Despite all the bad luck and the injuries, you won’t find a more enthusiastic and smiling competitor on the Dakar. His first experience on the event was a bitter-sweet one, or rather sweet-bitter. After the successful debut of CS Santosh in 2015, Aravind Prabhakar became the second Indian rider to take on the rally, but what a tough premiere it was to be. As soon as day one, the multiple Indian champion in supercross and rallying (13 national titles) crashed and broke his hand. But that wasn’t enough to stop the rider from Bangalore. His rally eventually came to a halt two days later due to a natural lack of grip when he crashed again and was forced to pull out with a shoulder injury. Year two was almost just as painful. This time Aravind broke his ankle after hitting a broken dune on day 5. The love of the event has only made Aravind stronger. Despite a long period of heeling after going through surgery in India, he’s ready to fight to reach the finish and will again be part of the Sherco TVS team alongside Adrien and Michael Metge.
“I’ve been involved in sports all of my life. Younger, I was a national junior swimming champion. Then during my college years, my parents promised they would buy me a motorbike if I had good results at my exams. The problem was that once I had my bike, I would go crazy on the road. To avoid killing myself, I started riding on tracks. My first Dakar was havoc. It was so crazy. Everything was bigger than I expected. I had only heard about the Dakar but I didn’t expect such magnitude. For me it was all about the learning process. The second one was again very hard. It was great to be able to race and gain experience. I was happy with my pace and navigation and was within the top 20 but I had bad luck crashing in a broken dune. The good feeling didn’t last for very long. The heeling process was long so I spent most of my time in India where I had so much support and noticed how big the media attention had become. Now the goal is to finish. What comes after, only the man upstairs will decide. Everyone back home wants me to finish and I received thousands of messages from fans. I’ll probably need to ride at a slower pace, at 70%. I’m delighted to be racing the Dakar in Peru. I love the sand, now I have to look out for broken dunes.”
SHERCO TVS RALLY FACTORY
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