Oriol Mena finishes 2nd and Joaquim Rodrigues 4th
The second stage brought in much to cheer for Hero MotoSports Team Rally as both their riders put in really strong shows to finish the stage 2 in Top 5.
Oriol Mena was in his top form as he delivered a flawless stage without any mistakes. He finished the stage in 2nd place. JRod too showed why he is such a formidable competitor as he tackled the rain marred terrain deftly, overcoming the navigation challenges to finish in 4th place. With today’s performance, both riders also broke into top 5 in the overall rankings with JRod placed on 3rd place and Oriol Mena on 5th.
Today’s stage took the competitors on a new loop around the Xaluca Hotel, where the race has set up its bivouac. The riders faced a 212 km special divided into two parts. At 86 km long, the first part was the trickiest one because it featured the dunes of Erg Chebbi, the landmark for which the Merzouga region is famous. The second part of the stage was much faster, crossing over a mountain range, with more tricky navigation. The conditions are much worse in general for the riders as the rains all through the week leading up to the Rally, washed away all the tracks making the navigation that much more difficult.
Stage 3 will mark the first part of the 2 day marathon stage taking the competitors away from their assistance for a night out in the Moroccan desert.
Oriol Mena, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “It was a good day for me today, got into a nice rhythm and rode well. I did not commit any mistakes today and manage to catch up with the guys in front. In the second part too, did not commit any mistakes and rode with a nice pace all through the way. I feel good after today’s stage so now one day less to go.”
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, “Today was a really difficult day for navigation. It rained all night and because of that all the tracks were gone making it really hard to find the way. I tried to ride smart managed to get into a good rhythm. Towards the end of the stage, my race GPS got bumped off so lost some time in putting it back but overall, I think I did a good job today.”
Provisional Rankings of the Stage 2
1. Michael Metge Sherco TVS Racing 03 h 42m 09s
2. Oriol Mena Hero MotoSports +01m 16s
3. Adrian Van Beveren Yamaha Racing +01m 34s
4. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports +01m 37s
5. Stefan Svitko Slovnaft Rally Team +02m 25s
1. Adrian Van Beveren Yamaha Racing 07h 13m 18s
2. Michael Metge Sherco TVS Racing +07m 41s
3. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports +13m 37s
4. Jacopo Cerrutti Solarys Racing +21m 26s
5. Oriol Mena Hero MotoSports +22m 08s
SourceHero MotoSports Team Rally's official press release