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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.