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Dakar Rally 2021: All the updates in one place!

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  • bharatheshk
    replied
    Harith Noah finished 20th overall for team Sherco which is the best result from an Indian rider in the Dakar .Great result for the Hero team but let us also highlight an Indian rider for his great result .Also wishing Santosh a speedy recovery.

    Leave a comment:


  • NewsReaper
    replied
    Hero MotoSports Team Rally completed its Dakar 2021 campaign with a fantastic result as both Team riders crossed the final finish line today in Jeddah.

    Joaquim Rodrigues, for whom this was a highly emotional Dakar, finished the last stage with yet another top-10 finish at 8th place, making it his sixth Top-10 stage finish in this Dakar. Sebastian Buhler was not far behind and also posted another Top 10 for the team with 10th place finish in this last stage, his third of the rally.

    At the end of an emotionally charged and gruelling 12 stages, Hero MotoSports delivered an impressive performance with both riders posting their best-ever Dakar standings. Joaquim Rodrigues, battling with his mind and emotions throughout, bettered his debut Dakar standing by one and finished at 11th place. For Sebastian, it was a great learning curve. Already considered as one of the most promising young riders, Buhler further cemented his reputation by finishing this year on 14th place, his best ever and his first Top-15 at the Dakar.

    It was by far the toughest Dakar Rally for the Team, given the overwhelming emotional backdrop, further accentuated by the pandemic. Coming into the toughest rally on the planet with a relatively untested new Hero 450 Rally bike and a very short racing and training season, it was by no means an easy task to do well in this Dakar.

    The performance of the new bike and the Team’s strong performance at the Andalucia Rally and BAJA Portalegre provided them with just the right momentum and confidence to take the start line at the Dakar 2021 earlier this month. The Team, undeterred by their circumstances and determined to do this Dakar as a tribute to late Paulo Goncalves delivered a gritty and hard-fought performance stage after stage.

    Hero MotoSports will take back a lot of positives from here. First and foremost, the new Hero 450 Rally has delivered an absolutely flawless performance and a 100% arrival record in its Dakar debut. The fact that the riders attributed a lot of their success in this Dakar to the bike is a testimony to the excellence and hard work that has gone behind in developing this top-class machine.

    Secondly, the resurgence of Joaquim Rodrigues is a huge gain for the Team. Joaquim’s grit and determination have been an inspiration for not just the Team but the entire rally community and augers really well for the Team’s future. Not to miss out on the fact that C S Santosh was also well on his way to deliver potentially his best Dakar yet, until a crash cut short his run. He was looking good on the bike and his confidence, navigation and rhythm seemed to have definitely moved a few notches higher than the previous years.

    Finally, the exciting prospect of the promising Sebastian Buhler who is continuously growing in skills and sport awareness will give a lot of comfort to the Team as they look ahead to the future.

    With 9 Top-10 stage finishes including the Prologue stage, it was a great show by the entire Team and the Hero 450 Rally bike.

    Update on C S Santosh

    C S Santosh was transferred by Air Ambulance from Riyadh to Bengaluru on Thursday without any issues. As per the latest information, he has been brought out of the induced coma successfully. He is now receiving the next stage of treatment and continues to be in CCU for observation. We will share further updates at appropriate times.

    Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager said, “Crossing the finish line of any Dakar is a great feeling but this year is very special for me personally and for the team as well. After what happened last year, we were not sure how we would be able to come back together like this and race again. But we did manage to pull off this amazing feat thanks to the will power and drive of the team. Then with the pandemic posing more challenges, it was very important to put up a reliable and competitive bike for the riders. Everyone stepped up and made the most of every small opportunity we got to test and develop the bike. At the Dakar, we had the accident of Santosh that shook us all over again. Our prayers and wishes go out to him for a speedy recovery and we hope to see him back with us soon. I can just say that standing at the finish line today with the team, having overcome the challenges on all fronts, we are extremely happy and proud of what we have achieved this year. We want to express our thanks to the organizers of the Dakar and especially David Castera to make it happen this year despite the difficult times and show that dreams can still come true if one works towards them and also for giving the motorsports fans sitting at home a chance to live their adventures through us. Our gratitude and thanks go out to the entire Hero family for always supporting us and our fans and followers for cheering for us all along.”

