Hero MotoSports Team Rally made a steady start at the Atacama Rally in Copiapo, Chile, with both riders turning in solid performances.

Returning to professional rally racing after a 6-month gap, Joaquim Rodrigues started cautiously and maintained a steady run throughout, ensuring no unwarranted risks. He finished the stage in 15th position. While his teammate Oriol Mena also put in a solid and sure performance, keeping his focus on avoiding mistakes. He finished stage 1 at the 13th position.

Stage 1 of the Rally, which saw participation from the world’s top rally riders, was a mix of hard pack and dunes in the region. The stage challenged competitors with a 266 km stage and a total run of close to 360 kms including the liaison sections.

Stage 2 of the Rally will see the contenders compete in the longest stage of the rally starting at Copiapo and pass through the Vallenar region before looping back to finish at Copiapo.

Joaquim Rodrigues (Comp No: 16): “I am happy with the stage today. Important thing for me right now is to get some mileage on the bike and just look to finish the stages. I am coming back from an injury so this kind of stage is very tough for me. My back is going to be a bit sore tonight for sure but I am sure it will be ok.”

Oriol Mena (Comp No: 14): “It was just the first day of a long race. I tried to focus on not committing any navigation mistakes and riding safe. The bike was really good so I am happy with today’s performance. I feel good and the bike is really good so will see how it goes tomorrow.”

Stage 1 – Provisional and Overall General Classifications

1. Kevin Benavides Honda Racing Honda 02:52:23

2. Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna Factory Team Husqvarna +04s

3. Toby Price Redbull KTM Factory Team KTM +6m 15s

13. Oriol Mena Hero Motosports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +23m 54s

15. Joaquim Rodrigues Hero Motosports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +37m 42s

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