Since '02 xBhp is different things to different people. From a close knit national community of bikers to India's only motorcycling lifestyle magazine and a place to make like minded biker friends. We have one common religion - Bikeism.

T-shirt
Magazine
Castrol Power 1

Avoid staying around those big vehicles.

Our Partners



User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
Like Tree5Likes
  • 1 Post By NewsReaper
  • 1 Post By NewsReaper
  • 1 Post By NewsReaper
  • 1 Post By bharatheshk
  • 1 Post By NewsReaper

Thread: 2018 Merzouga Rally Prologue: TVS and Hero begin their rally outings

  1. #1
    Official xBhp NewsMonger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,460
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default 2018 Merzouga Rally Prologue: TVS and Hero begin their rally outings

    2018 Afriquia Merzouga Rally kicked off on the 15th of April 2018. The day consisted of a free-practice session and a prologue stage. This is the 9th edition of the gruelling rally event. TVS factory rally team and Hero MotoSports Team rally also began their rally outing with the event. The Rally offers an ideal training ground for the teams to kick start the preparations for the mighty Dakar.



    Standings after the Prologue


    At the end of the prologue stage, Sherco TVS Factory Rally team’s Joan Pedrero stood at the 4th position followed by Lorenzo Santolino at 5th. Hero MotoSports Team rally’s Oriol Mena finished at 13th while C S Santosh finished at 27th position. Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team’s debutants Duplessis Diego Martin and Vanni Cominotto finished at 15th and 34th respectively.





    Riders Speak


    Commenting on his performance Joan Pedrero, Racer, Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team says, “Merzouga is one of the toughest Rallies as a part of the pre-Dakar series. I am happy with this solid start and will do my best to keep the momentum going.”

    Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “I am really happy to ride with the new bike in this rally. Today was only 5 km of riding in the prologue but under pressure. Looking forward to the first real stage tomorrow.”


    C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally
    said, “It’s the first day of the Merzouga Rally and nerves are always flying. It’s always good to get the prologue out of the way. It was nice to go out and get the rally started. Looking forward to the next few days of really rally racing. ”


    David Casteu, Team Manager, Sherco TVS Factory Rally team says, "It’s a good start for the team. We are all very motivated by this challenge. We have four Rally bikes and one of the largest teams. I am very proud to have four riders to manage in this Rally.”



    About the Merzouga Rally


    The Merzouga Rally is a grueling 5-day rally raid that takes place annually in Morocco, among the dunes of Merzouga. Participants at the event will have to deal with rising ambient temperatures of the Moroccan desert, stimulating sand sections and tricky navigational challenges. The demanding rally provides excellent preparation to riders who wish to compete in the Dakar Rally scheduled for later in the year. The first full day of the rally (16th April) will offer the riders with a 207 km special stage as a warm up to the competition and putting their navigation skills to the test with relatively complicated navigation.
    bharatheshk likes this.

  2. #2
    Official xBhp NewsMonger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,460
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Merzouga Rally: Stage I and Stage II updates

    STAGE I

    Stage 1 of the Merzouga Rally comprised of just over 200 kms of two relatively simple loops, with their respective starts and finishes at the same place. The first portion of the stage tested the riders with relatively complicated navigation leading onto the second loop that offered dunes, sand and water zones.

    Oriol Mena of the Hero MotoSports Team Rally rode solid from the beginning, tackling the tricky navigation to finish at 11th position, in the stage as well as overall rankings. His teammate CS Santosh secured the 20th position in both stage and overall rankings.

    Oriol Mena
    , Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “First part of today’s stage had really difficult navigation. I started the stage at the 3rd position so there were no tracks to follow as well, so I had to put all my focus in navigating as well as I could today. At one point, I lost a few minutes in finding the correct way but I managed to collect all the waypoints. The second part of the stage was relatively easy except for one point in the river where it was difficult to find the way. It’s just the first day and I am feeling good, the bike is performing well, so let’s see how it pans out in the coming days.”

    C S Santosh
    , Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “Today’s stage was a bit difficult for me as the two loops were the same today for bikes and the Side-by-Side vehicles. I started behind the SSVs so I had to be careful with the navigation as there were a lot of tracks everywhere. The first loop was tricky but I made some time in some places and overall kept my mistakes to the minimum. In the second loop again I started behind the SSVs and lost some time in trying to pass them. Overall a good learning and I think the next few days are going to be as tricky as this one.”

