It was a glorious day in Copiapo with bright sun and balmy weather as the curtains drew on the 2018 Atacama Rally.
For Hero MotoSports Team Rally, it was another successful rally as both riders managed to cross the finish line. Oriol Mena continued to impress with his flawless riding in the final stage as well, before a technical snag with his bike made him stop just short of the finish line. He did manage to cross the finish line eventually albeit losing time in the process. He finished with a 12th position in overall ranking. The Spaniard made no mistakes in the entire Rally, further cementing his Dakar credentials.
Joaquim Rodrigues also had lot of positives to take back home as he finished his comeback rally with a solid show, announcing his comeback with serious intent. He also lost some time towards the end of the stage to finish the stage 14th place and Rally in the 17th position.The final stage of Atacama Rally ran for a distance of about 150 kms and offered a final test of soft piste and dunes of the Copiapo region of Chile.
It was an overall a good and adequate outing for Hero MotoSports Team Rally, with many positives.
Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, “It was our first Atacama Rally and was a great experience for the Team. It was a new terrain with very fast stages and different kind of navigation as well. So, it was a really important experience both for the riders. The bikes had to be tuned in a slightly different manner also. We are happy that both the riders are at the finish line safe and sound. Now we look forward to our next race in Peru where we will get Dakar like conditions and so it will be a nice finishing touch to our preparations for the Dakar 2019.”
Oriol Mena (Competitor #14), “I was really having a good stage today, until the very end. Just a few kilometers short of the finish line, there was some problem with my bike and I had to stop. Somehow I managed to push and get the bike over the finish line. This is the thing about rally that anything can happen till you cross the finish line. What is important is to cross the finish line. So, we are really happy to have done a good job throughout the week. Our goal was to prepare for the Dakar and this was a great learning ground for us.”
Joaquim Rodrigues (Competitor #16), “Today was a hard day for me as I made a few navigation mistakes in the stage. Lost some time in a few places and towards the end but the important thing was to bring the bike across the finish, so very happy with that. I am on a comeback and this was a good rally to test my back and myself and get some valuable kilometers under my belt. In the end I am really happy to finish the Atacama Rally for the team.”