Decent finish for Hero MotoSports Team Rally at Atacama Rally
By Dharmendra Pant
Copiapo (Chile), Aug 19 (PTI) Hero MotoSports Team Rally's Oriol Mena and Joaquim Rodrigues finished 12th and 17th respectively in the 2018 Atacama rally, which ended here amid fan fare.
Mena continued to impress with his flawless riding in the final stage as well, before a technical snag made him stop just short of the finish line. He did manage to cross the finish line eventually, albeit losing time in the process.
The Spaniard made no mistakes in the entire rally, further cementing his Dakar credentials. He is hopeful of doing well in Dakar rally which will be held in Peru early next year.
Mena said, "What is important is to cross the finish line. So we are really happy to have done a good job throughout the week. Our goal was to prepare for the Dakar and this was a great learning ground for us."
Rodrigues also had a lot of positives to take back home as he finished his comeback rally with a solid show.
Team manager Wolfgang Fischer was satisfied with the overall performance.
He said, "It was our first Atacama Rally and was a great experience for the Team. It was a new terrain with very fast stages and different kind of navigation as well. So it was a really important experience both for the riders. The bikes had to be tuned in a slightly different manner also."
"We are happy that both the riders are at the finish line safe and sound. Now we look forward to our next race in Peru where we will get Dakar like conditions and so it will be a nice finishing touch to our preparations for the Dakar 2019."
Rodrigues made a few navigation mistakes in the fifth and final stage but was happy that he added some valuable kilometers under his belt before the Dakar Rally.
Meanwhile, Honda Racing's Kevin Benavides not only achieved success in the fifth phase but also became the champion of Atacama Rally.
Toby Price of KTM Factory Racing and Pablo Quintanilla of Husqvarna Racing finished second and third respectively