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Sportstar - - MOTOR RALLY -

we have in­stalled an im­proved cool­ing sys­tem and a new di­aphragm spring clutch,” Prakasam ex­plained.

And Aravind vouched for the up­grades. “Sherco and TVS Rac­ing work to­gether on the de­vel­op­ment of ev­ery mo­tor­cy­cle and cus­tomise it based on the rider’s pref­er­ences and re­quire­ment. When I first rode the RTR 450 Dakar mo­tor­cy­cle at the Panafrica Rally this year, I in­stantly re­alised that the mo­tor­cy­cle is quicker than last year with sev­eral mod­i­fi­ca­tions to im­prove en­durance and en­gine power. I have tested it ex­ten­sively for the past one month,” Aravind said.

“The Dakar Rally is the world’s tough­est and ev­ery racer dreams of be­ing a part of it. I plan on con­quer­ing the Dakar this year and will do ev­ery­thing I can to ac­com­plish this. I feel ready both men­tally and phys­i­cally for the 10­day rally. My last two out­ings at Dakar have given me the nec­es­sary ex­pe­ri­ence to know what I can ex­pect dur­ing the rally. From harsh ter­rains to ex­treme weather, I have ex­pe­ri­enced Dakar at its worst. Un­for­tu­nately, I crashed out in both edi­tions and my rally was cut short. I will look to ap­proach Dakar with the same in­ten­sity and am de­ter­mined to com­plete the rally,” he said.

Hero Mo­to­sports will be the other In­dian fac­tory team in ac­tion at Dakar 2019 with In­dia’s C. S. San­tosh gear­ing up for his fifth out­ing. The team, in its third year of ral­ly­ing at Dakar, will also be rep­re­sented again by Joaquim Ro­drigues and Oriol Mena. The team fin­ished in the top 15 in 2017 with Ro­drigues se­cur­ing the 10th po­si­tion and bet­tered its record in 201■ with Mena fin­ish­ing sev­enth over­all in his first Dakar out­ing. San­tosh fin­ished 35th over­all. With two In­dian rid­ers and two In­dian fac­tory teams in ac­tion, there is much to look for­ward to at the world’s tough­est rally in 2019.

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STAGE 10

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