Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motor-sports division of Hero MotoCorp, showcased its new 'Hero RR 450' rally bike and announced its Team for the Dakar Rally 2018.
The rally team also announced its team for the prestigious Dakar Rally edition of 2018. Along with CS Santosh and Joaquim Rodrigues, the Team will field Spanish talent, Oriol Mena Valdearcos at the 2018 Dakar Rally.
Oriol Mena Valdearcos was inducted into the team in September 2017 and is part of Hero MotoSports' vision to identify new talent and nurture them into professional rally riders. He will be making his debut at the Dakar Rally 2018.
As for the new bike, Hero MotoSports says that the RR 450 is an upgrade from the previous year's bike. The new bike gets new design and styling of the tank, body parts and front section to improve mass centralisation, handling and riding ergonomics.
The Hero 450 RR, which proved its capabilities at the OiLibya Rally in Morocco this year and key learnings from the rally helped design the new Hero RR 450. Several improvements have been implemented to increase the confidence levels of the riders.
Hero MotoSports Team Rally has the distinction of being the only manufacturer team with 100 percent arrivals at the 2017 edition of the Dakar Rally. It also managed to register its maiden win at BAJA India and a podium finish at the Desert Storm.
The 40th edition of the Dakar Rally is the biggest rally-raid in the world and will traverse three countries, starting with Peru on January 6, 2018, and travelling through Bolivia before concluding in Argentina on January 20, 2018.
The event is expected to witness participation of 500 competitors from around 60 countries who will cover a gruelling range of nearly 9,000 km. Out of the overall 14 stages, seven will include 100 percent dunes/off-piste, one marathon stage for all categories and one marathon stage for bikes and quads only.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp and Head of Hero MotoSports said, "We are excited and prepared for Dakar 2018. The team is stronger, both in terms of men and machine. We are focused on improving our last year's performance at the Dakar next month and believe that we have the right tools to do it. Next year will be important for us, as we aim to win more rallies and grow the sport in India."
Mr Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said, "The last race for the Team was in October this year. The riders have been under intense training sessions, to improve their mental and physical fitness since their Dakar 2017 performance. They had a good run on the new bike at OiLibya and are now more confident on it. There is excitement in the Team with addition of Oriol and the entire team is now raring to have another go at the Dakar."
CS Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, "I am satisfied with this year's preparations, where I had the opportunity to work with industry professionals and experts, which brought in a better structure to the preparations. I am very happy with the new bike that we raced with at the OiLibiya Rally in October. The new bike is light, agile and makes going fast safe! This Dakar I will aim to make each and everyday count! Ultimately it's about enjoying the process and arriving at the finish line."
The Dakar Rally is a gruelling and the most-challenging rally-raid and DriveSpark wishes Hero MotoSports Team Rally the best. Stay tuned as we bring you the complete coverage of the event.