Spain, Oct 23, 2022: Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters – Hero MotoCorp, finished the third stage of the Andalucia Rally with all riders in the top 10.
Ross Branch maintained a strong pace during the stage, and was in the lead most of the day, a minor crash, however, just 100m from the finish cost him the fastest stage time as he finished a mere 18 seconds behind the stage winner. A penalty after the stage pushed him down to 7th place.
Buhler had a better day. Being able to follow the tracks of the riders ahead, he was able to get into a good rhythm to finish the stage in 6th position.
Joaquim Rodrigues also had a fall in the tight mountain tracks, yet was able to pick up the pace to finish the stage in 10th position. Franco Caimi had some technical issues on the stage, causing him to ride at a slower pace, yet he finished in 9th place.
In the overall RallyGP standings, Ross has moved up to 6th place, with Joaquim less than 2 minutes behind in 8th, while Sebastian and Franco are in 11th and 13th places respectively.
The second stage of the rally, which was scheduled for October 21, was canceled on safety grounds. Stage 3 was also delayed by one and a half hours due to dense fog in the morning. The 283kms stage started off with many sandy patches, before transitioning to narrow tracks through mountains and forests. The stage ended as it started, with fast tracks in the sand.
Leg 4, the last day of the Rally, will take the riders on a tour of the province of Cadiz, before a finish along the beach. The 105kms stage will bring the 2022 edition of the Andalucia Rally to an end, after which the riders will turn their attention to the 2023 Dakar Rally.
Joaquim Rodrigues, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “The route was tough with tight tracks through the trees, and the rain made the terrain tricky. I was able to maintain a good pace through the stage, but I lost some time with a crash on the WRC section. Happy to make it to the finish line, and looking forward to finishing the rally strong.”
Franco Caimi, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “Today was a difficult stage for me. I had some technical issues during the stage. We expect to sort out the issues overnight, so I am looking to finish the rally strong.”
Ross Branch, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “I really enjoyed the stage today. It was super-fast and fun to ride. I was leading for most of the stage, but I had a small crash before the finish, and that cost me the stage win. But excited for the final stage tomorrow.”
Sebastian Buhler, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “It was a good stage for me. The navigation was not very difficult as the overnight rain meant that the tracks of the riders ahead were clearly visible. I enjoyed the stage today and looking forward to one more stage tomorrow.”
Stage 3 Rankings [RallyGP class]:
1. Kevin Benavides – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing- 03h 48m 32s
2. Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Honda Team- + 01m 50s
3. Luciano Benavides – Husqvarna Factory Racing- + 03m 03s
6. Sebastian Buhler – Hero MotoSports Team Rally- + 05m 45s
7. Ross Branch – Hero MotoSports Team Rally- + 06m 18s
9. Franco Caimi – Hero MotoSports Team Rally- + 10m 05s
10. Joaquim Rodrigues – Hero MotoSports Team Rally- + 10m 46s
Overall Rankings after Stage 3 [RallyGP class]:
1. Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Honda Team- 08h 33m 55s
2. Kevin Benavides – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing- + 02m 58s
3. Luciano Benavides – Husqvarna Factory Racing- + 05m 06s
6. Ross Branch – Hero MotoSports Team Rally- + 16m 14s
8. Joaquim Rodrigues – Hero MotoSports Team Rally- + 18m 04s
11. Sebastian Buhler – Hero MotoSports Team Rally- + 24m 53s
13. Franco Caimi – Hero MotoSports Team Rally- + 41m 33s