J-Rod wins Stage 5 of Rally Kazakhstan for Hero MotoSports Team Rally
Hero MotoSports complete their first outing to Rally Kazakhstan on a high note as Joaquim Rodrigues secures his first-ever stage victory in the FIM Cross-Country World Championship. Sebastian Buhler had a good pace through the stage and secured eighth. Franco Caimi made a few navigational errors and finished tenth in the stage. Overall, J-Rod secured seventh position in Rally Kazakhstan, followed by Caimi in eighth and Buhler in ninth.
Here's what team manager Wolfgang Fischer had to say on the completion of the rally, “First of all, we are happy to have all our riders complete the rally safely. After a long break in the FIM Cross Country World Championship due to Covid-19, it is nice to be back to racing, and that too in a new country. This was our first desert race of the season and the first taste for Franco riding the Hero 450 RR in the desert. A good learning for us was the issue we faced with the rear tyres. Overall, it was a good experience for us and good practice for the riders. It was great to end on a high note with JRod’s first Cross-Country Championship stage win. We are now looking forward to the Silkway Rally. It will be interesting to see what we can do over 10 stages with the competitive configuration we have now. Our thanks to everyone for their support and to our Hero Family across the world.”
The team had performed positively keeping in mind that the Rally Kazakhstan 2021 was their first experience in this county. J-Rod started the stage at sixth and managed to top the table with a blazing ride. Buhler spotted a few dangers on the fast tracks but came home securing eighth position in the stage. Caimi made some small navigational errors along the way and had to settle for tenth place. Stage 5 was scheduled to be 270km long, having difficult terrain consisting of stony deserts, wadi crossings, fast tracks, rocky ruts and some tricky descents. But the stage was cut short to 160km by the organizers due to technical issues.
Overall, Ross Branch wins the Rally GP class with Monster Energy Yamaha Rally, Red Bull KTM’s Matthias Walkner secured second place and Branch’s teammate Adrien Van Beveren finished third. The Hero MotoSports riders settle within the top 10 with J-Rod at seventh, Caimi at eighth and Buhler at ninth.
The team carried the Andalucia momentum into the terrains of Kazakhstan and managed respectable results throughout the stages despite facing them for the first time. The next destination for the team is the Silkway Rally which will find its path from Russia, all the way to Mongolia. The Silkway Rally will be held from July 1 to July 11. The team hopes to keep putting in strong results all the way to Dakar 2022.
The results are as follows :
Provisional Rankings Round 5 :
Overall Rankings after Round 5 :