Dakar Rally 2023: Hero MotoSports Team Rally Stage 11 update
Stage 11 of the Dakar Rally 2023 in Saudi Arabia ended with two riders from Hero MotoSports Team Rally finishing in the top 10 places, with Sebastian Buhler leading the team in 6th place at the end of stage 11. Franco Caimi finished in 8th place, and Ross Branch finished 16th in the stage in the Rally GP Class.
Dakar Rally 2023 Stage 11
The first day of the marathon stage was a 428 km ride from Shaybah, of which 274 kms formed the timed special. Stage 11 consisted entirely of sand dunes, and riders had to proceed with caution to avoid losing time on the stage. As part of the marathon stage, competitors were devoid of the assistance trucks or mechanics at bivouac – with any mechanical issues needing to be serviced by the riders themselves. Buhler put in a great performance from the start of the stage, finishing in the top 5 at most of the checkpoints before finally finishing Stage 11 in 6th place. Having suffered technical mishaps earlier in the race, Buhler found himself in the 17th overall place in the Dakar Rally 2023. Franco Caimi’s performance in the rally meant he moved up to 12th place in the overall rankings in the Rally GP class. Ross Branch lost time in the stage navigating his way through the dunes, yet still managed to finish the 280km stage just 12 minutes behind the winner. However, technical issues meant that Branch lost a couple of hours and finished the rally in 19th position overall. Stage 12 will take the riders back to Shaybah from the Marathon bivouac, a 375km ride through the Empty Quarter, with the second half of the marathon stage being another dune fest.