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “I am so happy to have made it to the finish line. The stage had a lot of navigation so I tried to focus on that and avoid making any more mistakes in this last stage. The last few kms were the longest ever for me and when I saw the finish line I just felt so relieved. I made it to the finish for Paulo and my family. I want to thank all my teammates, Hero family and everyone who supported me to come back here and race again.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “The last stage was quite nice and the terrain was also in the perfect condition because of the rains so I am very happy to cross the finish line today. This place brings so many bad memories to us so it was a big relief to finish the last stage. Also, it was the first big test for the bike and it worked perfectly so it was a great job done by the whole team. I want to thank my team, Hero family and our supporters for backing us through this difficult Dakar and the year. Hopefully, this New Year will turn out to be better for all of us.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 12


    1. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > 02h 17m 02s

    2. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > +02m 17s

    3. Matthias Walkner RedBull KTM Factory Team > +04m 13s

    8. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +12m 18s

    10. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +13m 06s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 12


    1. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > 47h 18m 14s

    2. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > +04m 56s

    3. Sam Sunderland RedBull KTM Factory Team > +03h 04m 24s

    11. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +02h 38m 58s

    14. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +04h 00m 03s

    Leave a comment:


  • NewsReaper
    replied
    Hero MotoSports Team Rally posted a steady performance in the penultimate stage of the Dakar Rally 2021. Both riders are now in the Top-15 in overall rankings.

    The riders tackled the stage confidently and completed it without any major incident. Sebastian Buhler kept it steady and concentrated hard to avoid any mistakes at this critical juncture in the rally. He got rewarded for his discipline and perseverance with a 12th place finish.

    Joaquim Rodrigues also started the stage really well to get into a good pace and rhythm until right at the very end of the stage he missed a waypoint. Besides losing time, he also attracted a time penalty for missing it, thereby finishing the Stage 11 on 26th place.

    With only the last stage separating it from the finish line at Jeddah, Hero MotoSports Team Rally is poised for a strong finish with both Joaquim and Buhler placed on 12th and 15th places respectively in the overall standings.

    The last stage of the Dakar Rally 2021 tomorrow will provide one last opportunity to riders, albeit a short one at 225 competitive kms, to make one final dash to the finish line in Jeddah.

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “I tried to take it easy and make it to the finish line as we are very close to completing the rally. Everything was going good for the most part of the stage, I had good pace and rhythm. But just 20km before the finish I couldn’t find a waypoint. I kept looking for it till I reached a point where I started running low on fuel, and then I decided to move on. Lost a lot of time there but I made it to the finish so I am happy with that.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “Today as a very long stage with some difficult and dangerous zones. So, I tried to relax and concentrated on not making any mistakes. Towards the end, there was difficult navigation where I just slowed a bit and tried to focus on doing everything right which worked well for me as I didn’t lose too much time there. For the last stage, my plan is to approach it like the first stage because the race is not done until you cross the finish line.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 11


    1. Sam Sunderland RedBull KTM Factory Team > 04h 35m 12s

    2. Pablo Quintanilla Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Team > +02m 40s

    3. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > +06m 24s

    12. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +23m 49s

    26. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +57m 30s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 11


    1. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > 45h 01m 44s

    2. Sam Sunderland RedBull KTM Factory Team > +04m 12s

    3. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > +07m 13s

    12. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +02h 38m 58s

    15. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +03h 48m 33s

    Leave a comment:


  • NewsReaper
    replied
    Hero MotoSports Team Rally continued their impressive performance at the 2021 Dakar Rally and posted another Top-10 stage finish today.

    This is the fifth top-10 stage finish for the team and the fourth for Joaquim Rodrigues. Riding like a man on a mission, he set the pace right from the start and rode with a good rhythm, in the relatively shorter Stage 10, to finish at 10th place.

    His teammate Sebastian Buhler though had a more subdued stage after losing a lot of time in the beginning due to a navigation mistake. However, he regained his rhythm and focus quickly to win back sometime in the latter part of the stage and finished at 21st place.

    With only two more stages to go, the finish of the 2021 Dakar is in sight and Hero MotoSports Team Rally is eyeing a good result this year with Joaquim Rodrigues in 11th place and Sebastian Buhler in 16th place in the overall standings after 10 stages.

    Stage 11, the penultimate stage of the rally, will offer the longest special with 511 kms to be done under the clock, taking the rally to the Yanbu region in Saudi Arabia.

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “It was a pretty fast and dangerous stage again today with a lot of rocks. I decided to focus more on navigation and it all went pretty well. I managed to ride at a good pace and did not commit any navigation mistakes. I am happy to finish the stage and get a good result for the team.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “I made a mistake at the beginning of the stage today that cost me a lot of time. But after that, it went well as I began to feel good on the bike and got into a decent rhythm. Now only two days are left for the finish so it is important to concentrate harder and get a good result, but at the same time not take unnecessary risks as well.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 10


    1. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > 03h 12m 33s

    2. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda Team > +03m 15s

    3. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > +05m 11s

    10. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +16m 24s

    21. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +43m 31s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 10


    1. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > 40h 20m 08s

    2. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > +51s

    3. Sam Sunderland RedBull KTM Factory Team > +10m 36s

    11. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +01h 47m 52s

    16. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +03h 30m 08s

    Leave a comment:


  • NewsReaper
    replied
    In a stage that was touted to be the toughest of the 2021 Dakar, and was made even tougher by the weight of the recent past, Hero MotoSports Team Rally paid an emotional tribute to their late teammate Paulo Goncalves by delivering a strong performance in Stage 9 today.

