Hero MotoSports Team Rally continued its steady run at the Andalucia Rally today with all three riders successfully completing the third stage.
We all know Joaquim Rodrigues’ bike developed a technical snag in the second round of the Andalucia Rally, causing the 36-year-old Portuguese racer to be slapped with an entire day’s worth of time penalty. Despite this, however, he came back strongly in the third round, clocking an impressive time to finish the stage at 18th place.
Teammate CS Santosh continued to ride with confidence and finished the stage at 20th place, an improvement of three positions over the previous day. Moving now to Sebastian Buhler, and despite losing some time due to a bike issue, he was able to regain his momentum, finishing the stage at 24th place, which is a drop of only a singular spot when compared to yesterday.
Getting back to the fray after a day’s gap, Joaquim Rodrigues said, “It was a good day for me. I decided to ride in a calm manner and support my teammates. I helped Sebastian fix his bike and then followed him to the finish line. It has been a very useful race so far for the team with all the learnings and testing we have been able to do here.”
Speaking about his experiences at the penultimate round, CS Santosh said, “Today’s stage was really fast and eventful. I felt good and better than the past two days. I had a little crash and deployed my airbag for the first time. I can vouch that it is a very good introduction to the gear for enhancing rider safety. It has been a good rally so far with lots of learnings. Looking forward to one last stage here tomorrow.”
Lastly, about the mixed experiences emerging from the bike issues and consequent time loss, Sebastian Buhler said, “Today’s stage was very fast as we had many open tracks to go full throttle. In the beginning, I had an issue with my bike but I managed to fix it with the help of Joaquim and got back to riding. I lost some time there, yet it was a good result as I managed to solve the problem and bring the bike to the finish line.”
Below are the provisional rankings for the third stage, as well as the overall rankings at the end of stage three:
The final stage of the Andalucia Rally will take the competitors for a total run of 220km, including a relatively shorter 178km Special Stage. For its part, Hero MotoSports Team Rally is well placed in the overall rankings, with Buhler now at 18th (having dropped four positions since yesterday), Santosh at 21st (no change from stage 2) and JRod at 27th (a gain of one spot).