    Provisional Results for the Stage 1
    1. Joan Barreda Boat, Honda Racing, 03h 15m 58s
    2. Franco Caimi, Yamaha Racing,+08m 03s
    3. Ricky Brabec, Honda Racing, +11m 25s
    11. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +28m 15s
    20. C S Santosh, Hero MotoSports, +58m 52s

    Overall Provisional Results at the end of Stage 1
    1. Joan Barreda Boat, Honda Racing, 03h 15m 58s
    2. Franco Caimi, Yamaha Racing, +08m 03s
    3. Ricky Brabec, Honda Racing, +11m 25s
    11. Oriol Mena, Hero MotoSports, +28m 15s
    20. C S Santosh, Hero MotoSports, +58m 52s

    STAGE II

    Stage 2 of the rally was marked by special stage of 175 kilometres for the riders to race in the Erg Chebbi region of Merzouga. Split into two loops, the stage challenged the riders with dunes at the beginning and end of each loop with faster tracks sandwiched in between, making it a more physical stage, made even harder by the complicated navigation.

    Oriol Mena started strong in the initial part of the stage and but lost some time due to an electrical snag. C S Santosh, who was coming from behind, stopped over to help his team mate with a quick intervention that ensured that both the bikes reached the finish line safely. Oriol finished the stage 2 in 25th position while C S Santosh in 28th position.

    Oriol Mena
    , Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “Today was a good day for me as I rode with good speed and navigation. I pushed myself harder than yesterday and managed to catch the rider in front of me. In the second part as well I continued to attack and crossed two more riders until an electrical problem forced me to stop. I waited for my mate Santosh to come by and took his help to get the bike going again. I lost some time there but I am really happy to arrive at the bivouac safely. Now we get ready for the marathon stage”

    C S Santosh
    , Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “The first part of the stage was good for me as I raked up a good rhythm and speed in the dunes. In the second part I got lost a bit in the dunes and then later in the riverbed trying to find a waypoint, so lost some time there. Overall I rode well today and am happy that I was able to help Mena, who got stuck in a dunette, to start again and get both the bikes home. Looking forward to the Marathon stage tomorrow.”

    Sherco TVS Factory Rally team’s Joan Pedrero stood at 8th at the end of the stage followed by Duplessis Diego Martin who climbed up to 9th. Lorenzo Santolino secured the 10th position while Vanni Cominotto finished the stage at 24th.

    Commenting on his performance, Joan Pedrero, Racer, Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team says, "I felt very good in the dunes and finished the stage without any major problems with the bike. Looking forward to the marathon stage tomorrow as it will test both man and machine."

    David Casteu, Team Manager, Sherco TVS Factory Rally team
    said, "It was a big stage with a lot of navigation but I am thrilled we passed the test. Seeing our riders arriving in the lead group despite the strong competition from the other teams was a true pleasure."

    Martin Duplessis
    said, "It was a very good stage and I am very happy with the bike and my performance in this stage. The team is doing great and I am happy to contribute to the success of the team."

    Lorenzo Santolino
    said, "I started the day very well but I lost too much time after a small fall near the finish line. Tomorrow is an important day but we are ready."

    Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price posted the third fastest time on stage two of the 2018 Merzouga Rally. KTM Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz completed the day in 16th position. Setting off early in the morning at 7.00am, riders initially struggled with visibility due to the rising sun. Toby Price kept his head down and concentrated on both his navigation and maintaining a consistent pace on the timed special. At the finish, Price posted the third fastest time for the day, just over three-minutes down on the leader Kevin Benavides.

    Toby Price
    said, “It was a good day today, especially after having such a tough day yesterday. I kept to a good pace and concentrated on my navigation. I just nailed each section and tried not to make the same mistakes as yesterday and lose a chunk of time. After making a mistake like yesterday, you lose confidence in your road book, so today was all about building that confidence up again and getting a solid result. The bike was great again today and now we have to plan for tomorrow’s marathon stage. I think it is going to be pretty tough, but I’m not opening the stage so I should be able to chase down the guys in front a little while hopefully conserving myself and the bike.”

    Laia Sanz
    said, “I am really happy with how I rode today. The result is not so good, but my times are a lot closer to the top guys than yesterday. I am feeling a lot more comfortable on the bike now and that has given me the confidence to push a little more. For tomorrow’s marathon stage I hope I can keep improving and get to the campsite with no issues.”