    It was an emotionally charged day for Hero MotoSports Team Rally, as it marked the first death anniversary of Paulo, who passed away after a crash at the Dakar Rally on the same day last year.

    Motivated by the mission to dedicate this Dakar to Paulo’s memory and driven by his personal resolve to come back and race one more time for Paulo, Joaquim finished the stage in the 13th position.

    Sebastian Buhler started the stage well but then lost his way and as a result, conceded some time. However, he rose to the task and finished the stage on the 24th position.

    After nine stages of the Dakar Rally that demanded a completely different level of mental and emotional toughness from Hero MotoSports Team Rally, Joaquim Rodrigues entered the Top 15 in the overall rankings to find himself on 12th place and Sebastian Buhler also moved up a few places to stand at the 16th place in the overall standings.

    Tomorrow’s stage will take the team one more step closer to another Dakar finish, as they will look to tackle a relatively shorter Stage 10 with 342 kms of special to arrive at the next bivouac at Al-Ula.

    Update on C S Santosh:

    In the latest update from the medical team, Santosh is stable and continues to be under observation. Based on scans and assessments, he has been cleared to be flown back to India, where he will be attended by the local doctors. He will be transferred in a sleeping state to avoid any unnecessary stress during the transfer. This is a very positive development as he will now be with his family and in familiar conditions, which always helps in a faster recovery. He is scheduled to fly in the next few days and we will keep everyone updated with developments.

    Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager said, “It has been an emotionally draining Dakar for the team so far and today was particularly tough on us with what happened last year. We are very emotional today as we spare our thoughts for our amigo Paulo and his family. We knew how tough it was going to be for our riders to keep a clear head today and focus on the stage so we are relieved to see both of them arrive at the bivouac safely. As we look back and remember Paulo, our thoughts and prayers also go out to riders who got injured in this Dakar and to our mate Santosh, as we wish all of them a speedy recovery.”

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “Today was my worst battle. I was really emotional this morning remembering all that happened last year on this day. My mind was playing out all kinds of thoughts and memories on my way from the bivouac to the start of the stage. But I just told myself that I need to do this for Paulo and so I just jumped on the bike went on with the stage. The stage was really difficult and dangerous, with too many stones and rocks. I saw a couple of riders crash on the stage and immediately decided to slow down and focus on making it to the finish line safely.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “It was a very tough stage today. As I started the stage, I faced some issues with my navigation tower, and it got worse at one point, as I couldn’t use it at all to navigate, so I lost some time in trying to manage the issue. But in the end, I think the day ended well considering what happened last year. I am happy that this stage is over as this day brings us some very sad memories and to be back with the team safely is a blessing.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 9


    1. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > 04h 49m 15s

    2. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > +01m 18s

    3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Team > +01m 34s

    13. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +31m 48s

    24. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +58m 28s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 9


    1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Team > 36h 51m 00s

    2 Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > +11m 24s

    3. Sam Sunderland RedBull KTM Factory Team > +14m 34s

    12. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +01h 48m 03s

    16. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +03h 03m 12s

    Leave a comment:


  • NewsReaper
    replied
    The Hero MotoSports Team Rally continued their impressive run at the 2021 Dakar today, registering their third consecutive Top-10 stage finish. It is the first time that Hero MotoSports has achieved this feat at the Dakar.

    It was the turn of Sebastian Buhler to lead the team’s charge in Stage 8 of the rally. In the concluding half of the Marathon Stage today, Buhler turned in a stellar performance to finish the stage in the 10th place, his first-ever Top-10 stage finish in the Dakar Rally.

    Joaquim Rodrigues, on the other hand, had a relatively tough time after his bike hit a rock and he hurt his shoulder from the impact. He had to slow down considerably to get himself back to the bivouac safely. Battling the pain and discomfort, he managed to finish the stage at 25th place.

    With the Marathon Stage under their belt, Hero MotoSports finds both its riders perched into the Top 20 in the overall standings with Joaquim on 16th and Sebastian on 19th position at the end of stage 8.

    The second part of the Marathon stage reunited the competitors with their assistance crews for the remaining four stages of the rally. Next up, for Stage 9, the rally will stay in Neom to complete a loop of 465 kms of special section tomorrow.

