Technical problems hit Hero MotoSports at 2021 Rallye Du Maroc
The deserts of Morocco has not been kind to the riders of Hero MotoSports as Sebastian Buhler hit technical issues in Stage 1 of Rallye Du Maroc and lost the momentum the team built up in the Provisional Stage. The stage opened up with an 80km dash over dusty tracks before the riders entered the dunes. The stage mostly alternated between sandy off-road tracks and soft dunes, finishing on stony tracks. A total distance of 440km was split between the 150km of liaison and 288km of Special Stage that was covered in three parts. With that said, let us look at how the stage panned out for the riders.
Joaquim Rodrigues was the first to go out on the stage after coming first on the Provisional Stage. This meant that he was going completely blind onto the stage without much navigational help or marks and tracks left by previous riders. He lost time after making a navigational error but as Franco Caimi caught up to him, both the riders rode together till the finish line. Caimi has a good start on the 80km stretch but slowly dropped time as the Special Stage progressed.
Sebastian Buhler had a day to forget after he hit a technical problem, just 50km away from the finish. Sebastian was running in the top 15 up to the halfway mark of the stage but dropped to P30 after the problem.
Sebastian expressed, “The stage started well for me and I was getting into a good rhythm in the opening sections. But around 50km from the finish, I had to stop due to a technical problem. It is not the best feeling, but it is part of the sport. I have lost a lot of time, but we have four more days, so the aim is to maximize the learnings in preparation for Dakar ‘22.”
Stage 2 of the rally will happen on Sunday and will see competitors heading North East for a 330km loop Special Stage and then heading back to the Bivouac at Zagora. The stage will be 609km in total and this will make it the longest stage in Rallye Du Maroc. Overall, Franco Caimi currently stands P9, J-Rod in P16 and Buhler all the way down in P30. All the riders are taking Rallye Du Maroc as a practice ground for the 2022 Dakar Rally.