India Baja: Hero's Rodrigues, Chiripal take wins

Hero MotoSports’ Joaquim Rodrigues has been crowned the Moto class winner in the second edition of India Baja, after defeating a quartet of TVS Racing bikes during the two-day cross-country rally in Jaisalmer.

India Baja: Hero's Rodrigues, Chiripal take wins

Fresh from his 12th place finish in Dakar, Rodrigues made his subcontinent debut in India Baja, riding the Dakar-spec Speedbrain 450 bike

The Portuguese rider led through the entirety of India Baja, which is divided into six stages with total competitive distance exceeding 400 km.

“Today was a perfect day for me with no mistakes," he commented "I opened the stage today so no dust and that helped me do my own race.

"It’s really good to go to the end and win the race. I have to thank my Hero MotoSports Team rally for giving me the best bike and I am really happy for me and my team that I could win this."

India Baja marked the first occasion when Hero won a cross-country rally, having forayed into motorsport last year.

Speaking about Hero's first win, Team manager Wolfgang Fischer, Team manager said: “it was a great adventure to participate in the BAJA India and to finally bring home the first victory for Hero MotoSports Team Rally. Hopefully it is also a big step for the future of the motor sports in India."

TVS Racing’s Aravind KP - only the second Indian to take part in Dakar - finished in the runner up position, while Abdul Tanveer Waheed locked the final spot on the podium.

As part of India Baja’s newly gained status of a  Dakar Challenge event, Tanveer will gain a free entry to Merzouga and Dakar rallies - being the highest finishing Indian rider without past experience in Dakar.

Further back, Sanjay Kumar finished in fourth place, while Desert Storm winner R Nataraj had to settle for fifth place.

TVS Racing’s Adrien Metge retired from India Baja on the opening leg due to a technical problem.

Chiripal triumphs in Xtreme category

 

 

Over in the Xtreme category, which has been subsided amid a Hero vs TVS rivalry in Moto, Gaurav Chiripal (co-driver Karan Arya) overturned Raj Singh Rathore’s overnight lead to win in his class.

Chiripal (was driving a modified version of Maruti Suzuki Vitara, fitted with a 2.7-litre engine. Rathore and his co-driver co-driver Jeevarathinam, meanwhile, were rallying with a Isuzu Dmax V-cross.

Himanshu Arora and his co-driver Chirag Thakur completed the overall podiums spots, but finished first in the T2 sub-class.

Moto Results:

Pos

Rider

1

Joaquim Rodrigues

2

Aravind KP

3

Abdul Tanveer Wahid

4

Sanjay Kumar

5

R Nataraj

6

Saajanpreet

7

Rajendra R E

8

Mohan Lal Sharma

9

Baljit Singh

10

Pankaj Sattawat

11

Samarth Neeraj

12

Vishal Das

13

Arun Mehta

Xtreme Results:

Pos

Driver

1

Gaurav Chiripal

Karan Arya

2

Ran Singh Rathore

Jeevarathinam J

3

Himanshu Arora

Chirag Thakur

4

Niju Padia

Nirav Mehta

5

Sanjay Razdan

Karan Aukta

6

Harwinder Singh

Gurkirat Maan

7

Somdeb Chanda

Sabatullah Khan

8

Gurpinder Singh

Narayan

9

Parishrut Jhina

Virender Kashyap

10

Anil Wadia

Ashwin Naik

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