With CS Santosh and Joaquim Rodrigues aboard the new Speedbrain 450cc rally machines, this is the first time that an Indian team will be players on the Dakar world stage in 2017. Hero MotoCorp has entered into a strategic partnership with German off-road racing specialist, Speedbrain GmbH to form the Hero MotoSports Team Rally and gain a competitive edge in the Dakar.
Earlier this year, the Hero MotoSports Team Rally had participated in the Afriquia Merzouga Rally with extensively tested machines. Portuguese rider Rodrigues clinched 9th position in the overall standings, while Santosh finished a respectable 16th. The final stepping stone to the Dakar 2017 for the team, will be their participation in the gruelling Oilibya Rally in Morocco which commences in October this year.
The team showcased its man-machine capability at a specially designed off-road track at the Hero Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT), Jaipur today. CS Santosh, the rally pilot in the Hero MotoSports Team Rally Pilot said, "We are absolutely proud to carry the tricolour of India to the Dakar Rally 2017. This year will be a completely different experience for me, as I am going to participate as a member of a world -class factory team."
Speaking at the event, Markus Braunsperger, CTO, Hero MotoCorp said, "We at Hero, are aggressively working towards elevating our product-development capabilities to global standards, and our presence at the international racing circuit gives us an opportunity to further refine our vehicle concepts."