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “Things didn’t go that well this morning as I hit a rock and though I didn’t have a crash but hurt my arm and shoulder while tacking it. From there on I struggled a lot as I had to slow down quite a bit and somehow managed to get my bike to the bivouac. So, I am happy that I am back at the bivouac reunited with my team but now I need to get my shoulder checked to ensure that we are all good for tomorrow.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “I am happy to be in the Top 10 today and to see one more stage in the books. I had to be very careful yesterday to not damage the bike in any way as we had no assistance in the marathon Bivouac. So, my bike was in a good condition today, I managed to ride more freely and build up a good rhythm and pace.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 8


    1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Team > 03h 08m 40s

    2. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Team > +01m 05s

    3. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > +02m 50s

    10. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +7m 58s

    25. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +31m 57s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 8


    1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Team > 32h 00m 11s

    2. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Team > +01m 06s

    3. Sam Sunderland RedBull KTM Factory Team > +05m 57s

    16. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +01h 17m 49s

    19. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +02h 06m 18s

    Leave a comment:


  • bharatheshk
    replied
    Good to see regular updates on the Dakar ,but let us not forget there are 2 more Indian riders on bikes Harith Noah of Team Sherco and Ashish Raorane .I hope we get to know of their progress also ,In fact Harith finished in 29th spot on stage 7.

    Leave a comment:


  • NewsReaper
    replied
    Picking-up from where they left their Dakar 2021 campaign before the rest day, Hero MotoSports Team Rally delivered yet another solid performance today with Joaquim Rodrigues registering his third Top 10 stage finish and Sebastian Buhler continuing to be steady.

    JRod had a good Stage 7 to finish 9th today. Sebastian Buhler continued his steady run in the rally, bringing the stage home in the 21st place. Both riders arrived at the Marathon bivouac at Sakaka with their bikes and bodies in good condition.

    With the first half of the Marathon Stage under their belt, Hero MotoSports finds both its riders in good positions in the overall rankings with Joaquim at 16th and Sebastian at 21st.

    The rally will spend the night today at the Marathon bivouac, leaving the riders to tend to themselves and their machines without the comfort of their assistance crews. Therefore, arriving at the Marathon bivouac in reasonably good conditions will be critical for a good performance in the second half of the stage scheduled for tomorrow. The results of the marathon stage may ultimately set the tone for the final standings of the Dakar Rally 2021.

    Stage 8 tomorrow will conclude the Marathon Stage, with 375 kms of timed special, bringing the rally to the Neom region of Saudi Arabia.

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “Stage 7 was going to be a tough one. I wasn’t feeling very well in the morning and couldn’t find my flow initially. But then things started to come together and I got into a good rhythm, found my pace and brought my Hero bike to the finish in Top 10. I am really happy with the outcome today as the bike and tires are in a safe and good condition for tomorrow.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “First part of the Marathon today was a tricky stage with a lot of rocks so we had to be careful to keep the bike and tires safe. Overall, it was a positive stage for me and I am happy to arrive at the Marathon bivouac with everything in a good condition. Hopefully, we should be able to make a good stage tomorrow.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 7


    1. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > 04h 37m 44s

    2. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Team > +02m 07s

    3. Skyler Howes Bas Dakar KTM Team > +02m 19s

    9. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +5m 55s

    21. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +21m 39s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 7


    1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Team > 28h 51m 31s

    2. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Team > +01s

    3. Sam Sunderland RedBull KTM Factory Team > +02m 11s

    16. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +45m 52s

    21. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +01h 58m 20s

    Leave a comment:


  • NewsReaper
    replied
    Hero MotoSports Team Rally further consolidated their position in the 2021 Dakar Rally with a good result in the sixth stage today, thereby completing the first half of this year’s Rally.

    After the tough outing of yesterday, Joaquim Rodrigues struck form once again and achieved an 8th place finish in the stage. Sebastian Buhler continued to hold his position steady around the early 20s mark with a 21st place finish.

    With this steady run, Hero MotoSports Team Rally finds its riders in good positions at the halfway mark with JRod at the 17th place and Sebastian Buhler, just shy of the Top 20, at 21st place in the overall rankings.

    Considering the difficult Stage 5 that led to several competitors arriving the bivouac very late in the evening, the organizers earlier today decided to shorten the Stage 6 by 100 kms and also deferred the start by almost 90 minutes. However, the stage still challenged the competitors with 348 kms of special featuring dunes of all shapes and colours, which proved physically demanding on the competitors.

    The participants will enjoy a well-deserved rest day tomorrow, giving them time to recover from the onslaught of a tough first half of the rally and reassess their strategy for the next half.

    Wolfgang Fischer, Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, said, “We are happy to arrive today at the Ha’il bivouac after six days of challenging stages. Besides being relieved to get a much-needed rest day, we are also very happy to hear that the head injury of our mate C S Santosh should recover well. We are all confident that he will fully recover soon. In terms of performance, our new bike has delivered a flawless performance and has arrived at the half-way stage successfully. Both our riders have also gained in confidence with every stage and are enjoying themselves. We are now looking forward to the rest-day to prepare ourselves for another six long stages of racing. Hope to see both our riders at the finish line at Jeddah and Santosh in a good condition.”

