Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the rally racing team of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters – Hero MotoCorp, completed their first rally of the new season on a strong note with two of its riders finishing in the Top 5 in overall standings.
Joaquim Rodrigues and Franco Caimi, placed fourth and fifth respectively after Stage 3 started the final stage with the best chances of achieving a Podium for the team. Joaquim made a strong start to the stage but settled on the side of caution owing to a couple of crashes and brought the bike home safely in the seventh position. This was enough for him to earn a fourth place in the overall standings, building upon his win in the Prologue and a strong performance throughout the rally.
Franco Caimi also made a strong final dash and managed secure a fifth place in the last stage of the rally, his efforts rewarding him with a fifth place in the overall standings too. With this he managed to achieve a Top 5 finish in his very first rally in Hero MotoSports colors.
Sebastian Buhler, who had received a 15 minutes penalty yesterday owing to an engine change effectively lost his chance of an overall podium finish. Yet, he put the new engine to good use and achieved good speed to finish the final stage in fourth place. He finished the rally on the eight position in the overall rankings.
With a report card that boasts of a stage win in the Prologue, three stage podiums, seven Top-5 stages and all the riders competing for the top positions, Andalucia Rally, undoubtedly turned out to be a highly successful and positive first step for the Team into the new season. The resurgence of Joaquim Rodrigues, the consistency of Sebastian Buhler and the fresh energy of Franco Caimi in the team augurs really well for the team’s prospects in the upcoming season.
Next up for Hero MotoSports Team Rally will be the Rally Kazakhstan scheduled from June 7–13, where the team will be looking to gain more experience and saddle time for the riders while battling for top results.
Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: ”This has been a great start to our season. We tested some new configurations in the bike and also in the team. I am very happy that we have a lot of positives to take home. It was great to see JRod back among the top positions, while Buhler was very impressive with his consistency and in Caimi we have another top contender bringing fresh energy into the team. The bike has also performed really well and supported the riders to fight for the top positions, so all in all, I think we have a very good combination. Now we look to build on this further in the next rallies. Last but not the least, we want to express our thanks to everyone back in the Hero family and our supporters across the world. This is a tough time for all of us and we urge you to keep safe.”
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “Today was difficult day for me as I had a couple of crashes and hurt my hand and knee a little bit. So, I decided to slow down and focus on getting the bike to the finish safely. In the second part I got into a better rhythm and pushed through to the finish line. I am setting a good pace on the bike and the bike is also performing really well so I am happy with the results. I want to thank my team, entire Hero family and all our fans for their support.”
Franco Caimi, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “I focused today on improving my feeling and confidence on the bike so I am happy to be at the end and with the way things have gone in my first rally with my new team. I really enjoyed it and want to thank my entire crew for doing a fantastic job through the rally and also our supporters and my new Hero family. Now we will start our work for the upcoming Kazakhstan Rally.”
Sebastian Buhler, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “I am very happy that I managed to get some good stages for the team in the rally. The bike worked really well and the team also made a great job so everything was perfect. I feel that I am getting better day by day and even though the results could have been better, overall we had a very good rally. I want to express my special thanks to our team and fans across the world.”
Provisional Stage 4 Rankings:
1. Pablo Quintanilla Monster Energy Honda Team 02h 09m 55s
2. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda Team +11s
3. Lorenzo Santolino Sherco Factory Rally Team +47s
4. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally +01m 05s
5. Franco Caimi Hero MotoSports Team Rally +02m 00s
7. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally +02m 50s
Provisional Overall Rankings after Stage 4:
1. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda Team 10h 47m 32s
2. Lorenzo Santolino Sherco Factory Rally Team +03m 28s
3. Pablo Quintanilla Monster Energy Honda Team +10m 29s
4. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally +13m 50s
5. Franco Caimi Hero MotoSports Team Rally +14m 05s
8. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally +26m 04s