    Provisional Results Stage Two – 2018 Merzouga Rally

    1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 2:41:54
    2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 2:44:10 +2:16
    3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 2:45:35 +3:41
    4. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 2:49:36 +7:42
    5. José Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 2:50:04 8:10
    16. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 3:02:25 +20:31

    Provisional Overall Results – 2018 Merzouga Rally after 2 of 5 stages
    1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 6:12:27
    2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 6:16:03 +3:36
    3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 6:17:20 +4:53
    4. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 6:19:28 +7:01
    5. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 06:21:55 +9:28
    16. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, +1:04:01

    The stage 3 will mark the beginning of the 2 day marathon stage that will be the highlight of the rally. A total run of 304 km including the special section of 241 km will form the first part of the Marathon stage of tomorrow, where the riders will camp in the dunes overnight without any support from their assistance crew.
    Last edited by NewsReaper; 04-18-2018 at 01:15 PM.
    bharatheshk likes this.

  3. #3
    Official xBhp NewsMonger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,460
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Merzouga Rally: Stage III updates

    STAGE III

    Stage 3 of the rally marked the first of the two days of the Marathon stages. Being the highlight of the rally, the performance in these stages typically separates the leaders from the rest. Competitors will have to go through the night without the aid of their assistance crew and get ready for the part two of the Marathon stage. The Marathon stage was made of a long liaison of 63 kms followed by the 240 km stage where the riders had to negotiate the dunes of the Rissani erg, those of the Chebbi erg, sand in the Fezou region, and the Ouzina erg before arriving at the campsite in the middle of the dunes for an evening in the heart of the desert. It is imperative on the stage for competitors to conserve tyres and machinery where even a minor problem could mean the end to their rally.

    Oriol Mena, shrugging off a minor set-back of stage 2, made good time today to climb up several places to finish the stage 3 in 14th position. CS Santosh also kept a steady momentum to finish the stage 3 in 27th position. Overall, Oriol stands at 16th place and C S Santosh at 20th place at the end of Stage III.

    Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “I started well today and attacked from the start to catch the rider in front of me soon after the start. It was a day of mostly solo riding as I had a good clearance both in front and behind me. Made no navigation mistakes and rode carefully in the rocky section to arrive safely at the Marathon Bivouac. Now we rest and then prepare for tomorrow.”

    C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “Today I decided to keep it nice and safe with an aim to get the bike to the Marathon bivouac. My navigation was good and made no major mistakes, so a steady stage for me. The dune section was quite smooth and the rest of the part had lot of rocks and stones so I had to be careful there. The bike is riding perfectly and I am looking forward to the second part tomorrow.”

    At the end of stage III, Sherco TVS Factory Rally team’s Joan Pedrero stood in the overall rankings at 8th followed by Lorenzo Santolino at 9th. Duplessis Diego Martin maintained his good run with a finish at 11th while Vanni Cominotto finished the stage at 24th in the overall rankings.

    Commenting on his performance, Joan Pedrero, Racer, Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team says, "This stage was extremely challenging for me as I had to negotiate dunes, sand and stones in a special marathon stage. We had to cross the tricky stone terrain with care as there was no external help in this stage. I am glad to have finished it with my bike in a good condition.”

    David Casteu, Team Manager, Sherco TVS Factory Rally team says, "Stage 3 was the toughest stage so far, with varying terrain and the fact that the riders had no help from the service crew. It was the ultimate test of their skills as they simultaneously tackled the stage and ensured that the bike is in good shape throughout. I am glad that the team has maintained a consistent performance in this stage and especially impressed with debutant Duplessis. The next stage will be equally tough as the riders will have to tackle labyrinth of tracks which are bound to be complicated in terms of navigation. I am confident that the team will continue their good show in the upcoming stage as well.”

    Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price has posted the fourth fastest time on stage three of the rally. Laia Sanz was at 17th at the end of the day.

    Following his third place on Tuesday’s stage two, Toby Price set off just after 8am with just two riders ahead to chase down. He decided to concentrate on his own navigation and riding to a fast but steady pace to minimise mistakes. He put in a strong performance to finish as the fourth fastest rider at the end of the 241km special. He is currently at 6th in the provisional overall standings.