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “It was a difficult stage today. It was all sand and dunes, so physically it was very demanding, and yet I was able to put in a good run and bring my Hero bike to the finish line. The bike has been performing really well and has been helping me to achieve these results. I thank Team Hero for providing us this great bike. It makes a big difference to have a really good and reliable bike in this kind of terrain. It feels so good to finish the first week and I am looking forward to the rest day tomorrow.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “Very hard stage today with riding all day in the sands. It was like 300 odd kms of motocross stage with not much of navigation, so it was very tough on the body. It’s good that we have a rest day tomorrow so we can recover a bit. The bike is performing very well and I am happy to arrive at the half way mark of the rally with no injuries, and my bike is in a very good condition.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 6


    1. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda Team > 03h 45m 27s

    2. Ross Branch Monster Energy Yamaha Team > +13s

    3. Daniel Sanders KTM Factory Team > +53s

    8. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +4m 35s

    20. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +20m 34s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 6


    1. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Team > 24h 08m 43s

    2. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > +2m 16s

    3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Team > +02m 57s

    17. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +45m 01s

    21. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +01h 26m 45s

    Leave a comment:


  • NewsReaper
    replied
    Moving past the unfortunate incident of Stage 4, Hero MotoSports Team Rally continued to move forward in their Dakar 2021 campaign with a solid performance in Stage 5 today.

    After Stage 5, both the riders are now placed inside the Top 20 in the overall rankings with Joaquim Rodrigues on 19th and Sebastian Buhler on the 20th position.

    It was the turn of Sebastian Buhler today to step up and post gains with a 20th place finish in the stage. Joaquim Rodrigues also fought off a very tough stage to finish in the 22nd position. The 456 km stage lived up to its expectation of being a very hard one with a tough dunes section, stone littered tracks and tricky navigation designed to test the patience and tyres of the competitors. Both team riders kept their nerves steady and brought a tough stage home.

    Hero MotoSports Team Rally rider C S Santosh is currently receiving treatment at the Saudi German Hospital in Riyadh, after a high-speed crash on Wednesday in Stage 4 of the 2021 Dakar Rally.

    He has no major physical injuries except for the dislocated right shoulder and head trauma. The latest scans have also shown no major issue that could impact his full recovery.

    The medical team attending to him have decided that the best approach to manage the injury is to reduce the body functions to a minimum and keep him in a sedated condition or an artificial coma. He is receiving the best possible medical care and will continue to be under constant observation for the next few days.

    We express our deepest gratitude and thanks to the riders who extended their help to Santosh. We also want to thank the organizers for getting the medical and rescue teams on the spot in quick time and airlifting him to reach the hospital quickly.

    For Stage 6 tomorrow, the rally will move to Ha’il, with 448 kms to be done under the clock.

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “It was a really difficult stage with a lot of navigation and a lot of rocks. I had a minor crash in one of the river beds that was full of rocks and a few screws from my navigation tower came off loose. I had to fix the bike and after that, I lost my focus and lost my way a few times. Then I just decided to take it easy and bring the bike home so I am happy to be back at the bivouac safely to fight for another day. After a tough day, it was such great news to hear that Santosh has no major concerns with his injury and will recover well. We are really happy to hear this.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “Today was a very tough stage. We had everything from tricky navigation, to a lot of dangerous rocks and a lot of dunes. So I think it was a very good day for us to finish without any major incident. But the best news from today is to hear that Santosh is out of danger and is getting better. That’s the best part of today for us here in the team.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 5


    1. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > 05h 09m 50s

    2. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Team > +01m 00s

    3. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Team > +01m 20s

    20. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +30m 24s

    22. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +31m 51s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 5


    1. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > 20h 15m 39s

    2. Xavier De Soultrait HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing > +2m 31s

    3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Team > +03m 42s

    19. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +48m 03s

    20. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +01h 13m 48s

    Leave a comment:


  • NewsReaper
    replied
    In a sad and concerning development, CS Santosh of Hero MotorSports Team Rally crashed out of Stage 4 of Dakar Rally 2021. He crashed 135 km into the stage in an area that featured gravel tracks and rocks. It is being reported that he was resuscitated by another competitor who also pressed the emergency button. As a prompt response to that, the medics arrived at the scene and post that, he was airlifted to Riyadh for further evaluation. As per the recent reports, CS Santosh is kept in a medically induced coma. Reports are suggesting that he has suffered trauma in the head and is being kept at the hospital for further observation, tests, and scans.
    We at xBhp wish the Indian ace CS Santosh a speedy recovery.

    Press Release:

    The Stage 4 of the 2021 Dakar Rally today turned out to be a mixed bag for Hero MotoSports Team Rally.


