Top 15 finishes for Hero MotoSports at the end of Dakar 2022
The close of Dakar 2022 sealed a historic run for the Hero MotoSports team, with riders Joaquim Rodrigues and Aaron Maré finishing in the top 15, apart from making the team the first Indian team to win a stage of the Dakar, as well as score a podium finish. At Hero MotoSports' sixth consecutive Dakar outing, the team did well to show up other more established teams with larger budgets, whilst the Hero 450 Rally made it back to the bivouac every single stage with zero mechanical issues.
JRod completed the short Stage 12 in 14th spot, just 7min 44sec behind the leader, with Maré trailing him in 22nd, 13min 34sec behind the top finisher. In the newly introduced RallyGP classification their standings were 13th and 15th overall, moving to 14th and 16th respectively amongst all the classes of riders participating in Dakar 2022. This edition of the Dakar has shown some impressively close battles across all categories, with the top 15 competitors sometimes only split by under 20 minutes at the end of the stage.
Team manager, Wolfgang Fischer, commented, "What a Dakar, after all the struggles we had a few weeks before the start! We are really proud of the performance of our riders, bikes and the team - a superb job done. The highlight was definitely the maiden Dakar stage victory for JRod and Hero MotoSports, underlined with a very strong third place at the hardest and most competitive, stage 11. Our last-minute entry Aaron did a perfect job, adapting seamlessly with the team, and keeping a cool head always, he proved to be a fast learner and team player. The Dakar Rally was the most competitive ever, with seven manufacturer teams fighting for the top prize, and only 1:30 hrs dividing the top 15 after the 4000-race kilometers. It was a bit unfortunate for JRod to lose over 50 mins at the initial phase of the rally, preventing us from gaining more top positions in the overall tally. With zero technical problems and a total of eight top-10 results in the new RallyGP class of this Dakar, we look forward to the next W2RC race in Abu Dhabi in March, and the soonest return of our mates Basti and Franco. Thanks to the Hero family and all our partners who contributed to our success story - to be continued!"
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