Hero MotoSports Rally Team rider CS Santosh completed the Peru Desafio Inca Rally 2018 with an impressive performance securing 14th place overall. Participating alongside Santosh were Joaquim Rodrigues (JRod) and Oriel Mena, who completed the race in 28th and 30th positions respectively. This was Santosh's best finish this year in an international rally and is certain to boost his efforts for Dakar 2019. The Peru Desafio Inca Rally was spread over three days and saw the riders traverse the Peruvian terrains. The Peru rally serves as a precursor to the Dakar Rally scheduled in early 2019.
Speaking on the promising finish, CS Santosh said, "Finally done with the Inca Rally. It was a good experience for me. Had a good run through the stages and got a flavour of how the terrains are going to be like. I am glad to shake-off any cobwebs off as we now build ahead to the Dakar. It is going to be a couple of intense months and I am looking forward to it."
The final stage of the Peru Desafio Inca Rally 2018 came to a close today at the city of Ica in the Pisco province of Peru. The last stage was spread over 200 km and the Hero riders aimed to complete the day with caution and safety. CS Santosh finished 17th in the final stage, followed by Joaquim Rodrigues in 18th position. Meanwhile, Oriol Mena developed a technical issue on his bike and could not complete the stage.
Oriol Mena said, "I was riding really good today, got into a good rhythm and even caught up with two riders in front of me. I feel comfortable in the Peruvian dunes so this was a good preparation for the Dakar. I am happy with the teamwork and the bike so a good race overall. Now I will go back and train hard so that we get good results at the Dakar as well."
The impressive finish is also a big boost for JRod, who made a comeback recovering from his injury sustained during the Dakar Rally earlier this year. Mena, on the other hand, who made his Dakar debut earlier this year continues to impress with his skills over the different rallies. Lastly, CS Santosh has shown promising performances as well throughout the year.
Speaking on his return, Joaquim Rodrigues said, "I was feeling good and had a pretty good ride today. Rode relaxed and easy to bring the bike across the finish line. I want to thank my team, friends and fans for all their support in making my comeback possible. Now all the focus shifts to the Dakar."
Team Manager, Wolfgang Fischer said that he was happy to see the team finish in the Peru rally. The event was a good training as many Dakar days will be conducted in the same region. He further added that the Hero MotoSports Rally team will now focus all its efforts towards the Dakar rally.