Indian manufacturer Hero MotoCorp’s race team Hero Motorsports has signed Spanish legend Joan Barreda ahead of the 2024 Dakar Rally.

In a season which has already seen some pretty large changes of rider personnel, Hero MotoSports Team Rally, the motorsport team of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters Hero MotoCorp, has added to its team line-up with the signing of Joan Barreda.

Barreda’s first outing with the Hero MotoSports team will be in January next year, at the 2024 Dakar Rally, round one of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC). He joins Hero riders Joaquim Rodrigues, Ross Branch and Sebastian Buhler, to form a four-rider squad in RallyGP class.

“I’m really excited and honoured to be joining a team that’s the talk of the town in the rally scene.” Says Barreda in today’s announcement. “I’m joining the team at a perfect time, just before the great Dakar of 2024 - and I’m confident that I’ll be able to deliver some great results for the team.

“My biggest motivation and purpose around joining the Hero team is to contribute my racing experience and build this team up to an ultimate performance level. My team-mates happen to be some of the most promising names in the sport, and I believe we will be able to create lots of magic together.”


In a career which spans different generations and 13 consecutive Dakar Rally appearances, 40-year-old Barreda Bort, to give him his full name, brings a huge amount of experience to the Hero team.

With a tally of 30 (so far), Joan holds the record number of Dakar stage wins amongst active competitors in the Bikes category with a best overall result of fifth place in two editions, 2017 and 2022. In 2014, Barreda won five stages out of the 13 and has seven Dakar finishes to his name.

“Bang Bang” - as he is popularly known - is famous for his trademark style of aggressive riding and a consistent attack mode which has made him popular, if prone to all or nothing results at times.

He is a 5-time winner of the popular Spanish Baja, and has won several international rallies such as the Merzouga Rally, Andalucia Rally, China Grand Rally, Qatar Cross-Country Rally, and Rallye Des Pharaons, among others.

This news is also a “full circle” moment for Joan and Hero MotoSports team manager Wolfgang Fischer. Both of them, along with erstwhile Hero rider (late) Paulo “Speedy” Goncalves, were part of the same team in 2012.

Wolfgang “Waffi” Fischer, Team Manager, Hero MotoSports Team Rally says: “I am really excited to announce this strong addition to our team, at quite an interesting juncture of our journey. In just about 7 years, we’ve reached a strong performance phase, and it is the perfect time to welcome a highly accomplished rider such as Joan Barreda Bort. In the last couple of years, we have been able to attract interests from many top athletes, and that is a strong testament of our steady progress to the top.

“Joan and I go a long way back to his initial days in rally, when we were both part of the same team in 2012. It is a sweet reunion after almost 11 years, and of course Joan is a much bigger name now - almost synonymous with the ‘Dakar’! Joan’s career has been highly impressive, and I am confident that his rich experience and camaraderie with the other riders will propel our team performance by leaps and bounds.

“Currently the team is prepping for Dakar 2024, and we are thrilled to have Joan join the team at this opportune moment. He has spent some quality time training and testing the bikes with our accomplished riders - Ross, JRod and Buhler.”

The seven-year-old Hero MotoSports Team Rally is at its peak form, having made it to the big leagues in record time. They finished the 2023 World Championship with an overall 4th position, raking in 2 Stage Wins at the Dakar 2023, and top positions at various rallies through the year. With another top-class rider on-board, the team will now aim to hit loftier targets.


Joan will be present at the Hero MotoCorp booth at the EICMA 2023 in Italy later this month.


Photo Credit: Hero Motorsports