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Having successfully completed 10 stages including a stage win, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters - Hero MotoCorp, is poised to complete the 44th edition of the Dakar Rally with a good result.

One of the fastest specials of the Dakar Rally 2022, Stage 10 saw Hero MotoSports riders Aaron Maré and Joaquim Rodrigues ride strong and finish in the 11th and 21st places respectively in the RallyGP class.

Two years ago on the same day, January 12, the team lost their star rider Paulo Goncalves, a Dakar ace, a good friend, and a role model to everyone in the bivouac. Painful memories from the day made today’s race emotionally difficult for his brother-in-law, JRod. Yet, he demonstrated courage to complete the stage in the 12th fastest time. However, having missed a waypoint, he attracted a penalty that set him back to the 21st position in the RallyGP class. 10 stages down, JRod maintains his position at 14th place in the overall RallyGP class standings.

Pushing through the stage quickly and avoiding navigational errors, Aaron Maré continued his consistent performance at Dakar 2022 in Stage 10 as well. His latest finish has helped him break into the overall top 15 of the RallyGP class at 15th place.

The 757 km long Stage 10 from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Bisha had a timed section of 374 kms featuring beautiful landscapes of the desert. The riders made their way to the finish passing through sandy tracks across valleys, wadis, and small canyons, and narrow stony mountain tracks.

Next up is the penultimate challenge from this edition of the Dakar. The 345 km special is a loop around Bisha, and will be the biggest technical challenge in the final part of the rally, throwing dunes of all sizes, shapes, and textures at the riders. This 11th stage of the Dakar will end at Bisha, before heading back to Jeddah on the last day.

Joaquim Rodrigues

“Two years ago, I experienced the toughest time of my life. I did not expect it to affect me much today, but then all the painful memories kicked in while I was on the stage. I found it difficult to focus on the race – it was a really hard day, but I’m glad I could finish the stage somehow. Two days to go, and the aim is to keep bringing the bike home every day.”

Aaron Maré

“I had a great day today, having started strong and pushing fast and I was able to catch up with the riders in front before refuel. Post refuel, the navigation became tricky, and so I paced myself a little bit to ensure I made no mistakes. I made it to the finish with no crashes or navigational mistakes, and am happy with my result that helps me with a good start position for tomorrow’s tricky stage. Just two more stages left in the race, and I’m looking forward to finishing well.”

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