Hero MotoSports claim podium with Joaquim Rodrigues finishing third in Stage 11 | 2022 Dakar
Stage 11 was arguably one of those stages that truly defined what to expect at the 2022 Dakar. The penultimate stage was 501km in total which had the 345km Special Stage loop around Bisha. This was also the biggest technical challenge in the final part of the rally. The stage showcased dunes of all sizes, shapes, and textures for the riders.
Hero MotoSports rider Joaquim Rodrigues finished the stage in third place after a steady ride. His pace in this stage was in the top four right from the start till the end. After an emotionally challenging Stage 10, JRod bounced back with extreme focus in Stage 11. Overall, J-Rod finished P14 on the timesheets.
After the stage, J-Rod said, “It was definitely a much better day for me, after yesterday’s tough ordeal. Luckily I was able to recover, put a strong effort, and give my entire focus to this stage. The bike performed extremely well and helped me gain this podium. The dunes and even the dunettes were really soft, in addition to the tough navigation, making it a very difficult “true Dakar stage”. I’m very happy with the third place, and the team definitely deserves this good result. Looking forward to tomorrow, the final day!”
Aaron Mare faced difficulty in the start of the stage. A small navigation error cost him some time, and a landing mistake caused a slight sprain on his back and on his ankle. Aaron finished P25 in the stage and overall, he stands in P16.
After the stage, Aaron said, “The stage today started very rough for me. 4-5 kms into the race a handful of riders including myself ended up losing time trying to find a waypoint in the dust. Navigation was tough in the dust, so I rode at a slower pace to avoid mistakes until I reached the dunes, after which I could push. On the dunes, I made a small mistake at one of the drop-offs, and a flat-landing tweaked my back and ankle a bit. From there I rode slower, and am happy that I could get back safe with the bike. I look forward to the last day of the race.”
Stage 12 is the last and final challenge from Dakar 2022. It is a 679km ride from Bisha to Jeddah, with only a 163km special section. The stage will end with the final podium ceremony at the new Formula 1 circuit on Jeddah corniche. For more news and updates from the world of motorsport, stay tuned to evo India!