    Jordi Viladoms – KTM Rally Sport Manager: “The Merzouga Rally has proven to be a tricky race for the KTM Factory Team so far. After performing very well on the Prologue both Toby and Laia started near the front of stage one, this turned out to be a disadvantage due to the navigation on the stage. We know that the rally here in Morocco is a tough one to compete in, that’s why it is such a good practice for the Dakar. We didn’t expect the first special to be such a challenge and it has had us playing catch-up ever since. However, it has also given our riders a good opportunity to work on navigation skills for these types of rallies and will give them good experience for the Dakar early next year. We’re really pleased with both of our riders - Toby’s pace is excellent and he is really working on his skills whilst keeping to a good rhythm. He’s fifth at the moment but still has a good shot at a podium. Laia is currently running 15th overall, which is a great result for her and she is also working very hard on her speed in the desert over these tough conditions.”

    Provisional Results for the Stage 3



    1. Joan Barreda Bort, Honda Racing, 03h 23m 42s
    2. Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna Racing, +08m 59s
    3. Kevin Benavides, Honda Racing, +09m 15s


    Overall Provisional Results at the end of Stage 3


    1. Joan Barreda Bort, Honda Racing, 09h 36m 09s
    2. Kevin Benavides, Honda Racing, +12m 51s
    3. Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna Racing, +13m 52s


    Stage 4, the second marathon stage, will see the riders negotiate another 233 km of special stage sandwiched between 36 km and 103 km of liaison sections, finally reuniting with their assistance crew at the Tombouctou hotel with only the last stage remaining to decide the rally champion., will see the riders race through dunes before reaching the Errachidia plateau. Featuring a 233-kilometer special in a total of 372 kilometers, the stage will once again see the racers get no help from the service crew.
    bharatheshk likes this.

  4. #4
    Addicted
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madikeri , Kodagu (Coorg).
    Posts
    217
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Icon8 Re: 2018 Merzouga Rally Prologue: TVS and Hero begin their rally outings

    With 3 Indian manufacturers KTM ,Hero & TVS taking part apart from the Japanese manufacturers ,i wonder why they are not bothered to pressurize the tv channels to telecast at least the highlights package .It would enhance their reputation more than the crores spent on lousy ads
    RE "H" likes this.
    Yamaha RX 135 5 Speed - 2000 -(current)
    Yamaha R15 v1 - 2009 - 2016 ( Sold )
    Yamaha R3 - 2015 - (current)

  5. #5
    Official xBhp NewsMonger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,460
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Merzouga Rally: A gruelling Stage IV - Updates

    STAGE IV

    Stage 4 of the Merzouga Rally marked the second half of the event’s two-part marathon stage. After completing the tough 241km stage 3, riders stayed overnight in the temporary bivouac before heading out onto today’s stage 4, having received no technical assistance from their teams. Competitors not only had to face the usual changes in terrain and difficult navigation associated with the rally, but also had to conserve their machinery in order to endure the 475km of timed special raced over the course of the two days. The second part of the Marathon stage was made of a 233 km long stage sandwiched between two liaison sections of 63 kms and 103 kms respectively. The riders first encountered the initial dunes sector that then led them to faster tracks just until they reached the Errachidia plateau where a labyrinth of tracks complicated the navigation.

    Toby Price and Laia Sanz have both finished within the top-five on the penultimate stage of the 2018 Merzouga Rally. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Price completed the 233km timed special in fourth with a time that elevated him to second in the provisional overall standings. KTM Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz placed just behind her team-mate posting the fifth fastest time.

    Toby Price set off from the bivouac at 6.30am this morning on the short liaison section that led to the start of the stage four special. Price put in a superb performance catching and ultimately passing the three riders ahead of him to be the first to arrive at the finish. His fourth place on today’s stage moves him up to second overall with just the short 50km, mass-start final stage to go.

    Toby Price
    : “The marathon stage has been a tough ride. Yesterday went well, apart from a couple of small navigation errors that cost me some time, I kept to a good pace and arrived safely at the bivouac. Things went well today, a couple of the guys in front made quite a serious mistake missing a waypoint and that cost them a bit of time. I was close to repeating their mistake but managed to correct myself, and eventually crossed the line first with the fourth fastest time. Second overall is great with just tomorrow’s short 50km stage to go. My aim for tomorrow is just ride sensibly to finish the rally in one piece and if I can hold onto the runner-up spot I’ll be happy.”

