“I hope to one day be like my hero, Marc Coma”
His first experience on the Dakar was a bitter-sweet one, or rather sweet-bitter. After the successful debut of CS Santosh in 2015, Aravind Prabhakar became the second Indian rider to take on the rally, but what a tough premiere it was to be. As soon as day one, the multiple Indian champion in supercross and rallying (13 national titles) crashed and broke his hand. But that wasn't enough to stop the smiling rider from Bangalore. His rally eventually came to a stop two days later due to a natural lack of grip when he crashed again and was forced to pull out with a shoulder injury. The love of the event has only made Aravind stronger and more enthusiastic. Like last year before his maiden Dakar, he spent most of his time far from home (6 months), in France, Spain and Morocco with his Sherco TVS team. Training hard, managing a fine 15th spot in Morocco and learning from his team mates Joan Pedrero and Adrien Metge. Relying on even more support in india, Prabhakar will be riding an improved Sherco with the simple ambition to make it to the finish with no added pressure.
“I've been involved in sports all of my life. Younger, I was a national junior swimming champion. Then during my college years, my parents promised they would buy me a motorbike if I had good results at my exams. The problem was that once I had my bike, I would go crazy on the road. To avoid killing myself, I started riding on tracks. My first Dakar was havoc. It was so crazy. Everything was bigger than I expected. I had only heard about the Dakar but I didn't expect such magnitude. For me it was all about the learning process. When I was forced to pull out, I immediately started thinking about the next edition. All I want is to navigate well and get to the finish without doing stupid things. I'm not thinking about positions because I don't want to put too much pressure on my shoulders. Just ride well… Based on what we will have to take on in Peru, I trained a lot in the dunes of Morocco and really enjoyed it. I'm lucky enough to be able to count on the help of Adrien (Metge), my team mate. He's a real role model for me, an icon. The fact it's the 40th edition means a lot. My first memories of the Dakar where watching these riders on the salt lakes on their big 650 or 990cc bikes, or riding bunched in the dunes. My hero was and still is Marc Coma. I dream of him. I hope to one day be like him.”