    On a positive note, Joaquim Rodrigues continued to inspire everyone with his gritty performances and set a blazing pace today to finish Stage 4 at the sixth position.

    On a somber note, Indian ace C S Santosh suffered a crash today and had to forfeit the stage. He was immediately attended to by the on-ground medical team and was found to be stable. For a thorough evaluation and to provide him with the best possible medical care, he has been shifted to a hospital in Riyadh. His 2021 Dakar campaign has come to an unfortunate premature end.

    Sebastian Buhler continued to keep it steady and safe with a 24th place finish in the stage. After four stages, JRod climbs up to the 16th position and Buhler retains his 24th place in the overall standings.

    Looking ahead, the team will take a lot of heart from the performances of Joaquim and Sebastian, who will be looking to consolidate their positions further as they arrive at the rest day Bivouac in Hail, two days from now.

    The rally will next move to Buryadah for what is expected to be the toughest stage of the rally, running for a total of 624 kms including 419 kms of timed special.

    Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager said, “Today was quite a difficult and emotional stage for us as it was the same stage where we lost Paulo last year. It was unfortunate that Santosh had a crash today and he will not be able to continue his Dakar 2021 journey anymore. He was doing very well this year and looking very positive and confident. Please join us in praying for his speedy recovery. On the positive side, this was the best results so far for the team with the 6th place finish for Joaquim and another good stage for Sebastian We are happy with how Joaquim has been getting into a better rhythm with every stage and with Sebastian’s consistency in delivering solid performances. We are keeping our fingers crossed for an incident-free rally now. Thank you to all our supporters for all their love and wishes.”

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “First of all, my thoughts go out to our brother Santosh and I wish him a speedy recovery. I know that he will pull through to come back stronger. Today was a very tough stage for me as this was where the tragic incident happened last year. It brought back a lot of painful memories for me and I couldn’t sleep all night. I had a nervous start to the stage but as I started to ride, I started to get into a rhythm and my navigation was perfect. I believe it was Paulo who was navigating for me today and I am so happy to know that feeling.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “We are all very sad at the crash of Santosh and our prayers and wishes go to him for a fast recovery. This is the toughest race on planet and we can always expect the unexpected. I hope he recovers fast and comes back stronger. The stage today was a fast one again. I felt good throughout the stage and got into a good rhythm but about 10 kms before the finish I lost a bit of time in finding a waypoint. But overall it was a good stage and the feeling with bike is also getting better. ”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 4


    1. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda Team > 02h 46m 50s

    2. Ross Branch Monster Energy Yamaha Team > +05m 57s

    3. Daniel Sanders KTM Factory Team > +06m 09s

    6. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +07m 21s

    24. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +17m 19s

    DNF C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally - -


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 4


    1. Xavier De Soultrait HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing > 15h 00m 25s

    2. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda Team > +15s

    3. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > +03m 24s

    16. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +19m 36s

    24. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +48m 48s

    RETD. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally - -
    Last edited by NewsReaper; 01-07-2021, 02:41 PM.

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  • NewsReaper
    replied
    Continuing their sound run in the 2021 Dakar Rally, the rider trio from Hero MotoSports Team Rally turned in another good performance in the third stage of the rally today. Joaquim Rodrigues finished the stage in the 20th place, Sebastian Buhler came in 21st and Santosh closed the stage in the 36th place.



    Joaquim Rodrigues led the team standings today as well, continuing to grow in confidence. In a predominantly sandy stage, he retained his Top 20 position in the overall rankings at the end of Stage 3.

    Sebastian Buhler also kept it steady throughout the stage to retain his 24th position in the overall rankings while C S Santosh tackled another long stage really well to gain a couple of positions in the overall rankings. He now stands at the 34th position.

    It is still early days in the Dakar 2021 but the growing confidence of JRod, consistency of Buhler and determination of Santosh coupled with the flawless performance of the new Hero 450 Rally bike bodes well for the team’s prospects in the upcoming stages.

    Up next, the rally will move out of the Wadi Ad-Dawasir to the capital city of Riyadh for the longest stage of the rally covering 813 kms, including the transport section. The timed special will be relatively shorter at 337 kms.

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “Today was a lonely stage for me as I was riding alone for the most part of it. It was quite windy as well and the tracks kept getting covered so I decided to slow down and concentrate on my navigation. Overall, I am happy to get my bike to the finish safely and see the back of one more stage.”

