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Hero MotoSports has announced its team for the 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally. The motorsport division of Hero MotoCorp has announced a three-rider team for the upcoming 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally.
Participating from Hero MotoSports in the Dakar 2021 is the 2020 FIM Cross-Country BAJA World Cup winner, Sebastian Buhler, who will be joined by the 2019 Pan Africa Rally winner, Joaquim Rodrigues and representing India, our ace rally rider, CS Santosh.
Sebastian Buhler joined the Hero MotoSport team for the previous edition. While Joaquim Rodrigues and CS Santosh will be making their fifth appearance with the brand at the 2021 Dakar Rally. The three-rider team will be managed by Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally.
The team has also improved the rally bike as compared to the model used during the previous edition of the Dakar Rally. This time the motorcycle features a new 450cc engine which offers improved top speed and acceleration. It also features an improved chassis, which will offer optimum weight balance, and better rider ergonomics.
Other changes made to the motorcycle includes an improved suspension setup to help tackle the rough terrain, a larger fuel tank for a better range and most importantly an enhanced cooling system to help the engine operate under optimal temperature in scorching heat during the day and cold nights in the desert of Saudi Arabia. In addition to this, the motorcycle also receives a new Livery, sporting a futuristic "Barcode" inspired design aesthetic, to showcase the technical edge of the Rally team.
According to the company, due to the ongoing pandemic, The #RoadToDakar for comparatively shorter for the Team in 2020. However, the team made their presence felt with an impressive comeback in competitive racing with the BAJA Portalegre and the Andalucia Rally. All three riders of the Team utilized these races to acquire some saddle time and proficiency, ahead of the Dakar 2021.
Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: "This is an emotional return for us at Dakar after the tragic event earlier this year. We are determined to put on a good show. While we were away from racing for quite some time due to the pandemic, we utilised the time to develop the new bike and conduct thorough testing sessions with our riders, thus, keeping the team engaged and motivated in the most challenging times.
We are excited for the next few weeks as we aim to sustain our momentum and garner good results this year. The new bike is performing well and the Team looks stunning in the new Livery."
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: "Dakar Rally will not be the same for me after the tragic experience of January 2020. It ha.s been a tough year for me and my family. However, the experience has taught me a lot - how to stay undeterred and resilient in the worst of situations and the team has also supported me a lot to keep me motivated and engaged.
While we didn't have much time to prepare this year, our testing sessions on the new bike and the recent runs at BAJA Portalegre and Andalucia Rally 2020 helped me overcome my fears and find the momentum as I made the comeback. It's going to be a tough emotional battle for me but I'm ready to face it and take on the Dakar for one more time."
Sebastian Buhler, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: "My first year with Hero MotoSports has been an exciting one. Though there weren't many opportunities to race in 2020, I am glad that we are entering the Dakar Rally after two impressive runs in recent months.
We utilized the time away from racing in training on the new bike and that kept our energies high. For me, entering the Rally straight after the Baja win will help to stay focused. All I can say is that I am thrilled to be a part of the Hero MotoSports family and looking forward to the Dakar 2021 Rally."
CS Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, "This has been an exceptional year with limited races and opportunities to train, yet we are satisfied with the preparations that we underwent ahead of Dakar Rally. I have tried to make the most of the situation and used this time to train hard and help the team in the development of our new bike.
The new bike offers great performance and manoeuvrability so I am excited to ride it at the Dakar. The Dakar Rally is coming back with a new set of rules and routes, so it is going to be an interesting one this year and I am looking forward to it."
Hero MotoSports made its debut at the Dakar Rally in 2017 and within just a few years, it has emerged as one of the top teams in international motorsports. The 2021 edition of the world's toughest rally will be held between January 3 and 15. The 2021 route will run in a loop starting from the Red Sea port city of Jeddah and continued over 12 stages to conclude back in Jeddah — here are more details.
Thoughts About Hero MotoSports Announcing 2021 Dakar Rally Team
Hero MotoSports continues to represent India with a three-member team in the world's toughest and most dangerous rally, the 2021 Dakar. We wish them good luck and godspeed for the upcoming 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally.