J-Rod of Hero MotoSports bags third in overall standings after Stage 5 in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
Stage 5 of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge has come to an end and it has also marked the end of the rally. Joaquim Rodrigues finished P5 in the stage and that has allowed him to finish P3 in the overall standings at the end of the rally. Sebastian Buhler and Franco Caimi were out of the rally as Buhler suffered an injury in Stage 4 and Caimi was out in Stage 2 after his Hero 450 Rally bike ran into some technical problems. The last stage of the rally tested the riders with another 216km of racing, taking the total race distance to over 1350kms in five days.
Even though J-Rod was complaining about feeling low energy throughout the rally, he managed to push himself and his bike to the limits and come home P5 in the stage. But this stage was easier than it seemed for J-Rod. He had a navigation failure in the stage, but still managed to overcome the situation and finish P5, just seven minutes behind the leader. This also marks the first podium finish for J-Rod in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
Wolfgang Fischer, the boss of Hero MotoSports, said this at the end of the rally, “First of all, we would like to wish Sebastian a speedy recovery, and we hope to have him back soon. Hearty congratulations to JRod for a well-deserved podium finish. It was also great to have the full team here as CS Santosh joined us, signaling his speedy recovery. Overall, we have had an exciting season, during which we have improved a lot and the growth is evident from the podium finishes. Our focus will now be on ensuring readiness for the Dakar Rally. Thanks to the entire team for their great work.”
With that said, the next rally for the team is the Dakar 2022. The Dakar 2022 will take place in Saudi Arabia from January 2 to January 14, 2022. Hero MotoSports will use this period for their final preparations, to ensure they hit the ground running for the most important rally of the calendar. For more news and updates from the world of motorsport, stay tuned to evo India!