The 2017 Afriquia Merzouga Rally concluded near the town of Erfoud, in Morocco, with the Indian contingent, consisting of Sherco-TVS and Hero Motorsport team with a total of six riders in the fray.
Sherco-TVS rider Juan Pedrero was the top placed finisher out of the lot – crossing the line in 4th at the end of six days, with Hero’s 9th placed Joaquim Rodrigues rounding off the top ten.
The final stage of the rally tested the riders in a single loop of 50 kilometres, in Motocross-style. Before turning off the engines, the riders completed a total of 1,200 demanding kilometres through the Moroccon desert.
Amongst the Indian rider trio – CS Santosh was the top finisher in 17th place, followed by Sherco-TVS’ Aravind KP ending up 21st. His teammate Abdul Wahid Tanveer, making his debut in international rallying, finished a highly credible 27th.
Sherco-TVS’ third rider Adrien Metge finished a distant 53rd after struggling with a technical issue early on in the rally.
India’s top Merzouga finisher CS Santosh said, “What a great end to a fantastic six days of racing here in Morocco. I came here with the target to gain experience and finish the rally with a decent result. I’m happy to have achieved both. Overall, an exciting and purposeful rally for the whole team.”
1. Xavier De Soultrait, Yamaha, 14:54:36hrs
2. Gerard Farres Guell, KTM
3. Franco Caimi, Yamaha
4. Juan Pedrero, Sherco TVS
9. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports
17. CS Santosh, Hero MotoSports
21. Aravind KP, Sherco TVS
27. Abdul Tanveer, Sherco TVS
53. Adrien Metge, Sherco TVS