Free Press Journal

Motorsport: Santosh aims to improve in next Dakar Rally

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New Delhi: After becoming the first Indian to complete the cross-country Dakar Rally race, C.S. Santosh said on Wednesday that he is not willing to rest on his laurels and is hungry to improve upon his performance at the annual event held across Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

Santosh, who rode a KTM 450 bike, finished 36th at the Dakar rally in January and wants to improve his performance further.

“I will go back to Dakar rally and that’s my aim for now. It was a great experience there and it was good that I competed and completed it,” Santosh told IANS after being named as the ambassador for the Wings For Life World Run to be held across the world to raise funds for spinal cord injury on May 3.


“Now the weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I don’t want to set any targets for the next edition of Dakar. I want to be more faster next time,” the 31-year-old said.

Bangalore-based Santosh is a multiple motocross national champion and also won the 2012 Raid de Himalaya. In the last few years, Santosh has suffered multiple injuries but those setbacks haven’t deterred him from doing what he loves.

Recalling an incident, Santosh said: I had a bad crash in 2012. I hit a tree during the supercross national championship. I suffered back, hand and pelvis fractures. It took a month to walk.”

“Then everybody wanted me to quit and it was a tough phase.” Santosh also suffered three degree burns but steely determination and love for motorbikes kept him going.

“People like me don’t have a choice. Only way I exist is because of my motorcycle. I gave it up for a year and took a regular job,” he said. “But I was not happy and was quite depressed. I was a different person in life. So I returned to motorbike.”

Apart from Santosh, Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana, chess player Tania Sachdev and blade-runner Major D.P. Singh were also announced as brand ambassadors of the event.