Merzouga Rally 2017: Hero MotoSports Team Rally’s Joaquim Rodrigues At Fifth After Stage 1 - Overdrive
n18

Merzouga Rally 2017: Hero MotoSports Team Rally's Joaquim Rodrigues at fifth after Stage 1

08 May 2017 / 0

Hero MotoSports Team Rally’s Joaquim Rodrigues got off to a flying start at the 2017 Afriquia Merzouga Rally, finishing Stage 1 in fifth position with a time of 31m45s. His Indian teammate, CS Santosh, who was back on the saddle after a two-month rest owing to an injury, finished the stage in 16th overall with 35m26s on the clock. Team Yamaha’s Xavier De Soultrait leads the Rally with a time 27m36s, while Franco Caimi, who is two minutes behind him is second and Alessandro Botturi is third.

Leg 1 measured a total of 84km, out of which 41km were competitive. There was also a 2km Prologue stage which Rodrigues won, which allowed him to lead the field going into the first stage. Riders had to deal with rising ambient temperatures of the Moroccan desert, the challenging sand sections and the tricky navigational challanges through the loop of Erfoud.

Merzouga2017_EDO9106_rid

Rodrigues said that starting first meant he opened the tracks for the riders behind him, which meant he was losing time. However, he seemed content with the results and said that he was looking forward to Stage 2 where the riders will encounter even more sand and dunes.

CS Santosh was also happy with his result, especially because he managed to recover from his fall in the Prologue stage, which dropped him to 17th. He managed to recover and is hoping to improve in the next stages. He also said that the feeling with the bike is really good and he is much better prepared than last year.

Leg 2, which is underway right now, has 188km of competitive sections and 53km of transport. The stages will be challenging, especially the Erg Chebbi region which has several sand dunes and river beds.



To stay at the cutting edge of automotive news in India, follow Overdrive on Twitter (@odmag) or on Facebook (facebook.com/odmag). Or download our app from the iOS or Android app stores today.


Find your next car
OR
opinion
Shubhabrata Marmar
quote
23 Jun 2017
Income lax department
Should someone earning a living from a vehicle get priority at...
Bob Rupani
quote
15 Jun 2017
The lal batti and VIP culture
The government has banned the ‘lal batti’ or red beacon...