Hero MotoCorp announced its entry into the 2017 Dakar Rally with its motorsport arm 'Hero MotoSports Team Rally'. The announcement was made in an event at the company's Center of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur.
The riders for Hero MotoSports Team Rally are CS Santosh and Joaquim Rodrigues, who showcased their capabilities on a specially designed off-road track at CIT on their Speedbrian 450, rally motorcycles. Earlier this year, Hero MotorSports Team had a good season at Afriquia Merzouga Rally, where Joaquim Rodrigues finished at 9th spot, while CS Santosh stood at 16th spot in rally. Now, the team will participate in the Oilibya Rally in Morocco, which will act as a stepping stone for the 2017 Dakar rally.
Earlier this year, Hero MotoCorp announced a strategic partnership with a Speedbrain GmbH, the German off-roading specialist to form a team 'Hero MotoSport Team Rally'. Apart from participating in International rallies across the world, the team will also assist in a development of Hero concepts, using the data collected from races.
Commenting on the entry to the 2017 Dakar season, rider CS Santosh said, "We are absolutely proud to carry the tricolour of India to Dakar 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. After a great first qualifier, we are now charged-up for the Oilibya Rally in October. Hero MotoSports Team Rally has all the traits of a champion team and I am hopeful that we will put up a great show at the Dakar next year."