Hero MotoSports completes the long Stage 4 of the 2022 Dakar
Stage 4 of the 2022 Dakar was a rocky stage for the Hero MotoSports riders, especially after their milestone victory in the previous stage. This stage was the longest in the rally as they made their way from Al Qaisumah to the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. The journey was 70km in total, including a 465km timed stage. Riders Joaquim Rodrigues finished P35 while Aaron Mare finished in P40 on the stage. So with that said, let us look at how the stage was for the riders.
Fast and winding tracks with low visibility, open rocky plateaus, chains of dunes and dune ridges, and numerous wadi crossings made the day very gruelling for the riders. The rains from the last few days further complicated the navigation, making it one of the toughest and most dangerous days so far at Dakar 2022.
J-Rod took the stage from first after winning the previous stage. This meant that he was the first one out there and there were no tracks for him to follow. Navigation was tougher than usual as spells of rain also ensured that the tyre tracks remained hidden. He dropped down from P1 on the first waypoint and could not recover from that point onwards.
J-Rod said, “After my win in Stage 3, we knew that I had to open Stage 4. Coincidentally, the stage I got to open was the longest, and the toughest one to navigate so far. Because of the rains, the tracks were almost invisible, and navigation became really difficult. The other riders caught up with me, and we ended up as a group of 4-5 guys riding together to the finish line. The result is still good, and I am happy to finish safely.”
Aaron Maré faced some difficulties on the stage. Knowing his lack of experience with the Hero 450 Rally bike, he decided to ride at his own pace and cross the finish line avoiding mistakes. His steady performance on the stage helped him retain his P15 in the overall rankings.
After the stage, Aaron said, “It was a really long, fast and rocky stage, with only a small section of dunes in the middle. I struggled to keep up pace with the other riders and hence decided to slow down and concentrate on my navigation. The bikes and we are back here safe, and in good shape, and that’s good news. I’m taking it one day at a time, and looking forward to better results.”
In Stage 5, the rally will take a loop around the capital city of Riyadh covering 556km, including the transport section. The timed special stage will have rocky and long dune sections, but it will be relatively shorter at 341km. For more information and news from the world motorsport, stay tuned to evo India!