    KTM Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz rode a fantastic marathon stage. She posted the fifth fastest time on today’s stage four – a testament to her hard work and experience. With just one more stage to contest, Laia lays 13th overall and is keen to improve her final ranking with a good result tomorrow.

    Laia Sanz
    : “I am really happy with today, I concentrated again on my navigation and it worked well – it’s nice to get a good result after so much hard work. We have been testing a lot of things with the bike and it all seems to be heading in a positive direction - it’s great to get good feedback on a tough rally like this. The marathon stage has been hard, yesterday was especially long and tiring but today has gone better and now I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s short stage and then the finish of the rally.”

    It was a tough day at the Merzouga Rally as many riders lost their way towards the end of the stage in an attempt to find a really tricky waypoint. Oriol started the stage well but just after a few kms, he had a hard impact to the bottom of the bike while come fast down a dune. After that he decided to take the rest of the stage in a slow and cautious manner. Towards the end of the stage he lost some more time in trying to find that last waypoint, along with many other riders who got lost in the same area. His team mate, C S Santosh, was having a good stage, riding well through the dunes and the faster sections until he also got lost around the last waypoint and lost a lot of time before he could find the right way. More importantly, both the bikes and riders arrived at the bivouac safely to reunite with the team, keeping the team’s campaign alive at the Merzouga Rally.\Oriol finished the stage 4 in 40th place, taking him to the overall standing of 17th, while Santosh finished the stage in 37th position, retaining his overnight ranking of 20th in the overall standings.

    Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally
    said, “It was a difficult day today for me. I started very well but in the 4th km I hit something hidden in the dunes. After that I was not getting a comfortable feeling with the bike so I decided to take it slow from there to make it to the finish. Then I got lost towards the end trying to find a way point and lost a lot of time there. Another day in the books and only one more day to go. ”

    C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally
    said, “I felt really good today and did well in the stage I think. I rode very well in the dunes and caught up with a lot of riders, so overall it was going good for me. Towards the end of the stage, we couldn’t find the waypoint. There were riders everywhere trying to find the way, it looked like everyone was lost. Finally I was able to find the right way and reached the finish line but lost a lot of time there. Happy to put 4 days in the book and now looking forward to closing the rally tomorrow.”

    At the end of Stage 4, Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team’s Martin Diego Duplessis sustained his steady performance and finished at 10th followed by Joan Pedrero at 15th despite a fall during the stage. Vanni Cominotto finished the stage at 36th in the overall rankings. Despite a good start, Lorenzo Santolino had to retire from the rally due to technical issues.

    Commenting on his performance, Joan Pedrero, Racer, Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team says, “I started at a good pace but a minor crash slowed me down for the rest of the race. This stage had many obstacles but I am satisfied with my performance.”

    David Casteu, Team Manager, Sherco TVS Factory Rally team
    says, “This stage has taught us that in the Rally, nothing is ever guaranteed as it was a tough test of the team’s navigation skills. Duplessis has been a great find with his steady performance in the face of all obstacles. All our riders performed well against the odds – Lorenzo’s exit has been unfortunate but I am confident he will bounce back. We will analyze what happened today so that we can do even better in the next stage.”
    Stage 5, the final of the rally, will see riders start in a group before heading out into the short 50km stage. Consisting of 100 per cent dunes, tomorrows special will still require ultimate concentration and good navigation. The ultimate stage of the rally will be a motocross style start and offer 49 km of fast paced shoulder-to-shoulder action before the new champion is crowned. The final stage of the Rally, a true Merzouga classic, will be the deciding factor for the riders, and see them cover 48 kilometers into the dunes of Chebbi erg.

