Santosh excited about fourth Dakar

Santosh excited about fourth Dakar

Since  representing India at the Dakar Rally back in 2015, a pioneering move for the country in bike rallying, CS Santosh has come a long way and he is now all set to give the gruelling race another shot in 2018.

It will be the Bengaluru lad's fourth consecutive year at the annual event and he makes no bones about the fact that it doesn't get any easier but he revealed that he was excited at the prospect of being there again.

"It definitely doesn't get any easier with each passing year. You think it might but when you get out there is when you realise exactly how challenging it is. That said, this is the first year that I don't feel nervous and am really excited about it," he explained.

Santosh will be riding for the Hero MotoSports Team Rally that will also be represented by the experienced Joaquim Rodrigues and rookie  Oroil Mena, who will be participating at Dakar for the first time.

The trio will have the Hero 450 RR at their disposal and Santosh divulged that the bike was a massive upgrade in comparison to what he rode at the previous edition of the rally.

"Joachim and I suggested quite a few changes to the bike and the guys listened. The rally, as it is, is hard and if we are going to have difficulties with the bike as well, it doesn't make things comfortable. This year, we have taken a huge step in evolving the bike and it's a fantastic motorcycle.

"Earlier, we could feel the weight of the bike since we had just one fuel tank at the back. Now we have three and the weight distribution is far better and that makes handling the bike a lot easier," added the 34-year-old.

Finishing 36th in his first Dakar was a great achievement for Santosh but he could not improve that performance in 2016 after suffering mechanical difficulties. A 47th-placed finish in 2017 lifted Santosh and he's eager to hit the top-20 this time around.

"I'm not going to sit here and say I'm going to win the Dakar but I'd like a sub-20 finish.

"If possible, I want to be on television with them saying this Indian guy is fast," he added.

The 2018 edition of the Dakar will run from January 6 to 20.




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