Erfoud (Morocco), May 13 (IANS) Hero MotoSports Team Rally’s Joaquim Rodrigues and C.S. Santosh finished ninth and 17th respectively in the 2017 edition Afriquia Merzouga Rally which concluded here on Saturday.

Joaquim finished Stage 6 in second place, giving himself an impressive ninth position in the overall standings. His teammate Santosh ended the Rally at the 17th position in the overall standings, turning in a steady performance following a spine injury earlier in the year. He finished the sixth Stage in the 24th position.

Before turning off the engines, the riders completed a total of 1,200 demanding kilometres through the Moroccan desert to complete the rally. The last stage of the rally tested the riders in a single loop of 50 kms, in Motocross-style.

With this finish, Hero MotoSports Team Rally rounded-off the first half of this season with four great performances
— Dakar (January), Desert Storm (February), India Baja (April), Merzouga (May). The team will continue building momentum up to Dakar 2018, during the second half of the season.

Joaquim said, “It was a good last stage for me, arriving second. There was a big battle happening in the dunes which was a lot of fun. I pushed hard and moved into the lead position but I lost time due to two crashes. Very happy for a good result for the team.”

Santosh said: “What a great end to a fantastic six days of racing here in Morocco. I came here with the target to gain experience and finish the rally with a decent result. I’m happy to have achieved both. Overall, an exciting and purposeful rally for the whole team.”

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