    Provisional Results Stage Four – 2018 Merzouga Rally

    1. Allessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 3:23:31
    2. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 3:27:15 +3:44
    3. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 3:32:03 +8:32
    4. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:35:25 +11:54
    5. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 3:41:47 +18:16

    Provisional Overall Results – 2018 Merzouga Rally after 4 of 5 stages

    1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 13:26:49
    2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 13:31:51 +5:02
    3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 13:33:20 +6:31
    4. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 13:34:05 +7:16
    Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 13:38:04 +11:15

  6. #6
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Gurgaon/ Kanpur
    Posts
    10,079
    Mentioned
    432 Post(s)
    Tagged
    3 Thread(s)

    Default Re: 2018 Merzouga Rally Prologue: TVS and Hero begin their rally outings

    Quote Originally Posted by bharatheshk View Post
    With 3 Indian manufacturers KTM ,Hero & TVS taking part apart from the Japanese manufacturers ,i wonder why they are not bothered to pressurize the tv channels to telecast at least the highlights package .It would enhance their reputation more than the crores spent on lousy ads
    One reason is that TV coverage of rallies in general is far more difficult than circuit racing. Since it is near impossible to have cameras covering the entirety of the route. Unlike a circuit, where every corner will have multiple cameras.

    See the number of comments here on this thread as compared to a "XYZ bike new colour scheme launched" thread! Indian 'bikers' in general are not very interested in motorsports.
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

  7. #7
    Official xBhp NewsMonger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,460
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Merzouga Rally: The 5th and the final stage - Updates

    STAGE V

    The fifth and final stage of the Merzouga Rally comprised a short 50km timed special through the dunes of the Chebbi erg. With 80 riders setting off together motocross style it took a few kilometres for the pack to spread out. Despite being shorter than the others on the rally, stage five still threw up some challenges. It was a high-octane and intensely fought stage, all in dunes, which aptly brought the curtains down on the rally on a high.

    For Hero MotoSports Team Rally, it ended in another good result with Oriol Mena finishing in top 15 at 15th position and C S Santosh finishing in top 20 with a 19th place. The team will take a lot of positives from this result considering that in this edition of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally, almost all the top teams and top riders of the Dakar were competing, imparting it a flavour of a “mini – Dakar”.

    Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “It was a good race for us with many positives coming out. We tried some new combinations with Mena first time riding on the Dakar evolution bike and JRod contributing a lot in his role as a mentor. We enjoyed a lot in this race and in the end we got top 15 for Mena and top 20 for Santosh, which is a good result considering that it was like a mini-dakar this time with all the top riders competing. We did face some minor issue that prevented us from having a better result, especially for Mena, but we will take all these learnings to increase our capabilities further. All in all a good race and a good base to start our Dakar preparations.”

    Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally
    said, “Today was the last and the shortest stage of the rally with only 48 km to cover, which they further reduced to 40 km due to some last minute changes. I started with the fastest group of riders but decided to maintain my own speed because I did not want to take unnecessary risk in the last stage. My focus was to get my Hero bike across the finish line and I feel happy to have put the Hero bike in the parc ferme. One more race in the books for me and I am happy to be going home richer in experience. ”

    C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally
    said, “It was our first international rally after the Dakar. I am really glad to have finished the Merzouga, as I was a little worried after the crash I had at the Desert Storm. Overall I think I made fewer mistakes this year and improved a lot in my speed and navigation, so it’s been a good learning experience for me. The bike and the team have been fantastic and helped me get the bike home every day. Now I will look to build upon this experience for the next races to come.”

    Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price has brought his KTM 450 RALLY home in third place on the final stage of the 2018 Merzouga Rally. Suffering a small crash during the timed special, Laia Sanz finished a very creditable 30th. At the close of the six-day event in Morocco, Price finished sixth overall with Sanz placing 14th.

    Unhappy after the decision by the organizers of the rally to scrap the final waypoints of Thursday’s stage four, Toby Price went into today’s special with a point to prove. After making his way to the front of the group, the Australian put in a strong performance to eventually cross the line in third position.
    The decision to disregard the final waypoints of Thursday’s stage relegated Toby to sixth place in the overall standings. Despite his superb performance on today’s stage, it simply wasn’t enough to regain a podium position. Although disappointed, the 2016 Dakar Champion was still positive about his, and the team’s, performance on the rally.

    Toby Price
    : “Today was a good stage with the mass-start. 80 bikes taking off at the same time is a little bit chaotic and it took a few kilometres for it all to settle down. It was really good fun and I enjoyed the ride. I’m still a little upset about the outcome of yesterday’s stage and I don’t believe the final results tell the true story of the rally. Nevertheless, I am here in one piece and we were able to test a lot of things on the bike and get some good training for the Dakar at the beginning of next year. I’m looking forward to the next rally now in the middle of the year and then we have a few more to contest on the run up to the Dakar.”

