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Hero MotoSports Team Rally Makes a Strong Start at Merzouga Rally 2018

The first part of the stage tested the riders with relatively complicated navigation leading onto the second loop that offered dunes, sand and water zones.

News18.com

Updated:April 17, 2018, 4:06 PM IST
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Hero MotoSports Team Rally Makes a Strong Start at Merzouga Rally 2018
Hero MotoSports Team Rally rider CS Santosh. (Photo: Hero Motosports)
Hero MotoSports Team Rally has started its first international rally of the year, the Merzouga Rally 2018, on a positive note with both the riders delivering a steady first stage on Monday.

Oriol Mena, the first of the two riders to start the stage, rode solid from the beginning, tackling the tricky navigation to finish at 11th position, in the stage as well as overall rankings.

Teammate C S Santosh also made a cautious and steady start to his Merzouga campaign and brought the bike home safely, overcoming the navigation challenge to finish at 20th place in the stage and overall rankings.

Stage 1 comprised of just over 200 km of two loops. The first part of the stage tested the riders with relatively complicated navigation leading onto the second loop that offered dunes, sand and water zones.

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Stage 2 on Tuesday will make a run of 175 km in the region of Erg Chhabbi with the difficulty levels being tuned up a notch. The stage is expected to be fast but at the same time require physical toughness with tougher navigation as well.

Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “First part of the stage had really difficult navigation. I started the stage at the 3rd position with no tracks to follow, so I had to put all my focus in navigating. 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 goes in the coming days.”

C S Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “The first stage was a bit difficult for me as the two loops were same 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 good time 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.”

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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. CS 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. CS Santosh - Hero MotoSports - +58m 52s

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| Edited by: Manav Sinha
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