Partners with German rally specialist Speedbrain to form Hero MotoSports Team Rally Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer invited us to their sprawling Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) at Jaipur to unveil the riders, machinery and team behind their promising rally effort. The Hero Motorsports Team Rally was formed in May this year, and this is the first time the entire team visited India and the CIT. The division is headed by Wolfgang Fischer, MD, Speedbrain, and works under the direct supervision of Dr, Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp. For the press, they had arranged for the riders to give us a demonstration of their abilities, and those of the newly-developed Speedbrain 450 rally bikes that flew around the unique off-road test track. Team riders CS Santosh, India’s top off-road racer, and Joaquim ‘JRod’ Rodrigues, an accomplished rider from Portugal, seemed happy with the bikes as they fluidly threw them from jump to jump, giving us a show to remember. Dr. Braunsperger had this to say at the event, “Motorbike rally racing is the toughest form of motorsport in the world. In addition to putting to test the endurance limit of the riders, it is the ultimate platform to evaluate the competency of the machines. We, at Hero, are aggressively working towards elevating our product development capabilities to global standards and our presence at the international racing circuit gives us an opportunity to further refine our vehicle concepts. Today, I am extremely excited to welcome the members of the Hero MotoSports Team Rally at Hero CIT. Being the hub for all our R&D efforts, Hero CIT is the ideal location to introduce our team to the nation.” The riders also seemed extremely confident in the team’s abilities. CS Santosh said, “We are absolutely proud to carry the Tricolor of India to Dakar Rally 2017. This year will be a completely different experience for me, as I am a going to participate as a member of the world-class factory team. Hero MotoSports Team Rally has all the traits of a champion team and I am hopeful that we will put-up a great show at the Dakar next year.” Joaquim Rodrigueshad this to add, “I am extremely excited to be a part of Hero MotoSports Team Rally. Even though this is a new set-up, I’m confident that the team has a bright future with all the right ingredients to make a successful rally-team.” The team is currently preparing for the Moroccan Oilibya Rally in October, where they will refine their bikes and processes even further before heading to South America for the gruelling Dakar Rally in January 2017.