Sunday 28 November at 11 am (Paris time) - Presentation of the 2022 Dakar


(ind) 1.82m / 72kg


Golf, music, football


Red Bull, Hero, Sidvin, Genetic Nutrition, Scott, Big Rock dirt park, Dos moto design

2020: Ab.
2019: Ab. Stage 5
2018: 34th
2017: 47th
2016: Ab. Stage 4
2015: 36th

2020: Andalucia Rally (20th), Baja Porto Alegre (1st)
2019: Morocco Rally (28th), Panafrican Rally, Baja Espana
2018: Merzouga Rally (19th), India Baja, Desafio Inca,
2017: Merzouga Rally (17th), Panafrica rally (17th), Morocco Rally (13th)
2016: Merzouga Rally (16th), Morocco Rally, India Baja (1st), Indian Desert Storm
2015: Desert Storm in India
2014 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Qatar Rally, Morocco Rally


“Exciting to go back racing”

On the startline of the 2021 Dakar in Jeddah, CS Santosh will, like many others, certainly have a thought for his former team mate Paulo Gonçalves who passed away a year ago while living his passion. Naturally devastated by the news, the Indian and his entire Hero team decided to leave the rally. With Paulo in mind, he returns for his seventh Dakar. How time flies. In the Dakar’s 40 years of history, Santosh Chunchunguppe Shivashankar will be remembered as the first ever Indian competitor to take part in the event. It was back in 2015 and not only did the man known as “CS Santosh” start and finish the rally, he also managed to raise enough awareness back home to seduce Hero, the biggest selling motorcycle brand in India. Six years after his debut, the rider from Bangalore has finished three out of five Dakar rallies managing his best performance (34th) in 2018. After taking part in the Andalucia Rally and Baja PortoAlegre, the 37-year-old returns as part of the three-man Hero team alongside Joaquim Rodrigues and Sebastian Buhler on a brand new 450 Rally bike.

“Funnily I never watched any motorsports before the age of 16. I have absolutely no motorsports background in my family. I was raised to go to college and probably work in software. Then my dad bought me a bike to go to school and that’s when my love of riding really started. Racing probably saved me from getting into trouble. It gave me something to focus on with passion. As a kid, while growing up, I remember being fascinated by adventure, and that fascination continues to this day.
My heart sank when I was told about Paulo last year. Dakar didn’t feel like Dakar anymore. You never imagine that the worst could happen. It was overwhelming, Paulo was always jovial. The expectations sat lightly on him. He never looked at racing as a job. He created a good atmosphere where the pressure was lifted off the others riders. He gave me small tips, which were so helpful. Paulo was a real leader. Paulo would have wanted us to keep going and continue to race hard -that’s what I intend to do.”
With the new regulations in place, it's going to be different for the riders. This also means there will be more focus on race strategies. I think it will be interesting as teams with good strategies and riders aware of how to maintain the bike in good condition everyday, will probably end up winning the Dakar. It's also a safety issue. The rider has to bring the bike in one piece. That we have to conserve our tyre (6 rear tyres for the entire rally) means we cannot go as fast as we want all the time. Riders have to be more cautious. Sometimes you might have to ride slowly. As a rider, it won't be only about speed. One will also have to learn to look after the tyres,
Every time the Dakar comes around it’s an exciting time for us to go racing on our rally bikes and I would say that this is the most exciting year considering we have an all new bike and new team colours! I have loved riding this bike in the few tests we had and I am looking forward to see what fortune awaits us this time around.”



  • Mark : HERO
  • Model : 450 RALLY
  • Performance tuner : HERO
  • Assistance : HERO
  • Class : G2.1 Super production

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