    Laia Sanz also suffered from the decision. The Spaniard had ridden an almost flawless stage finishing as fifth fastest. By scrapping the final waypoints, Laia was relegated to 14th at the end of the day. Relishing the chance to race with the front runners on today’s short sprint Laia set off well, keeping up with the leaders. Unfortunately, a small crash ended up costing the multiple enduro world champion even more time when another rider collided with her fallen bike. Crossing the line in 30th position, Laia was still upbeat about her performance.

    Laia Sanz
    : “I enjoyed today at first, it was good fun to race with everyone. I thought if I could tag on to some of the faster guys I would be able to keep to their pace. I made a small mistake on one of the dunes but ended up losing more time when a rider behind collided with me when I was picking up the bike – I wasn’t able to catch up after that. The rally has not been so good for me, my results have not been quite what I wanted for various reasons. On the plus side we were able to do a lot of constructive testing and we’ll go into the next rally even stronger now.”

    Provisional Results Stage Five – 2018 Merzouga Rally


    1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 38:12
    2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 38:15 +3 seconds
    3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 38:18 +6 secs
    4. Lorenzo Santolino (ESP), Sherco, 38:36 +24 secs
    5. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 38:38 +26 secs


    Provisional Final Standings – 2018 Merzouga Rally after 5 of 5 stages


    1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 13:28:19
    2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 13:34:29 +6:10
    3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 13:39:44 +11:25
    4. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 13:47:08 +18:49
    5. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 13:48:23 +20:04
    bharatheshk likes this.

  8. #8
    Addicted
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madikeri , Kodagu (Coorg).
    Posts
    217
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: 2018 Merzouga Rally Prologue: TVS and Hero begin their rally outings

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    One reason is that TV coverage of rallies in general is far more difficult than circuit racing. Since it is near impossible to have cameras covering the entirety of the route. Unlike a circuit, where every corner will have multiple cameras.

    See the number of comments here on this thread as compared to a "XYZ bike new colour scheme launched" thread! Indian 'bikers' in general are not very interested in motorsports.
    I don't agree with that ,when WRC , Dakar highlights package used to be shown previously i'm sure these rallies are covered too .The channels have to just buy the highlights package and broadcast it ,the participating manufacturers have to support it and i'm sure the channels will show it .We as a biking community have to make our voice heard and push for it or we will have to watch local cricket premier league on all the channels all day.Even WSBK race broadcast has been stopped and i think Xbhp can also play a part by using it's reach with the manufacturers and media houses regarding this .There are a lot of bikers who follow these events though they may not comment actively ,specially with Indian riders like Santosh and Aravind participating in these events.
    Yamaha RX 135 5 Speed - 2000 -(current)
    Yamaha R15 v1 - 2009 - 2016 ( Sold )
    Yamaha R3 - 2015 - (current)

  9. #9
    Official xBhp NewsMonger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    India
    Posts
    2,460
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Merzouga Rally: The 5th and the final stage - Sherco TVS

    The final stage of the 9th edition of the Afriquia Merzouga Rally saw Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team’s Joan Pedrero finish in the top 10 with a P7 finish, followed by Martin Diego Duplessis at P11. Vanni Cominotto moved upto P21 in the overall rankings while Lorenzo Santolino finished at P31 (post revised stage 4 rankings).

    Commenting on his performance, Joan Pedrero, Racer, Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team says, “The Merzouga Rally is tough and very competitive but I am thrilled to have finished in the top 10. It has been a great learning ground and I hope to use these learnings going forward.”

    David Casteu, Team Manager, Sherco TVS Factory Rally
    team says, “It was a very intense, stressful and emotional Rally but my riders made me very happy. I want to truly thank them. Pedrero put all of his experience to good use. He finished in the top 10 and it was a very good performance. Duplessis was very close to finishing in the top 10 and had an impressive run throughout while Cominotto performed admirably for his first Rally. Today we were ready to race in the front and that is important to me. We gained a lot of experience and the integration of the new riders was a great motivation for the whole team. It was a positive experience.”

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-02-2017, 08:28 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-12-2017, 02:40 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-08-2017, 04:26 PM
  4. StartUp in 2W Rally
    By powerShift in forum Motorsports
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-21-2017, 01:49 PM
  5. Afiquia Merzouga Rally 2016 Final Results
    By NewsReaper in forum News
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-31-2016, 01:23 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •