Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of Hero MotoCorp, has announced the addition of a new rider to its profile. Hero MotoSports has signed Portuguese champion Paulo Goncalves as its fourth rider who joins the team alongside Portuguese rider Joaquim Rodrigues, Spanish rider Oriol Mena and India's CS Santosh. The announcement comes fresh off the team's podium finish at the 2019 Merzouga Rally earlier this month, while Goncalves brings with him over 12 years of rally-racing experience across a host of rallies, which will further push the team's position in racing.
Speaking on joining Hero MotoSports, rider Paulo Goncalves said, "First of all I want to express my thanks to Hero MotoSports for showing their trust in me by letting me be a part of this amazing rally project. I am very happy and excited to start this new journey with the team and I hope to contribute to the team's aim of improving our performance in the rally sport. From my side, I promise to give my everything to be ready and fit to be able to fight for the top positions for my team. Hero MotoSports has been doing a really good job in the last couple of seasons and this young team has shown, that it has the potential to win big. I would like to play my part in bringing these wins to the team. With lots of passion and emotions, my thanks again to the team and I am excited to begin."
Paulo 'speedy' Goncalves has had an illustrious career in rally-racing and was crowned the 20133 FIM Cross Country Rally World Champion. He also clinched the runners-up position at the 2015 Dakar Rally, one of the most gruelling rallies in the world. Goncalves will be making his debut with the team at the Silkway Rally (Russia-Mongolia-China) in July this year.
Dr. Markus Braunsperger, CTO - Hero MotoCorp and Head - Hero MotoSports said, "First of all, let me extend a very warm welcome to Paulo Goncalves to the Hero MotoSports family and also to the larger Hero family. In a short span of three years, the Team has delivered some impressive results, and now with Paulo's wealth of experience, there are no doubts that we will be able to lift our performance in every aspect of the rally sport. Paulo's move also provides acknowledgment to the fact that we have been able to establish ourselves as a sought after team for the top talent in the sport. This bodes well not just for the team, but also for our fans and customers, as at the end of the day, our efforts in motorsports are aimed at building better technology and products for both on and off road. I wish Paulo a great career and success with Hero MotoSports Team Rally and all the best to the team for the upcoming races."
Mr. Wolfgang Fischer, Head - Hero MotoSports Team Rally said, "We are very motivated by the entry of Paulo Goncalves into our young set-up. To attract one of the most decorated and respected top rally athletes is a big boost for our Team and an endorsement that we are being looked upon as one of the top teams in rally sport. His experience of numerous race victories and Dakar participation into our lineup will enable us to achieve the next level of competitiveness. We extend Paulo a very warm welcome and wish him a successful stint with Hero MotoSports Team Rally."
The Hero MotoSports Team Rally was first announced in 2016 and the team has participated in a number of rallies across the world. The Indian team in collaboration with Speedbrain made its Dakar debut in 2017 and had a two top 10 finishes at the rally over the years. Hero's Oriol Mena bagged a podium finish at the Merzouga Rally this year, while Joaquim Rodrigues finished fourth, not too far off from his teammate.