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Hero MotoSports ride on Mena’s heroics to secure top-10 finish in Silkway Rally

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Dunhuang, China: Hero MotoSports Team Rally continued their impressive run this season with yet another consistent performance at an international rally. The team concluded its campaign in the Silk Way Rally 2019 with a top-10 finish in the overall rankings.

Oriol Mena finished at the sixth position, adding to his notable performances this season. While Paulo Goncalves, the team’s second rider, finished at the 15th position, in his first race for Hero MotoSports.

Mena was at his consistent best during the entire rally successfully finishing all the stages. He also achieved three stage podiums, including the team’s maiden Stage win on the World Championship stage. His evolution as a rally rider over the past couple of years is a very positive sign for the team.

Paulo Goncalves had a very impressive and strong first race with Hero MotoSports, as he raked in four stage podiums in the 10 stage rally. It was a clinical performance by him and an unfortunate mechanical failure in stage six denied him an even better result.

Overall, it was a hugely positive outing for Hero MotoSports. The team stepped up their game, both in terms of skills and competitiveness and achieved six stage podiums and a stage win during the rally.

The Silk Way Rally 2019 came to a grand finish in the Chinese city of Dunhuang with the conclusion of Stage 10, which took the riders on a final run of 556 kms including the final 255 kms of special section.

This rally has been a great addition to the cross-country rally sport, for not just the high level of competitiveness it presented but also for the good organisation and new terrains it offered.

Paulo Goncalves (Comp No: 4) said: “I am so happy to finish the Silkway Rally 2019. It has been a good rally for me as I secured 4 stage podiums. It was a really long and tough rally running over 5000 kms, so I tried to push hard and increase my speed with every stage. Especially in China I did really well in the tough stages. For me the important thing was to get my first race experience with my team Hero MotoSports. So, thanks to the entire team for this opportunity and giving me fantastic support throughout the rally. I am confident that with this bike and team, it is possible to fight for the top positions in the upcoming rallies.”

Oriol Mena (Comp No: 25) said:  “I am really happy with to finish the 2019 Silk Way Rally, especially because I won one stage for the team. I finished sixth overall and very happy with this result. Congratulations also to my teammate Paulo for a great first race with the team. Many thanks to my teammates for doing a great job during the rally. My thanks to the entire Hero family for their support and encouragement to us. I have learnt a lot in this race and now I take this experience and go back to my training for the next races.”

Wolfgang Fischer, team manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “We are very happy to have both the riders finishing safely in this new big adventure in the far-east. The Silk Way Rally turned out to be a fantastic race through the magnificent landscapes of Russia, Mongolia and China and opened a new horizon in the cross country rally sport. For Hero MotoSports Team Rally, it was a big step up in competitiveness, collecting six stage podiums and a maiden stage win. Paulo showed his world class pace and experience in two of the most difficult stages in China, but lost out in the overall results due to a technical issue in stage six. It was really high level of competition in the rally as evident from stage wins for all five factory teams, so all in all a very good race. My compliments to both the riders and thanks to my ever professional and efficient team mates.”

Provisional Rankings of the Stage 10

1. Kevin Benavides                Monster Energy Honda                              02h 40m 49s
2. Adrien Van Beveren         Yamaha Rally Team                                    +01m 50s
3. Andrew Short                    Rockstar Energy Husqvarna                      +02m 02s
7. Paulo Goncalves               Hero MotoSports                                          +05m 36s
9. Oriol Mena                        Hero MotoSports                                          +07m 34s

Overall Rankings at the end of the Stage 10

1. Sam Sunderland                 Red Bull KTM                                                 26h 12m 47s
2. Andrew Short                     Rockstar Energy Husqvarna                      +20m 22s
3. Adrien Van Beveren          Yamaha Rally Team                                     +21m 01s
6. Oriol Mena                          Hero MotoSports                                         +51m 50s
15.  Paulo Goncalves              Hero MotoSports                                         +27h 06m 07s

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Three people die after accident with Gaurav Gill’s car at Maxperience Rally

Press Trust of India

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Gaurav Gill.

Barmer (Rajasthan): Three people, including a minor, were killed after Indian rally driver Gaurav Gill’s car hit a motorcycle during a National Rally Championship race here on Saturday.

