With an impressive run in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship 2021, including two podium finishes, Hero MotoSports Team Rally today unveiled its plans for the Dakar Rally 2022.
Participating with a two-rider team in their sixth consecutive Dakar Rally, Hero MotoSports – the motorsport team of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters – Hero MotoCorp, will take on the 2022 edition of the world’s most challenging rally with Franco Caimi and Joaquim Rodrigues.
Both riders have achieved podium finishes in the Cross-Country Rallies Championship this season, at the Silk Way Rally and Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge respectively, with Joaquim finishing the Championship in the fourth position.
This will also be the sixth Dakar for JRod, who has been with the Team since its inception in 2016. It will be the first for Franco in Hero MotoSports colors, following his signing in April 2021. However, Franco is no stranger to the Dakar, having participated in the Rally on five previous occasions.
The duo of Joaquim and Franco will take on the challenges of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia astride the Hero 450 Rally bike, which now offers improved top speed and acceleration.
With five years of impressive international rallying under its belt, Hero MotoSports is today a well-renowned name in the global racing circuits. The year 2021 has been a significant one for the team, as the team riders made their way to podiums in various rallies throughout the season.
Hero MotoSports Team Rally wishes a speedy recovery to the other team pilots – Sebastian Buhler, winner of the Hungarian Baja 2021, who was on the roster for the Dakar 2022 but had to withdraw due to an injury at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, and Indian ace CS Santosh, who is recovering from the crash he suffered in the 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally.
Dakar 2022, the third consecutive edition in Saudi Arabia, will run for 12 stages over 14 days. The rally kicks-off on January 1, 2022 with a short Prologue stage, and then travels through various cities across the length and breadth of Saudi Arabia. A rest day in the capital city of Jeddah on January 8 is the only respite that the competitors will have on a route that covers 3400 kms of racing distance. Covering a total of 8000 kms, including the liaison stages, the competitors will return to Jeddah for the finish podium on January 14, 2022. A total of 430 vehicles are expected to hit the start line, with 149 of them in the motorcycles category.