Indian MotoCross racer Aravind KP who made his Dakar debut last year is ready to take on the treacherous rally once again. Aravind recently participated and secured second position in the Moto Category of the recently concluded India Baja 2017. We spoke to Aravind about his experience at the India Baja 2017, and his preparations for the next iteration of the challenging Dakar Rally.
“I am focusing on improving my endurance and trail riding techniques. My physical fitness regime will continue and I will try to participate in as many races as I can and the team decides for me,” said Aravind. Here is the complete interview:
Firstly, congratulations on getting the second spot in the Moto Category of the India Baja 2017. How was your experience?
It was a great experience and I am happy to get back on the bike. It was an exciting and challenging rally. The trail was slightly tricky but interesting. I am very happy that many Indian riders got an opportunity to participate in an international rally. I was extremely happy to ride RTR 450 motorcycle at the rally. Though this bike had engine and suspension almost similar to the Dakar motorcycle, I preferred to ride this motorcycle rather than riding on the Dakar motorcycle after we carefully analysed the rally route.
Your Dakar ride was cut short due to an unfortunate crash. What are your plans and preparations for the next iteration of the rally?
I feel fortunate to have experienced Dakar even though not completely. The preparation and practice for a racer goes on the entire year irrespective of events. I am focusing on improving my endurance and trail riding techniques. My physical fitness regime will continue and I will try to participate in as many races as I can and the team decides for me. I look forward to the new racing season. With regards to Dakar 2018, the team will make the announcement of the team closer to the date of the event.
How has your experience been with Sherco TVS so far?
I ride for TVS Racing team and the team has chosen me to be part of international rallies that we compete in association with Sherco. I have been a part of the TVS Racing team for over a decade now and it has been an eventful and exciting journey. TVS Racing helped me develop my skills as a rider and has also given me opportunity to explore international rally events. It is my team who made it possible for me to experience Dakar Rally, which is the ultimate motorcycling challenge. Nothing is really tougher than racing for two weeks across these incredibly hostile environments. Learnings gathered with TVS Racing over the past decade are huge.
TVS Racing has been associated with Sherco to form the Sherco TVS Rally Factory team for over three years now. Through this arrangement, our team gets hands-on experience and deeper understanding of international racing programs and improve the competitiveness of TVS Racing. I have graduated to the next level in the past one year as I trained with my colleagues at Sherco. The experience at international rallies has given me a big leap in terms of learning which still continues.
Motorsports are slowly gaining momentum in India. What do you think of the motoring scene in India and where do you see it going in next five years?
Motorsports is far popular these days than what it was when I began my career but I feel that this sport still needs a lot of support like other sports which are popular in our country. As people get more involved in motorsports we will get more talent, competition will become tougher and this will help in overall improvement of the sport.
Times are changing and we see increasing interest in motorsports in India. India Baja being declared a part of Dakar Challenge is a testimony to this fact. The sport needs a lot of support from the manufacturers and it is companies like TVS Motor Company (TVS Racing is a part of the company) who are encouraging budding talent and supporting them to build their career in racing.
What message would you like to give to aspiring racers?
Racing is not an easy sport. It takes years of training and perseverance to achieve perfection and even then, there is always a room for improvement. One needs to practice well and be prepared for any kind of circumstances. It is always crucial to keep yourself motivated and keep working towards honing your skills. A smooth race has never made a good racer, therefore, challenge yourself and never give up on your dreams.