Aravind KP returns to India after historic Dakar finish

Aravind KP returns to India after historic Dakar finish
Jan 21, 2019, 10:44 AM

Sherco TVS rider Aravind KP has returned to India after successfully completing the Dakar Rally in Peru.

TVS Racing hosted a press conference in New Delhi on KP’s homecoming, where the former Raid de Himalaya winner recalled his heroic ride in the world’s toughest cross-country rally.

KP finished 37th in the 2019 edition of the event, becoming only the second Indian rider after CS Santosh to ever finish Dakar.

Although this year’s rally was four days shorter than recent years, it was arguably even more challenging due to a tricky mixture of terrain comprising sand dunes, fesh fesh and rocks.

Visibility was also an issue, particularly in the early hours of the day, and no stages were cancelled when the conditions turned extreme - unlike in previous years.

“The feeling of finishing Dakar is sinking in slowly as I have been dreaming and waiting for this moment for 3 years now,” KP, who was forced to retire from his first two Dakar attempts, described.

“It’s difficult to express my feelings at the moment but I am overjoyed to be at the finish line. With multiple injuries in the run up to Dakar, I always knew I had to push myself beyond the comfort zone to finish the rally.

“The route this year was extremely challenging but I was ready to fight it out and finish one stage at a time. I would like to thank my team especially my mechanic Prakasam for ensuring my motorcycle was in the best shape at the beginning of every stage.

“I am also grateful to my mentors at TVS Racing & Sherco for believing in my dream and supporting me all along. Dreams do come true if you truly believe in them.

“I hope my achievement inspires young Indian racers to chase their Dakar dreams and work hard to put India on the world motorsport map.“

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KP’s first ever Dakar finish came on the back of a difficult 2018 season, where he injured himself twice in separate incidents.

The Sherco TVS rider says his aim is to have an injury-free year as he turns his attention to the next Dakar.

“Dakar 2020 is now on my mind and I am already planning my training for the rally as I understand the areas I need to improve,” he said.

“I hope to remain injury free through the year and that will allow me to better my performance from this year. I am hungry for more success at Dakar and that will keep me motivated to train hard for the best results.”

KP was joined in the press conference by TVS Racing manager B Selvaraj, who has overseen his rallying efforts for several years.

#48 Sherco TVS: Aravind KP

#48 Sherco TVS: Aravind KP

Photo by: TVS Racing

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Aravind KP: 2019 Dakar "most physical ever"

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About this article

Series Dakar
Drivers Aravind KP
Teams Sherco Racing
Author Rachit Thukral