Hero Motosports’ campaign at the 2021 Dakar Rally suffered a big blow when one of the team’s ace riders, C S Santosh suffered from a high-speed crash during Stage 4 of the event. The rider was immediately airlifted to a hospital in Riyadh, having suffered a head injury. This is the second consecutive serious crash for the team after the tragic loss of star rider Paulo Goncalves at last year’s event.
C S Santosh is currently receiving treatment at the Saudi German Hospital in Riyadh and as per an update from the team, he has no major physical injuries except for the dislocated right shoulder and head trauma. The latest scans have also shown no major issue that could impact his full recovery. The medical team attending to him have decided that the best approach to manage the injury is to reduce the body functions to a minimum and keep him in a sedated condition or an artificial coma. He is receiving the best possible medical care and will continue to be under constant observation for the next few days.
The team’s remaining two riders continued to put in strong performances. Moving past the unfortunate incident of Stage 4, Hero MotoSports Team Rally continued to move forward in their Dakar 2021 campaign with a solid performance in Stage 5. After this stage, both the riders are now placed inside the Top 20 in the overall rankings with Joaquim Rodrigues on 19th and Sebastian Buhler on the 20th position.
It was the turn of Sebastian Buhler to step up and post gains with a 20th place finish in the stage. Joaquim Rodrigues also fought off a very tough stage to finish in the 22nd position. The 456 km stage lived up to its expectation of being a very hard one with a tough dunes section, stone littered tracks and tricky navigation designed to test the patience and tyres of the competitors. Both team riders kept their nerves steady and brought a tough stage home.