There are many inspiring tales of grit and determination which come out of Dakar Rally. It is the ultimate test of the man and the machine. Crashes are a part of the game and the chances of getting crashed turn manifold when you are riding at triple-digit speeds with no tarmac underneath but what’s more important is, how you deal with the setback. Ashish Raorane, the only Indian rider ever to participate in the Malle Moto category of the Dakar Rally, crashed during the stage 5 but is now all set to resume his journey.
Ashish was fighting all odds in a tough, gruelling stage and the condition in which he kept going was beyond human, with a will of steel. But, making a wise choice, he decided to call it a day at the 2021 Dakar Rally.
Ashish is known for never giving up, no matter how hard it gets. And this, even with such hardships in the world’s toughest race, is no different. He may have been hurt, bruised and is still healing but knowing his mind, he isn’t stopping. After a busy set of days with the medical team in the hospital and ASO, he and his motorcycle have passed all the clearances and he’s been given the green signal to continue the rally in the Dakar Experience category.
Ashish had a great start in stage 5 with smooth navigation. He progressed quickly through the extremely difficult sections of the stage as he overtook several bikes. This was clear in his preliminary rankings which improved through each waypoint up to #75 at WP (Waypoint) 8. It was in this section that he suffered a crash in the dunes. He was thrown off and suffered an impact to his head. But the fighter in him refused to give up. Ashish got up and got going to complete the stage, against all odds.
He had one waypoint to get through, but developed a bad headache and ringing in his ears. Fighting all odds to complete the stage, he realised there was an increased risk of him being hit by other vehicles, if he lost consciousness while riding. Hence, he made a tough, yet wise call to call for medical help. He was immediately evacuated in a helicopter to the end of the stage where an ambulance transported him to the nearest hospital. Tests and a CT scan came back as clear.