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




Motorcycles, table-tennis


Klim, Slipstream Performance, Dosmoto, Leatt, EBC Brakes, Gaerne, Hellraiser motorwear, Goodwill Enterprises

2021: first appearance

2020: Africa Eco Race (57th), Baja World Cup 2019


“My first goal was escaping out of India”

Ashish Raorane’s journey on the Dakar won’t just start on the 3rd of January in Jeddah for the launch of the 2021 edition, it actually kicked off way before, on the 3rd of November. Indeed, the current Covid pandemic situation in the world forced the Indian rider to leave Mumbai early, in order to reach Europe (Paris and then Barcelona) to ship his KTM on the boat to Saudi and mainly to be sure he wouldn’t be locked down at home when the Dakar starts. The 39-year-old knew the rally wouldn’t be a walk in the park, he probably hadn’t anticipated it would be so complicated before even day 1. But his passion for bikes and rallies seem to be far stronger than any outcome and he’ll certainly need that in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. Raorane is no factory rider. He spends most of his time on boats as a marine engineer. As a kid he started riding on the old rusty bike of his father. Several decades later he was participating in a cross-country rally in the Himalayas that gave him that taste and desire for the Dakar. Inspired by CS Santosh, the first Indian biker to start and finish the Dakar (back in 2015), he wanted to prove to his fellow compatriots that the Dakar wasn’t only for top factory riders. A very competitive table-tennis player back in his youth, he wanted to show that a normal biker could give it a go. And that’s also why he’s decided to register in the Original by Motul class for riders with no assistance.

“My first goal was to escape out of India to make sure I wouldn’t be stuck in India in case of a lockdown that would prevent me from doing the Dakar. My wife who rides bikes as well has been very supportive and helped me a lot. I started riding motorbikes as a kid when I would steal the old rusty bike of my father. But I only got interested in rallies six years ago. A friend of mine was at home and he showed me a documentary about the Baja 1000. We were both fascinated. That’s what pushed me to compete in Baja races in India. In 2015, I did my first cross-country rally in the Himalayas. I then built on that experience with the aim to one day do the Dakar. My experience on the Africa Eco Race helped a lot, spending a night in the desert is a good preparation. I followed the Dakar thanks to CS Santosh. He was an inspiration. I raced with him in India and he’s been very helpful. But it seemed that only Indian factory riders were able to do the Dakar and my idea is to change that perspective and show that a privateer like me can do it. I want to show it’s possible. I decided to register in the Original by Motul class. As an engineer, I know how to deal with the bike, it’s easy for me, and of course there’s the financial aspect. My goal is to manage my race in a consistent way and of course make it to the finish. This Dakar is not a one-time thing and I want to build on that first experience.”



  • Mark : KTM
  • Model : 450 RR
  • Performance tuner : Bigrock Spain
  • Assistance : Original by Motul
  • Class : G2.2 Marathon

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