Hero MotoSports Team Rally wins their first-ever podium in the FIM cross-country world championship
Hero MotoSports Team Rally have achieved their first podium in the FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship. Franco Caimi came third with Sebastian Buhler in fifth and Joaquim Rodrigues at ninth in the overall championship table. Caimi missed out on the second position in the championship by a mere six seconds after close to 3100kms of racing over five days in the Silk Way Rally.
The fourth round of the Silk Way Rally was a marathon stage and it was a repeat of the third stage. Parts of the track had deteriorated after the trucks ran on the same tracks in yesterday’s stage. The stage ended with a 470km liaison back to Gorno-Altaysk where the riders were united with the pit-crew. Sebastian Buhler came in fifth with Caimi at sixth after he got stuck in the river sections more than once. J-Rod rode carefully through the stage in order to save his engine which was flooded in the previous stage. He finished eighth on the timesheet.
The final stage of the rally was a repeat of the second stage but was heavily degraded due to the passing of the cars and trucks a few days prior. The stage started with wide open tracks that changed to narrow bumpy routes through the trees in the Siberian forest. The trails became smoother towards the finish which allowed the riders to pick up speed. The last liaison of the stage brought the riders back to Gorno-Altaysk for the podium ceremonies. Caimi finished third, Buhler a close fourth and J-Rod finished the section in sixth.
Hero MotoSport Team Manager Wolfgang Fischer said, “Namaste from the finish line of the Silk Way Rally 2021. We are really happy to bag our first FIM Cross-Country Rally World Championship podium with our new team member, Franco. It was a roller-coaster of an event, with all the things that happened here. The Mongolian leg was cancelled due to the borders being closed and the rally was cut in half. But our guys delivered a really strong result. Sebastian was able to finish in fifth place, and with better luck, even Joaquim could have been up there fighting for the cup. It is encouraging to see the improvements from race to race and all three riders are performing at the highest level. We are looking forward to the next races. Thank you to all the fans for their support.”
The first podium was a boost for the Indian team and is a proof of their improvement in the sport. The Hero Rally 450 was reliable throughout the sections and performed well in the hands of the riders. The team is building up great results in the championship and is now looking optimistically ahead at Rally dos Sertões which starts on 13 August, 2021.