    C S Santosh (Competitor No. 50) said, “Today’s was another long and fast stage. It was mostly about sitting back and opening the full throttle. Because of the wind, the visibility was not that great so it was tough to go full gas all the way. It wasn’t very enjoyable for me but I am happy to have put in a good stage today and also probably the best three days in the Dakar.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “Today’s stage was very good as it was similar to what we did yesterday with nice open sandy tracks and some stones in between. Overall, I think the bike is performing very well in these conditions so I am happy with how it has gone for us so far.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 3


    1. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Team > 03h 33m 23s

    2. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda > Team +03m 16s

    3. Matthias Walkner RedBull KTM Factory Team > +04m 36s

    20. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +17m 28s

    21. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +18m 03s

    36. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +30m 52s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 3


    1. Skyler Howes Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team > 12h 05m 48s

    2. Xavier De Soultrait HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing > +28s

    3. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Team > +52s

    19. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +21m 02s

    24. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +39m 16s

    34. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +01h 36m 52s

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  • NewsReaper
    replied
    All the three riders of the Hero MotoSports Team Rally today delivered an inspired run in Stage 2 of the 2021 Dakar Rally. Pushing hard, the riders posted significant gains with Joaquim Rodrigues finishing the stage in 12th place, Sebastian Buhler in 14th place and C S Santosh in 36th place.



    Leading the charge for the team, Joaquim Rodrigues turned a leaf to deliver a much more confident run today in the first sandy stage of the rally. As a result of today’s effort, he breached into the Top 20 in the overall rankings and is now placed 17th.

    Sebastian Buhler was also not far behind his mentor as he too found his rhythm to achieve a faster pace in today’s stage. Improving on his overnight standings, he is now placed at the 24th position in the overall standings.

    C S Santosh continued to grow in confidence and delivered a solid stage to leap up by several positions in the overall rankings to finish on the 36th position in the overall standings.

    With 82% sand and close to 13% dunes, today’s stage presented much more familiar surroundings to the competitors in contrast to Stage 1. While the extremely soft dunes offered a great challenge for the machines, the Hero 450 Rally bike was up to the challenge and delivered a flawless performance, yet again. With two riders in top 15 and solid performance by the bike, it was a stage of all-round gains for Hero MotoSports Team Rally.

    In Stage 3, the rally will stay in Wadi Ad-Dawasir to do a 629 km loop that will include a timed special of 403 kms.

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “Today was a completely different stage from yesterday. It was much faster with really soft sands and a lot of open ground. On one dune, my bike got stuck and the sand was so soft that it got buried almost up to the handlebar. So, I lost some time there trying to get out of that but otherwise, I felt a lot better today and kind of started to get into my rhythm again. I was able to finish the stage with no problems with the bike so it was definitely a much better day for me.”

    C S Santosh (Competitor No. 50) said, “I started the stage with a lot of motivation today. It was a fast stage and the new bike started feeling really good and safe, so I am really happy with that. I am slowly building my confidence and if I can continue like this for the rest of the stages, I think I will be in a really good position by the time the rally finishes. So, today was a good start in the right direction for me.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “It was a very nice stage with a little bit of everything – from soft dunes to sandy tracks, open tracks and even some rocks. Our new bike worked very well in these conditions so I was able to ring at a decent pace and rhythm today.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 2


    1. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda Team > 04h 17m 56s

    2. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > +03m 55s

    3. Pablo Quintanilla Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing > +06m 02s

    12. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +18m 08s

    14. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +20m 47s

    36. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +44m 21s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 2


    1. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda Team > 08h 15m 38s

    2. Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Team > +06m 23s

    3. Ross Branch Monster Energy Yamaha Team > +06m 37s

    17. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +20m 21s

    24. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +36m 00s

    36. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +01h 22m47s

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  • NewsReaper
    replied
    Hero MotoSports Team Rally delivered a solid stage 1 at the 2021 Dakar Rally today. All three riders finished the stage safely and reached the bivouac. JRod finished the stage at the 22nd place followed by Buhler at the 29th and Santosh at the 43rd positions.


    Starting first for the team, Sebastian Buhler started the stage well but chose a wrong track along with a group of riders about 20 kms into the stage, which resulted in him riding alone in the dust for most of the stage. Having lost time, he finished the stage at the 29th position. Joaquim Rodrigues started well but decided to exercise caution to avoid any unwarranted incidents right at the start of Rally. Indian ace C S Santosh too decided to ride safe and finished at the 43rd position.

    Overall, it was a cautious day for the trio of Hero MotoSports riders. However, it also provided a lot of confidence to the Team. The Stage also saw the new Hero 450 Rally bike passing its first big test of the Dakar with a flawless performance. The riders will try to get into a better competitive rhythm in the second stage that is scheduled to go underway tomorrow. The 685 km Stage 2 will include a really long 457 km special taking the competitors from Bisha to Wadi-Ad-Dawasir.

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “It felt like a really long stage today. I didn’t start very confident and definitely, my speed was also not up there. So, I decided to focus on navigation throughout the stage. But as soon as some riders passed me, there was a lot of dust and I lost my way a bit. But I am happy that the first stage is off my shoulder and now we take on the second one tomorrow.”

