The 2017 edition of the grueling Dakar Rally begun on a strong note for the Indian contingent, which includes two teams and two riders in the Moto category.
TVS Sherco team is fielding three riders, including Bangalorean KP Aravind who is making his Dakar debut this year. After the short opening stage from Paraguay’s capital Asuncion, with just 39 kilometers of competitive distance – the Indian rider made up 14 places to finish 63rd after having started the rally 77th.
TVS Sherco’s lead rider Juan Pedrero had a particularly strong start to the rally as he blitzed up his way to second position after the opening stage; having started 12th. Granted it is still early days but the pace shown by the Spanish rider bodes well for the entire TVS Sherco team.
Riding in Hero Motorsport colours, CS Santosh, the other Indian rider in the fray didn’t enjoy a great start to his third Dakar as he dropped five places to finish 47th after having started 42nd in the order. Albeit his teammate Joaquim Rodrigues showed strong pace and made up nine places to finish 16th overall.
In any case, the opening stage is but a prelude to the actual event, which kicks off in earnest tomorrow with a 275-km special stage from Resistencia to San Miguel in Argentina.
Indian participation in MOTO category:
Position Rider Team
2 Juan Pedrero Garcia TVS-Sherco
16 Joaquim Rodrigues Hero Speedbrain
47 CS Santosh Hero Speedbrain
63 KP Aravind TVS-Sherco
128 Adrien Metge TVS-Sherco