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The 2021 Andalucia Rally in Spain has concluded. It was the first international rally event after the conclusion of the Dakar Rally 2021 earlier this year. Hero MotorSport has completed the 'Road to Dakar' rally in 4th place finish overall.
The 2021 Andalucia Rally was held between May 12 and May 16, 2021. The total race distance covered over 1,600 kilometres. This includes 385 kilometres of Liason stage and 1244 kilometres of special stage. The Andalucia Rally is the testing ground for participants entering the upcoming edition of the Dakar Rally.
Joan Barreda Bort racing for the Monster Energy Honda Team wins the 2021 Andalucia Rally. The 2nd and 3rd podium places won by Lorenzo Santolino racing or Sherco Factory Rally Team and Honda's new rider Pablo Quintanilla, respectively.
The Indian Hero MotoSport team has taken 4th, 5th and 8th places finishing strong with two of the three riders completing inside the top 5. Joaquim Rodrigues takes 4th, Franco Caimi takes 5th and Sebastian Buhler takes the 8th spot. We surely missed CS Santosh, but expect him to be there at the start of the 2021 Dakar Rally.
Joaquim Rodrigues won the Prologue stage and started the rally on a high note for the team. Over the four stages of the rally race, the Indian team won three stage podium places, and seven top-5 stages finish.
According to the team, the 2021 Andalucia Rally turned out to be a highly successful and positive first step for the new season. Hero MotoSports Team Rally will be entering the Rally Kazakhstan that is scheduled between June 7 and 13, 2021. The team is looking to gain more experience and saddle time for the riders while battling for top results.
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said, "Today was a difficult day for me as I had a couple of crashes and hurt my hand and knee a little bit. So, I decided to slow down and focus on getting the bike to the finish safely. In the second part, I got into a better rhythm and pushed through to the finish line.
I am setting a good pace on the bike and the bike is also performing well so I am happy with the results. I want to thank my team, the entire Hero family and all our fans for their support."
Franco Caimi, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said, "I focused today on improving my feeling and confidence on the bike so I am happy to be at the end and with the way things have gone in my first rally with my new team.
I enjoyed it and want to thank my entire crew for doing a fantastic job through the rally and also our supporters and my new Hero family. Now we will start our work for the upcoming Kazakhstan Rally."
Sebastian Buhler, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said, "I am very happy that I managed to get some good stages for the team in the rally. The bike worked well and the team also made a great job so everything was perfect.
I feel that I am getting better day by day and even though the results could have been better, overall we had a very good rally. I want to express my special thanks to our team and fans across the world."
1st Position - Pablo Quintanilla [02:09:55] (Monster Energy Honda Team 2021)
2nd Position - Joan Barreda Bort [02:10:06] (Monster Energy Honda Team 2021)
3rd Position -Lorenzo Santolino [02:10:42] (Sherco Factory Rally Team)
4th Position - Sebastian Buhler [02:11:00]
5th Position - Franco Caimi [02:11:55]
7th Position - Joaquim Rodrigues [02:13:45]
1st Position - Joan Barreda Bort [10:47:32] (Monster Energy Honda Team 2021)
2nd Position - Lorenzo Santolino [10:51:00] Sherco Factory Rally Team)
3rd Position - Pablo Quintanilla [10:58:01] (Monster Energy Honda Team 2021)
4th Position - Joaquim Rodrigues [11:01:22]
5th Position - Franco Caimi [11:02:00]
8th Position - Sebastian Buhler [11:13:59]
Thoughts About The 2021 Andalucia Rally
Due to the ongoing worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, motorsport events are being held in a very controlled environment. The proceeding towards the 2022 Dakar Rally has begun with the conclusion of the Andalucia Rally. Hero MotoSport has started the ‘Road to Dakar' brilliantly. However, we missed our Ace rally rider and hope to CS Santosh back on the saddle soon.