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Joaquim Rodrigues tops 2021 Andalucía Rally prologue

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Joaquim Rodrigues lead the way on the Prologue
Joaquim Rodrigues lead the way on the Prologue

Hero MotoSports Team Rally has kicked off their Andalucia Rally campaign on a winning note, claiming the top spot in the Prologue stage.

The team finished the prologue stage of the Rally with Joaquim Rodrigues securing the first place ahead of Joan Barreda and team-mate Sebastian Buhler third and the newest Hero MotoSports rider Franco Caimi finishing on the fourth place.

These standings place the riders in a good stead for tomorrow as they will get to start towards the front of the field, which could prove to be important given the dusty nature of the terrains.

After successfully completing the administrative and technical checks over the past day and a half, the 71 riders took the start in the afternoon. The short 8km stage, consisting of poorly visible narrow tracks, was the symbolic start to the rally and decided the starting order of riders for the first full stage of the rally on May 13.

Joan Barreda finished the Prologue second fastest
Joan Barreda finished the Prologue second fastest

“We had a good start to the rally today with a first-place finish. Our main goal is to test the bike and the new settings with Dakar 2022 in our sights and this is a good race to do that. I am really happy to get the rally off with a good result for the team,” Rodrigues said.

Joan Barreda finished a mere second behind Rodrigues, which will allow him to start tomorrow’s stage from a favourable position.

“It was a short stage, a fairly technical prologue with some dangers due to the rain over recent days,” Barreda explained. “It was not easy, but we tried to set a good pace, without making any mistakes. Tomorrow the rally starts more seriously and it will be important over the opening kilometres, to get some good feelings with this type of terrain and the navigation involved.”

The first full stage of the rally will bring the riders to the start line near the town of Arcos de la Frontera before setting them off on 257kms of timed special stage, and bring the stage to a close back at the bivouac in Villamartin.

Sebastian Buhler finished third fastest.
Sebastian Buhler finished third fastest.

Provisional Rankings – Prologue

  1. Joaquim Rodrigues, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, 06m 13s
  2. Joan Barreda Bort, Monster Energy Honda Team, +01s
  3. Sebastian Buhler, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +02s
  4. Franco Caimi, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, +05s
  5. Lorenzo Santolino, Sherco Factory Rally Team, +12s

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