Sherco TVS secures 1-2 in 2017 PanAfrica rally, Hero claims double Top 10 result
Sherco TVS outfit sealed an impressive 1-2 in the 2017 edition of the PanAfrica cross-country rally, with Hero MotoSports Rally Team claiming a double Top 10 – ensuring a sound outing for the two Indian collaborated teams.
Experienced rally campaigner Joan Pedrero took the win after victories in Stage 1 and Stage 3, which gave him a handy buffer in front of teammate Adrien Metge.
The Spanish rider completed the five legs on his RTR 450 along with the Prologue in 13hr04m45s despite a late scare after a collision with Metge in the final stage. The Frenchman finished only 3m70s behind Pedrero, after a win in Stage 2.
“I really enjoyed the performance in the rally, because I managed to complete a lot of kilometers on an open track,” said Pedrero. “It has been a very good experience for the next Dakar and also for OiLybia Rally, which is next week.
“I had a collision with my teammate, Adrien [in the last stage], who changed direction. Fortunately, there was no consequence of it, although the bike broke, especially the oil radiator.
“At one point I did not know if I could finish the race because of the oil spill. But I still managed to finish the bike and win the rally, which I think I deserved too.”
Aravind KP, on the other hand, rounded out a solid outing in 12th overall, after a high of ninth in Stage 2. The Indian lost out in the Top 10 battle after he was only 27th in Stage 3.
Meanwhile, the Indo-German collaboration of Hero and Speedbrain were also on pace testing its new Dakar machinery, after Joaquim Rodrigues took victories in Prologue and Stage 4 in the six-day rally.
The Portuguese finished seventh overall, while teammate CS Santosh was a solid ninth overall after a high of ninth in Stage 3 – finishing consistently in Top 15, apart from Prologue (24th) and Stage 5 (17th).
The team’s new recruit Oriol Mena Valdeacros had a decent outing finishing 30th overall, the Spaniard’s bad run Stage 2 where he was only 61st hurt his Top 10 bid as he showed Top 10 pace in all the other stages.
Keeping Dakar 2018 in mind, the two squads are no preparing for the OiLibya Rally in Morocco during October 4-10.