Hero MotorSports Team Rally rider Joaquim Rodrigues, JRod as he is called, played it cool on a really hot day to finish on top in the Moto class of the India Baja 2017, which is part of the Dakar Challenge series, at the Golden City of Jaisalmer here on Sunday.
JRod was without doubt the ‘hero’ of the day. The ace Portugese rider, the overnight leader, on his debut run on Indian soil made light of the final leg that comprised of a shorter run of about 286 kms, out of which 140 kms made up the timed sections.
The two special sections of the day ran for 88 and 52 kms respectively, around the famous “Turkon ki Basti” in San region of Jaisalmer, that offers a fast yet difficult track to the riders with undulating terrain, habitation, and thick bushes all along. But JRod attacked the stages time and again and played it safe when it mattered most to bring home his first win.
“India is really a nice place to ride. It has a good track and I enjoyed it all the way. I would love to come back and race here again,” said the Portguese star.
“The country has a good potential to conduct international rallies. It has got good manufacturers and tracks. This is something that the people must take note of,” he added.
Abdul Wahid Tanveer of Team TVS Racing did a great job as well to emerge the winner of the Dakar Challenge Series. The 26-year-old racer from Mysore was doubly delighted as he booked a free ticket as well to Merzouga Rally in Morocco next month.
“I tried my level best to seal the overall standings but I am thrilled to have ended up with a ticket to Morocco. It comes as a huge relief for me,” he said.
“This is something very precious and I am not going to waste this opportunity. I will practise and work hard on my fitness levels for a better show there. I will be fighting with the very best riders at the international level. So, obviously, I need to be a lot more focused and winning there will be something even more special as it is the next step to the Dakar event,” he added.
The results (final)
Moto: 1. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero MotoSports); 2. K.P. Aravind (TVS Racing); 3. Tanveer Abdul Wahid.
Winner of Dakar Challenge: 1. Abdul Wahid Tanveer (TVS Racing); 2. N. Sanjay Kumar (Joe S Garage); 3. R. Nataraj (TVS Racing).
Xtreme: 1. Gaurav Chiripal & Karan Arya; 2. Raj Singh Rathore & J. Jeevarathinam; 3. Himanshu Arora & Chirag Thakur.
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