Hero MotoSports Team Rally has signed José Ignacio Cornejo Florimo, better known as ‘Nacho’ Cornejo alongside Ross Branch, Sebastien Buhler and Joan Barreda to race the World Rally-Raid Championship and Dakar Rally.

A 29-year-old from Iquique, Chile, Nacho Cornejo joins the Indian manufacturer Hero MotoCorp after a successful six-year stint with Honda Racing where he has amassed nine stage wins and become one of the races’ leading riders.

Nacho Cornejo, Factory Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “I’m really excited to join Hero MotoSports - a team that’s making the waves for all the right reasons. I’ve known the team for years, and they’re all good friends from the circuit. I’m sure it will be great fun to embark on a journey with some of the best riders in rally-raid, and create greater success stories for the team. In the past few years, Hero has shown exceptional growth, and I know the journey is only upwards from here.”

Nacho Cornejo joins a strong line-up including Dakar runner-up Ross Branch, Joan Barreda, and Sebastian Buhler with a strong pedigree. Cornejo won the FIM Cross-Country Rallies Junior Championship 2016 at the age of 21, is a winner of the Atacama Rally, and a podium finisher at Sonora Rally, Desafío del Desierto, and Desafío Inka.

At the recent Dakar 2024, Nacho was one of the crowd favourites for a final podium finish – having won three stages, and consistently making it to the top four overall ranks every day. However, unfortunate mechanical issues on the last two days pushed him to sixth position in the final classifications.

Hero are having their best year yet in just their eighth year racing. In a first for an Indian manufacturer, Ross Branch claimed second position overall. Continuing their strong momentum, team Hero went on to win the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in March, and finished second at the Rally Raid Portugal in April with Sebastien Buhler.


After completing 3 of 5 rounds in the FIM World Rally Raid Championship, Hero MotoSports Team Rally leads both the manufacturer and rider standings.

Wolfgang “Waffi” Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally: “It’s my great pleasure to add yet another strong member to our team - Nacho Cornejo. He’s a well-known face at the Dakar camps, and we’ve found him to be a perfect fit for our team. His track record is impressive, and we’re sure the team will enjoy greater success with his addition.

“As a team, we are now at a great place in our journey of 8 years - having made it to the Dakar 2024 podium, and now leading the World Championship! We are proud and happy with our progress. We have tasted success in our three 2024 races and the goal is obviously to make our mark in the World Championship. Nacho also joins us at an opportune time, replacing JRod, who has retired from active racing, and joined the team in a managerial capacity. Along with the team, I wish Nacho a fulfilling career with Hero MotoSports.”

Cornejo comes with a strong background in motocross and enduro but it is his nine consecutive Dakar Rally appearances, seven times a finisher and with six inside the top-10 which will have attracted India’s largest motorcycle manufacture.

Cornejo’s first outing with the Hero MotoSports team will be in June 2024, at the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina – the fourth round of the W2RC 2024, of which Ross Branch is currently the leader.