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Hero MotoSport Team Rally is pulling out of the Dakar 2020 rally due to the sad demise of their team member and rally legend, Paulo Goncalves. The team has decided not to take any part further in the remainder of the rally.
The team has felt the need to take some time and mourn the death of a friend, a teammate and a fantastic rally rider. The whole of motorsport Industry is in shock after the incident which unfolded in this year's Dakar rally.
Paulo Goncalves was racing on motorbike No. 8. He was 276 kilometres into the seventh stage's special, where he had a massive fall. The organisers were alerted of the accident and quickly reached the spot with a medical helicopter. While the other riders passing and medical team present at the scene tried to help, the efforts were unsuccessful in regaining consciousness of the rider. They later took the rider in the helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead.
Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Team) who was the first rider to reach the accident site stated that he saw the accident and feared for the worst. I helped him to pull on the side and did some serious checks. Soon after other riders joined and the helicopter came to the scene. We tried everything we could, but we failed to bring him back. "I was first at his side and wanted to be the last to leave. We will miss you're smile and laughter in the bivouac,"he added.
Goncalves was competing in his 13th Dakar and the 40-year-old was one of the most experienced riders on the field. The rider made his Dakar debut in 2006 and finished four times in the top 10 including a runner-up finish in 2015 behind Marc Coma. Paulo Goncalves was also the 2013 cross-country rallies world champion and was currently placed 46th overall at the end of Stage 6 in the current season of the Dakar Rally.
The Indian ace rally rider C S Santosh who is riding for Hero MotoSport alongside, was the only rider eligible for the overall ranking. However, we the incident will have a substantial effect on the team members and C S Santosh's 2020 Dakar rally journey ends on a sad note.
Thoughts About The Hero MotoSport Team Pulls Out Of Dakar
The Dakar Rally is called the ‘world's toughest motorsport' for a reason. The sudden and unfortunate demise of Paulo Goncalves has been a huge loss not only for the family, but the entire motorsport fraternity. Hero MotoSport Team Rally has understood this and has hence decided to withdraw from the remainder of the rally, allowing the team to mourn the death of Goncalves. Ride In Peace Speedy!