.
Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “Namaste from the finish line of the Silk Way Rally 2021. We are really happy to bag our first Cross-Country World Championship podium with our new team member, Franco. It was a roller-coaster of an event, with all the things that happened here. The Mongolian leg was cancelled due to the borders being closed and the rally was cut in half. But our guys delivered a really strong result. Sebastian was able to finish in fifth place, and with better luck even Joaquim could have been up there fighting for the cup. It is encouraging to see the improvements from race to race and all three riders are performing at the highest level. We are looking forward to the next races. Thank you to all the fans for their support.”
Franco Caimi, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “I don’t have the words to describe how happy I am feeling right now, not just for myself, but also for the team. They have done a fantastic job, and we were able to finish on the podium. We pushed hard during the entire race and in the end, missed the second position by just six seconds. I am really happy with the result, and looking forward to growing with the team. I am sure we can accomplish great things together. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the Hero family and the fans for their support and good wishes.”
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “This was not the best race for me, but overall, it was a great result for the team. We had a stage win and overall podium for Caimi, a top 5 for Buhler, and I also had a few good results. It shows that Hero MotoSports is growing strongly as a team and is able to compete with the biggest teams in the sport. That is a positive for us. We will work hard for the coming races, and I am hoping for better luck next time. Thanks again to all our fans for their support and motivation.”
Sebastian Buhler, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “Today was the same stage as SS2, so it was nice to ride at a good speed without too much navigation. The rally was shorter than what we were expecting, due to the situation in Mongolia, but the organisers did their best and we were able to complete the rally. Overall, it was a positive race and I felt good on the bike. I was gaining confidence to push harder each day and the team also did a good job. Thanks also to our fans all around the world for their support.”