Hero MotoSports begin the second half of 2022 Dakar with a top 10 finish
Stage 7 of the 2022 Dakar has come to an end as the riders headed from Riyadh, all the way to Al Diwadimi, stretching the route to 701km. This part of Riyadh hosted the race for the very first time, first on the sandy terrain that made up a third of the special on the border with the neighbouring Al-Qassim Province, followed by a turn due south towards the bivouac.
Hero MotoSports rider Joaquim Rodrigues had a strong form and pace throughout the stage. He was tangled in navigation for some time, but he managed to find the right direction and finish the stage. The rest day prior to this stage allowed him to recover from his crashes earlier in the rally, where he had hurt his back.
After the stage, J-Rod said, “The stage had very difficult navigation, especially after the refuelling. We often had to stop and try to find the route as many were washed out. I took my time and was able to find my way through the stage without losing too much time. I am happy with this result and we have 5 more stages to go, so I am going to take it one day at a time, and focus on getting my Hero Rally 450 to the finish line each day.”
Aaron Maré had a strong start and was successful in maintaining pace through a long section of heavy dust and rocks. However, a small navigation error towards the latter end of the stage cost him some time.
Aaron said, “I started the stage pretty well, and was able to catch up to some of the riders before the refuel point. After refuelling, it was quite rocky and dusty, and it became quite difficult to manage the navigation. I was leading the stage quite a few times for a pack of 4-5 riders, but it meant that every time I would make a small mistake, I would have to go back into the dust again. Finally, I found some rhythm and was pacing ahead up until around 300kms or so, where I lost quite some time searching for a particular waypoint. It was a disappointing end, but I’m learning from my mistakes, and looking forward to making up for the lost time in the next stage.”
Stage 8 will be the longest overall stage of the rally at 828 km, with close to 400 km of racing. The opening 200 km of the stage will be all sand and dunes. The rally will reach Wadi ad-Dawasir after the stage. For more news and updates from the world of motorsports, stay tuned to evo India!