Hero MotoSports creates history at the 2022 Dakar Rally
Hero MotoSports rider Joaquim Rodrigues won Stage 3 at the 2022 Dakar and made his team the first Indian team and manufacturer to win a stage. J-Rod had to really fight for the win as he was neck and neck with rival Daniel Sanders for most of the stage. J-Rod currently stands in P17 and is trying to make up for the time he lost in Stage 1. Teammate Aaron Mare is also giving consistent performances and is holding on to P10 in the overall standings.
The stage started from Al Qaisumah early in the morning. The route had to be altered due to flooding from the heavy rain of the previous night. Riders started the race after traversing 214km of liaison. The 255 km special section was lined with long stretches of alternating dune ridges, fast plateaus, and complicated intersections. Navigating through the terrain was a tough task as well.
As Hero MotoSports created history, Team manager Wolfgang Fischer said, “We’ve made history! It’s amazing to enjoy the first stage win for Hero MotoSports at the Dakar today. We’re experiencing the sweet taste of victory after all the hard work a lot of people have put in over the past few last months and years. It is also JRod’s first stage win at the Dakar, and he absolutely deserves it. I’m really happy that he’s the one to have brought home this achievement for Hero MotoSports. Congratulations to the entire team, and to all our fans around the globe.”
After winning the stage, J-Rod said, “I’m extremely happy with how my day has turned out. Even though the stage was really fast, with a lot of difficulty around alternating dunes and tracks, I was able to push hard right from the very first kilometre. The Hero Rally 450 has been performing extremely well, and I’m happy that our great combination has helped bring home the first stage win at the Dakar. Thank you, Hero MotoSports, for all the effort they have invested in me, and for putting me through a large number of races this year – this has definitely boosted my confidence by leaps and bounds.
On finishing P18 on the stage Mare said, “The stage was really fast today, having been shortened by about 100km. My focus was on avoiding any navigation mistakes or crashes. Overall, it was another consistent day for me, I didn’t lose much time, and I’m happy with my start position for tomorrow. I am also elated to have been part of the team when it achieved this historic achievement. JRod delivered an incredible performance today, and I’m so happy for him!”
Stage 4 of the rally will present the longest stage of Dakar 2022, a total of 707km from Al Qaisumah to Riyadh, including a special section of 465km. Almost 200km of fast tracks, numerous wadi crossings and chains of dunes are to be expected. For more information from the 2022 Dakar Rally, stay tuned to evo India!