    C S Santosh (Competitor No. 50) said, “It was definitely not an easy stage today. It was a really physical stage with a lot of rocks to go through so it was slow and you had to always watch the roadbook. There were lots of direction changes and tricky navigation to set you off the track. So overall I think it was a very tough first stage of the Dakar and it sets the precedence for the stages to come ahead.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “Today was a hard stage in general. It was more like an enduro stage but over stones. I made a small mistake in the beginning in choosing a track and after that, I was pretty much riding alone in the dust which was very difficult and risky. But it’s only the first day so I am happy to be back at the bivouac safely and tomorrow we will try to do better.”


    Provisional Rankings – Stage 1


    1. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Team > 03h 18m 26s

    2. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team > +31s

    3. Matthias Walkner RedBull KTM Factory Team > +32s

    23. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +16m 27s

    29. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +31m 54s

    43. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +49m 55s


    Provisional Overall Rankings at the end of Stage 1


    1. Toby Price RedBull KTM Factory Team > 03h 43m 58s

    2. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda > Team +23s

    3. Matthias Walkner RedBull KTM Factory Team > +01m 12s

    22. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +16m 31s

    29. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +31m 30s

    43. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +52m 47s

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  • NewsReaper
    started a topic Dakar Rally 2021: All the updates in one place!

    Dakar Rally 2021: All the updates in one place!

    Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the rally racing team of Hero MotoCorp began its campaign at the 43rd edition of the most gruelling race on the planet - the Dakar Rally - in Jeddah.

    Participating in its fifth consecutive Dakar Rally, the Hero MotoSports Team Rally is being represented by a three-rider team - Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27), C S Santosh (Competitor No. 50) and Sebastian Buhler (Competitor no. 24), the latest addition to the team. Starting their campaign on a positive note, the team took on the short 11 km long Prologue stage to decide the starting order of the first stage, with the three riders – Sebastian Buhler, Joaquin Rodrigues and C S Santosh finishing in 5th, 10th and 35th place respectively.


    Having earlier completed all the administrative and technical checks successfully, the confident trio rolled off the ceremonial podium today to mark the official beginning of their Dakar 2021 campaign in Jeddah. With the starting orders locked in, the first stage on the 3rd of January, 2021 will take the riders from Jeddah to Bisha with a 277 km special stage and a total run of 622 kms including the transport sections.

    The Team’s road to Dakar 2021 was disrupted by the COVID-19 enforced restrictions, providing little opportunities for training and development through the year. However, making the most of the limited opportunities the team managed to quickly regroup and spent valuable time in training and developing their new bike in Portugal and Spain. As the motorsports activities gradually resumed across the globe, they had two very productive and successful outings in the Andalucia Rally and the BAJA Portalegre, winning the latter, with Sebastian Buhler and Joaquim Rodrigues securing the 1st and the 2nd place respectively. With this win, Sebastian was crowned the winner of the FIM BAJA World Cup, giving Hero MotoSports Team Rally their first BAJA World Cup win and the first win of this season.

    Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “We are here at the start of the Dakar Rally 2021 in Saudi Arabia, the same place where we left last time after the traumatic loss of our dear friend Paulo. It was a challenging year for the team but thanks to all the support we received from our Chairman Dr Pawan Munjal and entire Hero family and everyone around us, we are back here to race our limits once again with a fully motivated team and a new bike. Today we kicked off the proceedings with the 11 km prologue stage and everything went very well. Now we are ready for the first big stage of the Dakar tomorrow.”

    Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor No. 27) said, “We started with the Prologue stage today so I am happy to start another Dakar Rally. I had a strange feeling in the beginning but overall, I am feeling good and the bike is running very well too so I am happy with the results. Looking forward to the first real stage of the Dakar 2021 tomorrow.”

    C S Santosh (Competitor No. 50) said, “Today we did the prologue stage and as with every Dakar, there were a lot of nerves, excitement and butterflies in the stomach. It was only 11 kms today but I had a good feeling on the bike. There's two weeks of racing ahead of us and I am looking forward to spending these on the motorcycle and ride as fast as I can.”

    Sebastian Buhler (Competitor No. 24) said, “It was a short prologue stage today but it went very good. I finished 5th which I think is a good position to start the real stage tomorrow. It is going to be a long and tough stage but we have prepared well, so we will see how it goes from here.”

    Provisional Rankings – Prologue Stage

    1. Ricky Brabec Monster Honda Team > 06m 01s

    2. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Honda Team > +06s

    3. Daniel Sanders KTM Factory Team > +13s

    5. Sebastian Buhler Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +16s

    10. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +23s

    35. C S Santosh Hero MotoSports Team Rally > +01m 05s
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