Hero MotoSports reveals Dakar 2022 rider line-up

    Joaquim Rodrigues and Franco Caimi will race for the Indian squad at the upcoming 2022 Dakar Rally in January.

    Published On Dec 09, 2021 06:57:00 PM

    7,674 Views

    Hero MotoSports will field two riders for the upcoming 2022 Dakar Rally, which will run from January 1-14 next year. Hero’s longtime rider Joaquim Rodrigues will be joined by Franco Caimi as they tackle the harsh deserts of Saudi Arabia.

    ·         2022 Dakar Rally to run from January 1-14

    ·         Buhler ruled out due to injury

    ·         CS Santosh sits out as he continues his recovery

    Rodrigues and Caimi to race for Hero at Dakar 2022

    The upcoming Dakar Rally will be Hero MotoSports’ sixth go at what is largely considered to be one of the toughest races in the world. Rodrigues has been with the team since its inception in 2016, while this will be Caimi’s first Dakar outing for the team. However, the latter has competed in a handful of rallies with Hero since signing with the team earlier this year. Caimi is also no stranger to the Dakar Rally, having competed in the event on five previous occasions.

    Both riders have secured podium finishes this year – Caimi at the Silk Way Rally, while Rodrigues finished third at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The duo will compete astride the Hero 450 Rally bike, which the team says has been updated to offer “improved top speed and acceleration”.

    Buhler and CS Santosh ruled out

    Sebastian Buhler has been competing with Hero MotoSports throughout the year and was on the roster for the team’s Dakar 2022 line-up. Unfortunately, he injured himself at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge last month and has been ruled out, as a result.

    Indian rally ace CS Santosh also continues to build his strength and form following his crash at the 2021 Dakar Rally and will sit out of the upcoming edition.

    “We have had a great year so far and we look forward to starting the next year with a strong performance at the Dakar 2022,” said Wolfgang Fischer, team manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally.

    The preparations for the team have been good, and even though we are two riders short, we are confident of a great campaign at the Dakar. The bikes have also been performing very well, and we are excited to be back for our sixth tryst with the ultimate test. I also wish our team riders CS Santosh and Sebastian Buhler a speedy recovery, and hope to see them back in the camp soon.”

    2022 Dakar Rally route

    Dakar returns to Saudi Arabia for the third year running, but this new edition will feature sand and dunes more heavily than ever before. With lesser rocky stages, participants will be able to take advantage of the landscape, should they ace the tricky navigation.

    Competitors will tackle a total of 8,000km, including liaison stages. A total of 430 vehicles will hit the start line, and 149 of those will be motorcycles.

    The upcoming edition will also serve as the opening round of the newly-formed World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC), which replaces the Cross-Country Rallies Championship. The championship will comprise five rounds – Dakar, followed by the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Rally Kazakhstan, Andalucia Rally and the Rally du Maroc.

    Who will you be supporting at the upcoming Dakar Rally? Let us know in the comments section.

    Also see:

    Ashish Raorane on tackling Dakar as a privateer and more

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