Gill, who became the first motorsport driver to be conferred the Arjuna award earlier this year, has been hospitalised due to the injuries sustained in the crash during the Maxperience Rally, Round 3 of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship.

The deceased Narendra, his wife Pushpa and their young son Jitendra were killed on the spot. The Rally has been called off due to the incident.

“Gaurav’s was the first car on Stage 1. He was driving at a speed of 145kmph while taking a sharp left turn and within 5m-10m, collided with the motorcycle, which was right on the middle of the road,” Vamsi Merla, promoter of INRC, said on Saturday.

“Gaurav tried his best to pull the brakes but because of the speed, he was unable to do anything,” he added.

The INRC promoter alleged that despite repeated warnings highlighting the closure of the road during competition, the villagers broke the barricades put in place.

“We had been giving warning about the road closure to the villagers for the past 15 days. There were field marshals but one of the deceased (Narendra) argued with them and when the marshals were looking away, the man broke the barricade and entered the track,” he said.

“It was an unfortunate incident that took place despite all the safety measures being in place,” J Prithiviraj, president of FMSCI said.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. The entire motorsports fraternity stands with them in their grief,” he added.

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Leclerc fends off Mercedes drivers to end Ferrari’s Monza win-drought

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Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclrec. Text and Photo: Formula 1

Monza (Italy): A battling performance from Charles Leclerc saw the Monegasque claim his second win in as many weekends, taking a brilliant Italian Grand Prix victory for Ferrari, the Scuderia’s first at Monza since 2010, as he saw off a late-race push from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.sports news in english

Leclerc became a first-time Grand Prix winner last weekend in Belgium. But while that victory would undoubtedly have been special, winning at Monza in his first race here as a Ferrari driver – claiming the Scuderia’s first Italian Grand Prix win since Fernando Alonso’s victory nine years ago – will doubtless have turned the 21-year-old Leclerc into a national hero in Italy.

For the majority of the race, it appeared as though Lewis Hamilton would once again deny Ferrari home glory. But once the five-time champion’s tyres went off in the closing stages of the race, it was left to team mate Bottas to launch a late, and ultimately unsuccessful assault, on Leclerc.sports news in english

Bottas therefore came home second, while Hamilton completed the podium – with Sebastian Vettel having dramatically spun his Ferrari out of contention for the second consecutive Italian Grand Prix early on in the race.

A fantastic day for Renault saw Daniel Ricciardo claim a season’s best fourth place ahead of team mate Nico Hulkenberg in sixth.

Despite starting eighth – rather than 17th last weekend – Red Bull’s Alex Albon ended up one place lower than he had done in Spa, coming home in sixth, ahead of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, who just managed to hold off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who ended up eighth having started P19.

Antonio Giovinazzi chose an opportune moment to score just his second points-finish of the year, coming home ninth for Alfa Romeo, while Lando Norris completed the top 10 for McLaren.

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Moto GP: Marc Marquez claims 50th career win in Czech GP

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Honda's Marc Marquez claims 50th career win in rain-lashed Czech Grand Prix.

Brno: Honda’s Marc Marquez averred his 50th career race triumph with victory at the Czech MotoGP on Sunday after the race had originally been delayed by 45 minutes due to rain. sports world

Earlier, Marc’s brother Alex also made the most of pole position to dominate the Moto2 to register his fifth win of the season.

Defending champion, Marc defeated Ducati’s Italian Andrea Dovizioso by 2.4sec to extend his advantage at the top of the riders’ standings to 63 points with his sixth triumph of the season.

Eight-time world champion Valentino Rossi was sixth and trails Marquez by 110 points in the overall standings.

Australian Jack Miller declined Alex Rins to the third spot for his second podium of the campaign in a race cut by one lap due to adverse weather conditions. sports world

“This is definitely the better one (podium), it was nice to fight at the end,” Millar said. sports world

Alex Marquez, 23, crossed the line more than three seconds up on Italy’s Fabio Di Giannantonio with Enea Bastianini in third. sports world

“I was really concentrating from the beginning because there was some wet patches on turn one but I decided to start and keep my rhythm. I saw ‘Dovi’ was behind me and I kept pushing and pushing and pushing,” Marquez, 26, told broadcaster BT Sport.

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