Hero Motosports Team Announces Entry To Dakar 2017 With CS Santosh

Indian two wheeler major, Hero MotoCorp announced its entry to the Dakar rally for the 2017 season with its motorsport division 'Hero MotoSports Team Rally'.

By Sameer Contractor


1 mins read


Published on September 19, 2016

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  • CS Santosh & Joaquim Rodrigues will compete for Hero MotoSports Team
  • Hero MotoSports Team was formed in May this year with Speedbrain
  • Both riders will participate in the Oilibya Rally in Morocco this October

Indian two wheeler major, Hero MotoCorp announced its entry to the Dakar rally for the 2017 season with its motorsport division 'Hero MotoSports Team Rally'. The announcement was made with a glimpse of the team's off-roading prowess at the Hero Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur, as riders CS Santosh and Joaquim Rodrigues took to the track on their Speedbrain rally bikes.

The Dakar rally is one of the most unforgiving races in the world and is known for its extreme conditions that are on offer and take a toll on the man as well as the machine.

Hero MotoSports CS Santosh Dakar 2017

This will be CS Santosh's third season at Dakar

Hero MotoSports Team Rally was formed earlier this year as the Indian bike maker formed a partnership with Speedbrain GmbH, the German off-roading specialist to form the team. While CS Santosh has already witnessed the gruesome Dakar rally for two seasons now, this will be Joaquim Rodrigues' debut at the rally.

However, ahead of Dakar in January next year, the riders have been testing their skills at other international rallies and finished 9th (Rodrigues) and 16th (Santosh) in the Afriquia Merzouga Rally earlier this year. The team will now compete in the Oilibya Rally in Morocco, the final stepping stone to Dakar.

Hero MotoSports Team Rally Dakar 2017

The Speedbrain 450 produces 50bhp and has a kerb weight of 170 kg

Speaking on the entry to the 2017 Dakar season, rider CS Santosh said, "We are absolutely proud to carry the tricolour of India to Dakar 2017. This year will be a completely different experience for me, as I am going to participate as a member of a world-class factory team. After a great first qualifier, we are now charged-up for the Oilibya Rally in October. Hero MotoSports Team Rally has all the traits of a champion team and I am hopeful that we will put up a great show at the Dakar next year."

Both Hero riders will be participating on their Speedbrain 450 rally bike that uses a 450cc engine and is tuned to produce 50bhp of power. With a kerb weight of 170 kg, the bike offers an incredible power-to-weight ratio. In addition to participating in international rallies across the globe, the Hero MotoSport Team Rally will also be active in the development as well as testing of Hero vehicles and concepts, using the data collected from the races, the company said in a statement.

Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports Dakar

Joaquim Rodrigues will make his Dakar debut with Hero next year

CS Santosh is the first Indian to have made it to Dakar, but won't be the only one next year. Apart from the Hero MotoSports Team Rally, TVS Racing in collaboration with Sherco Rally also have a team in place with Aravind KP, who will be traversing the terrain on his RTR 450. The 2017 Dakar season is certainly going to be exciting as there will be two homegrown Indian teams competing against global rivals, an extremely encouraging initiative for motosports in India.

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