Hero Wins Dakar Third Stage, a First From an Indian Manufacturer

For the first time in the history of the Dakar Rally, an Indian manufacturer has won a stage

Hero MotoSports and Portuguese rider Joaquim Rodrigues have given the perfect new year gift to the Indian motorsport enthusiasts by winning the third stage of the famous Dakar Rally 2022. The win was a first for Hero MotoSportsand also for Joaquim Rodrigues; a 40-year-old motorcycle rally racer who has been with Hero for a long time. Not to forget, Rodrigues secured the first spot by defeating two-time Dakar Rally champion Toby Price.

Why is this article relevant?

When it comes to motorsports, India is still at a nascent stage. The country has neither won major titles in the world of motorsports nor it has penetrated all the grand stages of motorsports. Therefore, the country’s first win at the renowned Dakar Rally is a major achievement in the history of Indian motorsports. It is an achievement that must be acknowledged and celebrated.

A flooded third stage and India’s first win

The third stage of the Dakar Rally got flooded because of heavy rainfall. Therefore, the officials of the rally shortened the stage. Every rider struggled to reach the finish line and to everyone’s surprise, it was Hero MotoSports’ Rodrigues who crossed the line first, within 2 hours, 34 minutes and 4 seconds. Behind him, two-time Dakar Rally champion Toby Price finished second in 2 hours, 34 minutes and 41 seconds.

Official statement of Joaquim Rodrigues after the historic win

“The Hero Rally 450 has been performing extremely well, and I’m happy that our great combination has helped bring home the first stage win at the Dakar. Thank you, Hero MotoSports, for all the effort they have invested in me, and for putting me through a large number of races this year – this has definitely boosted my confidence by leaps and bounds,” said Rodrigues as stated in a press release published by the official website of the company.

Hero’s second rider and other Indian team’s performance

Hero’s second rider Aaron Mare finished the third stage in the 18th position, 2 hours 42 minutes and 11 seconds behind Rodrigues. Apart from Hero, TVS is also a part of the Dakar Rally 2022. Their three riders Santolino, Goncalves and Noah finished the third stage in the 20th, 23rd and 29th positions, respectively.

In the overall riders’ standings of the motorcycle segment, the first position is currently being held (after the third stage) by Sunderland of the Gas Gas Team followed by KTM’s Walkner in the second and Yamaha’s Beveren in the third.

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