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Oriol Mena, Joaquim Rodrigues gear up for Atacama Rally

Atacama Rally is part of Hero MotoSports build-up for the 2019 Dakar Rally after an impressive display in this year’s event.

other sports Updated: Aug 11, 2018 20:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Oriol Mena,Joaquim Rodrigues,Atacama Rally
Oriol Mena finished in top-10 of the Dakar Rally.(Twitter)

Oriol Mena, who finished in the top-10 of the 2018 Dakar Rally, and Joaquim Rodrigues, will lead Hero MotoSports team’s charge in the Atacama Rally to be held in Chile from August 12 to 18.

The rally is part of Hero MotoSports build-up for the 2019 Dakar Rally after an impressive display in this year’s event.

“The Atacama Rally presents a good training and evaluation platform for the team’s Dakar campaign, with its similar terrains and the presence of all key competitors of the Dakar rally. We are approaching the next Dakar Rally and this is an apt opportunity to make necessary course corrections, if any,” said Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp and Head of Hero MotoSports.

The team’s Indian rider CS Santosh won’t be part of the rally as he will be participating in the India Baja which will be held from August 17 to 19 at Thar desert, Jaisalmer.

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Hero MotoSports had fielded three riders in the 2018 Dakar with Mena finishing seventh and Santosh 34th, while Rodrigues was injured during the first stage.

Rodrigues will make a much-anticipated comeback in Chile while Mena will aim to build on his impressive streak. He had also finished in the top-15 at the Afriquia Merzouga Rally.

Spread over 1200 kms and five special stages, the Atacama Rally held in one of the most driest desert in the world -- the Atacama desert -- will present the competitors with a challenging combination of mountains, valley and coastal terrains. The rally will witness the participation of all the top contenders of the Dakar Rally, including many of the top-15 riders.

First Published: Aug 11, 2018 20:51 IST