Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, unveiled its plans for the Dakar Rally 2021 on December 8.
Participating with a full-strength three-rider team, Hero MotoSports will take on the Dakar 2021 with the 2020 FIM Cross-Country BAJAs World Cup winner –Sebastian Buhler, 2019 Pan Africa Rally winner Joaquim Rodrigues and ace Indian rider CS Santosh.
This will be the second official appearance for Sebastian in Hero colours at the Dakar, while it will be the fifth appearance for both JRod and Santosh.
The riders will take on the Dakar challenge on a new Hero 450 Rally bike, which now features anew 450cc engine and evolved Chassis.
The engine, developed especially for rally sport, offers improved top speed and acceleration.
With an optimum weight balance, better rider ergonomics, more voluminous fuel-tank, improved suspension and cooling system, the new bike is built for juggling the dual roles of covering long strides at a heightened pace.
The Team will also be seen in a new Livery, sporting a futuristic “Barcode” inspired design aesthetic, to showcase the technical edge of our Rally team.
In view of the ongoing pandemic, it was a comparatively shorter #RoadToDakarfor the Team in 2020. Yet, the Team made its presence felt with an impressive comeback in competitive racing with the BAJA Portalegre and the Andalucia Rally.
Gaining valuable race-experience, all three riders of the Team utilised these races to acquire some saddle time and proficiency, ahead of the Dakar 2021.
"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," said Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, 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," said Joaquim Rodrigues.
"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," he added.
"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," said Sebastian Buhler.
"We utilised the time away from racing in training on the new bike and that kept our energies high," he added.
"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," said CS Santosh.
"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," he added.
The new bike offers great performance and manoeuvrability so I am really excited to ride it at the Dakar," he further said.
"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," he added.
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 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally will venture across the entirety of Saudi Arabia.
Convening and culminating in the city of Jeddah, the Rally kicks-off on January 3, 2021, and travels through various cities before returning to the same city on January 15, 2021.
The Rally will see competitors travelling through a total of 7646 km, of which about 4767 km will be competitive divided into 12 stages.
The rally also has nearly an all-new route with more slush, open desert, dunes and mountains to traverse than before.
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