Hero becomes the first Indian manufacturer on the Dakar podium
Hero becomes the first Indian manufacturer on the Dakar podium Hero MotoSports

2024 Dakar Rally ends: First podium finish for Hero MotoSports and Ross Branch

Hero MotoSports’ Branch finishes 2nd in the 2024 Dakar Rally by 10 minutes and 53 seconds

The 2024 Dakar Rally has ended with the conclusion of Stage 12. Hero MotoSports and Ross Branch secured a podium finish in 2nd place, behind overall winner Ricky Brabec of Monster Energy Honda by just 10 minutes and 53 seconds. The final Stage 12 was held in Yanbu over a 175km special stage and 153km liaison. Title contenders Branch and Brabec were the first riders to start the special stage with 10 minutes and 22 seconds between them in the overall standings.

Branch won the previous Stage 11 on January 18 and had this to say, “It was a really cool stage, I had so much fun from the start to the finish and I really enjoyed myself out there. The bike was going amazing, and I made no mistakes today which is important for my mind. I’m enjoying the challenge. Ricky’s got a big lead on me but I’m really happy for where I am at the moment and looking forward to tomorrow.”

After 33km in Stage 12, Ross Branch was just 4 seconds behind title Brabec in the stage with a 36 second gap but 32 seconds in bonuses. However, Branch was being chased by Honda’s Adrien Van Beveren who was less than 3 minutes behind him in the overall standings. With just 25km left before the finish line, Branch was 9 minutes and 37 seconds behind Brabec in the virtual general rankings. At the end of the stage, there were no dramatic changes in the overall standings with Brabec maintaining his 10 minute lead over Branch and finishing 1st overall.

It’s been a gruelling two weeks of racing in the toughest race in the world. Three out of four Hero MotoSports riders could not finish the 2024 Dakar Rally, but Ross Branch gave overall winner Ricky Brabec a tough fight till the very end. It was a first Dakar podium for Branch, and a second win for Brabec after his first in 2020. With Ross Branch, Hero MotoSports has made history by becoming the first Indian manufacturer to appear on the Dakar podium. After a historic result in 2024, we’re looking forward to seeing Hero at Dakar next year.

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