It is a year since CS Santosh first rode for the Hero MotoSports Team Rally outfit. For Santosh, having already done the Dakar Rally twice as a privateer, once astride a KTM and once astride a Suzuki, it was something of a dream come true. A factory ride with Hero allowed him the freedom to ride, to train, to get miles under his tyres, to get to know his motorcycle better. Essentially, to do everything that would allow him the chance to improve as a rider on every level, with the ultimate objective being to ride competitively at events like the Merzouga Rally, the Rally of Morocco, and, hopefully to someday win the Dakar.
One year on, we're at the Hero MotoSports Team Rally garage at Merzouga. The second stage has just gotten done, and Santosh rides into the garage. He takes his helmet off and he's smiling. Given that he's just ridden approximately 250km -that includes both liaison and competitive stage distances -and battled the soaring temperatures and dratted navigational challenges that the rally's thrown his way, it's a good sign. A very good sign, in fact. So good that Santosh says "It's the best stage of my international rally career." After all, now he knows the bike, he knows the team, and the more miles he's getting in long distance rallying, the more he's learning. "Learning what to expect from stages like these," amongst other things, he says.
Watch the full video here: