Dakar rally is an endurance off-road race. In contrast to traditional rallying, the participants must navigate considerably harsher terrain. They typically utilise motorbikes and actual off-road vehicles rather than adapted on-road ones.
Four riders will represent the team at Dakar 2023: Franco Caimi, Joaquim Rodrigues, Ross Branch, and Sebastian Buhler, two of whom have won Dakar stages. The team will make its seventh consecutive appearance at the Dakar in 2023 after a historic Dakar 2022 in which it became the first Indian manufacturer's team to win a stage in the famous rally.
Throughout the 2022 racing season, Hero MotoSports Team Rally has consistently displayed strong performances. The team traveled the world for several months of testing and training. After recovering from their crashes in 2021 for many months, team cyclists Caimi and Buhler started competing again.
Joaquim Rodrigues (JRod), who won a stage at the Dakar 2022, is competing in his sixth Dakar. JRod has been a part of the squad since its formation in 2016, and his results during the World Rally Raid Championship (W2RCdebut)'s season were reliable. He is returning to Saudi Arabia, hoping to rewrite his record of success.
Ross Branch will compete in his first Dakar in the Hero MotoSports Team Rally colours after joining the team in February 2022. On the other hand, Ross is a veteran of Dakar, having competed in the Rally four times prior and winning a stage in 2020. His performance during his debut season with Hero MotoSports has been outstanding. He helped the team win multiple stages and place on the podium during international rallies.
Due to catastrophic accidents in the final months before the Rally, Caimi and Buhler could not participate in the 2022 Dakar. They did, however, bounce back strongly during the year and displayed fierce competition in the last W2RC 2022 races.
Caimi will make first official appearance, while Buhler will appear for the third time at the Dakar with Hero MotoSports Team Rally. The Hero 450 Rally bike has been modified to fulfill the new regulations, the most significant of which is a new top speed limit of 160 kmph, as this squad prepares to take on the trials of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia.
The fourth consecutive Dakar will take place in Saudi Arabia in 2023. Two additional stages will be added to the race, consisting of 14 stages over 15 days. On December 31, 2022, the demonstration begins in Jeddah and moves inland toward Ha'il.
The race will then travel north to its conclusion in Dammam on January 15, 2023, before traveling southeast to cross the famed Empty Quarter. The racers will only get a break after eight stages on this route, which covers nearly 8600 km, of which 4700+ km are timed sections. 365 vehicles in total, 143 of which will be motorcycles, are anticipated to begin the race.
"We have had a terrific year so far, and we look forward to starting the next season with a solid performance at the Dakar 2023," stated Wolfgang Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally. The team has made good preparations, and with all four riders participating, we are optimistic about a successful race.
We are thrilled to be returning for our seventh attempt at the ultimate test because the bikes have been doing incredibly well. I also send my best wishes and appreciation to all of our partners and supporters worldwide for their unwavering love and support.
The second World Rally Raid Championship season will begin with the 45th Dakar Rally (W2RC). Hero MotoSports will compete in the W2RC's five rounds, commencing with the Dakar, followed by the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in February 2023, the Sonora Rally in April 2023, the Desafio Ruta 40 in August 2023, and concluding with the Rallye du Maroc (Oct 2023).
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