Motorsport

Indians can ace Dakar: Aravind

Showing grit: K.P. Aravind had to recover from an wrist injury ahead of the Dakar Rally.   | Photo Credit: RallyZone - Edoardo Bauer

K.P. Aravind , only the second rider from the country to complete the gruelling Dakar Rally, believes an Indian can secure a podium finish in two years time.

“May be it will take two more years for us to get into the podium,” a confident Aravind told PTI when asked how long it will take for an Indian rider to finish at the top at Dakar.

Considered as the world’s most gruelling off-road rally, this year’s Dakar Rally was held in Peru from January 6-17 where the 34-year-old Sherco TVS Racing rider,ended his campaign at 37th place in his third attempt after two unsuccessful efforts in 2017 and 2018.

C.S. Santosh is the first Indian rider to have completed the Dakar Rally.

He has done so thrice — in 2015, 2017 and 2018. He, however, could not complete the rally this year.

A 17-time winner in National Championships in dirt track, rallies and motocross race formats, Aravind is already eyeing a top 10 finish in the 2020 edition but said finishing the rally would be the prime target.

It turned out to be a race against time for Aravind ahead of the 2019 Dakar Rally as he had to regain fitness quickly after suffering a wrist injury at the PanAfrica Rally last September.

“I had injured my left wrist during PanAfrica rally. It is a critical bone and initially the diagnosis was that it takes usually six months to recover.

“It happened in September, so there was no way to make it to Dakar,” he said.

“Then I got in touch with a doctor in France and after a lot of things, it was said that I can do Dakar, though not 100 per cent. It is still not 100 percent but I am happy I could do it,” he said.

The 2019 Dakar Rally has been touted as the toughest with only 55 per cent of the bikes completing the 11-day gruesome rally this year.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 8:41:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/motorsport/indians-can-ace-dakar-aravind/article26052959.ece

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