Saudi Arabia, January 11, 2022.

Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters – Hero MotoCorp, delivered yet another impressive performance in the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally 2022. 

Both Joaquim Rodrigues and Aaron Maré put up a strong performance in a fast stage, bagging the seventh and 19th positions in the stage rankings of the RallyGP class.

Since winning Stage 3, JRod has been consistently finishing in the top 10 positions and his strong finish today places him at the 14th position in the overall RallyGP class rankings. Aaron enjoyed riding on his Hero 450 Rally, especially in the long dune sections on Monday. His performance puts him in16th place in the overall RallyGP class rankings.

Stage 8 which started off with sandy dunes, quickly moved to narrow tracks full of stones and then wet stretches, before heading into a constant web of valleys and wadis. Finding the right path from one valley to another was unusually difficult in the day’s400 km special section.

Starting the last leg of the race, Stage 9 will be a 490 km loop around Wadi Ad-Dawasir, featuring mountains and tracks that wind their way around canyons. Although there will be lesser sand than earlier, this short stage is still presumed to be a difficult one.

Joaquim Rodrigues

“I had another good stage. It was really fast, but it was a good race. The Hero Rally 450 has been performing at its best, and I’m happy with my performance as well.We’ve been posting consistent results, and I hope we can keep it up till the end of the race.”

Aaron Maré

“The stage started really well, and I enjoyed riding in the dunes till about refuel. After refuel, the tracks became quite fast and windy, though I enjoyed that as well because it wasn’t as rocky as the previous stages. I also felt a lot more comfortable with the navigation, and finished without making any mistakes. I’m happy with my consistent performance, and hoping for a better result ahead.”

Provisional Stage 8 Rankings – RallyGP class:

1.         Sam Sunderland                    GasGas Factory Racing                     03h 48m 02s

2.         Pablo Quintanilla                   Monster Energy Honda                    + 02m 53s

3.         Matthias Walkner                  Red Bull KTM Factory Team                       + 04m 11s

4.         Ricky Brabec                          Monster Energy Honda                    + 06m 44s

7.         Joaquim Rodrigues             Hero MotoSports Team Rally      + 09m 58s

19.       Aaron Maré                          Hero MotoSports Team Rally      + 20m 17s

Provisional Overall Standings after Stage 8 – RallyGP class:

1.         Sam Sunderland                    GasGas Factory Racing                     27h 38m 42s

2.         Matthias Walkner                  Red Bull KTM Factory Team                       + 03m 45s

3.         Adrien van Beveren              Monster Energy Yamaha                  + 04m 43s

4.         Pablo Quintanilla                   Monster Energy Honda                    + 05m 30s

14.       Joaquim Rodrigues             Hero MotoSports Team Rally      + 58m 05s

16.       Aaron Maré                          Hero MotoSports Team Rally      + 01h 11m 46s         

Provisional Overall Standings after Stage 8 – All classes:

1.         Sam Sunderland                    GasGas Factory Racing                     27h 38m 42s

2.         Matthias Walkner                  Red Bull KTM Factory Team                       + 03m 45s

3.         Adrien van Beveren              Monster Energy Yamaha                  + 04m 43s

4.         Pablo Quintanilla                   Monster Energy Honda                    + 05m 30s

15.       Joaquim Rodrigues             Hero MotoSports Team Rally      + 58m 05s

17.       Aaron Maré                          Hero MotoSports Team Rally      + 01h 11m 46s