Infos
ATTENTION - IMPORTANT INFORMATION: DUE TO THE STRIKE MOVEMENT EXPECTED ON DECEMBER 5th IN FRANCE, THE SCRUTINEERING AND THE BOARDING WILL TAKE PLACE ON DECEMBER 3rd AND 4th.
N°8 Bike HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY
driver
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PAULO GONCALVES

(prt) Born on 05/02/1979 1.68m / 74kg

Sponsors

Hero, Alpinestars, Scott, Cross Pro, Município de Esposende

https://www.heromotosports.com/riders/paulo-goncalves

2019: Ab. Stage 5
2017: 6th
2016: Ab. Stage 11 (1 stage win)
2015: 2nd (1 stage win)
2014: Ab. Stage 5
2013: 10th
2012: 26th
2011: Ab. Stage 8 (1 stage win)
2010: Ab. Stage 6
2009: 10th
2007: 23rd
2006: 25th

2019: Silk Way Rally (15th), Rallye du Maroc (13th)
2018: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (5th), Merzouga Rally (12th) Atacama Rally (6th), Desafio Ruta 40 (1st), Desafio Inca (1st), Rallye du Maroc (5th)
2017: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (4th), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (2nd), Atacama Rally (3rd), Desafio Ruta 40 (2nd), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (Ab.)
2016: Atacama Rally (4th), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (39th)
2015: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (30th), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (3rd), Sardinia Rally (4th), Atacama Rally (5th), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (3rd)
2014: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (1st), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (5th), Sardinia Rally (4th), Dos Sertoes Rally (2nd), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (Ab.)
2013: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (2nd), Sardinia Rally (2nd), Desafio Ruta 40 (4th), Dos Sertoes Rally (1st), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (1st)
Winner, FIM Cross-Country World Championship
2012: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (3rd), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (9th), Sardinia Rally (6th), Egypt Rally (4th), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (5th)
2011: Dos Sertoes Rally, OiLibya Rally of Morocco (14th)
2010: OiLibya Rally of Morocco (8th), Estoril-Marrakech (3rd)
2008: Pax Rally Portugal (5th)

Interview

"It's great to be part of history."

There aren't too many riders who have followed the Dakar from Africa to South America and now to Saudi Arabia, but Paulo 'Speedy' Gonçalves is one of them. The 40-year-old from Portugal first tackled the world's most famous rally back in 2006 and has since achieved four top-10 finishes, with his best result an impressive second place behind Marc Coma in 2015. Just as the Dakar is entering a new era with this first edition in the Middle East, so Paulo is beginning a new chapter of his storied career, with Hero Motorsports Team Rally. After five successful years with the Monster Energy Honda Team, the 2013 FIM Cross-Country Rallies world champion has decided to seek a new challenge with the ambitious Indian outfit, where he will team up with plenty of familiar faces including his brother-in-law Joaquim 'J-Rod' Rodrigues. The Dakar hasn't been too kind to Paulo in recent years – he was forced to pull out just before the 2018 edition with knee and shoulder injuries, while in 2019 he crashed out on stage five. Yet after positive outings on his new bike at the Silk Way Rally and the Rallye du Maroc, he will be hoping this 13th Dakar experience proves to be a lucky one, with his hunger to succeed just as sharp as ever.

"It's great to be part of history, the three chapters of the Dakar. I raced twice in Africa, 11 times in South America, and now in Saudi Arabia. It's going to be a big experience for sure. I think 98% of riders have never raced there before, so it's a big challenge for everybody. It's also a new chapter for me, after five amazing seasons with Honda. I won a lot of races, achieved the world championship title. I also finished second overall in the Dakar and won a few stages. Now I've moved to Hero Motorsports, and I'm excited for this new challenge. Sometimes you need to make changes, to find extra motivation maybe. I'm happy so far. I've only done two races but had a lot of very good stages; I won a stage in Morocco and made it into the top three five times at the Silk Way. That's really good for a start with a new team. Hero is like a family! I knew the team manager from a few years ago with Speedbrain and Honda, and probably already know 80% of the people in the team. And joining my brother-in-law J-Rod is nice, because we can work together and push each other. I think it's a good combination of many things that will help us to have a good race. I've got another two months to keep adapting to the new bike and be ready to fight for the top positions. That's the goal for me and the team at the Dakar. We're all expecting a lot of sand and dunes, but the organisers are bound to have included mountain areas too, and tricky navigation for sure. They'll be looking to do something special for this new chapter of the Dakar!"

Vehicle

HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY

  • Mark : HERO
  • Model : 450 RALLY
  • Performance tuner : Hero Motorsports Team Rally
  • Assistance : Hero Motorsports Team Rally
  • Class : M_G1.1 : ELITE

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