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In conversation with Aravind KP at the Merzouga Rally

The Sherco TVS rider talks to us about his Merzouga experience, so far

Question: Happy to be back on the bike?
Aravind KP: Happy yes, but I wish I could have got more time on the bike. It has been just one day before riding the riding bike.

Q: Why you did not test the bike?
KP: I don’t know. It is the team’s planning. Prologue was not great, first stage was good, second stage was again okay, I didn’t lose any waypoints so I don’t have any penalties as such. I have made a few mistakes today and I think I have rust in a little too much. I think I should have kept my cool and gone a little slower maybe I could have done better. Yes, I am just getting the hang of the dunes. Sand is tough and you need to get used to it. Suspension is hard and there are 20 bikes before you so the track is all rutted making it slippery. Learnt a few things today so tomorrow I am going to implement everything and get better.

Q: What happened during your crash today?
KP: I went into a dune very hard and it was soft. So the bike got ploughed into the dune and I came off the bike and fell down to the bottom of the dune so I had to climb back up and bike had fallen on the right hand side so there was a little sand in the electrical point that was not letting the current through so the bike did not start for over 25 minutes. I sat there and watched everybody go by and then afterwards I started pushing even further. Then the sand dunes had minor vegetations and I had a few crashes there as well. But nothing major. Just tired and hurt a little. I am going to keep everything in mind and go ahead.

Q: Your Dakar was also blighted by a crash, so you should be more careful to make sure you don’t fall so often.
KP: If you are too careful then you can’t really race. Crashing is a part of racing but it should not be a bad one. Most of them do crash but on sand its okay. There are other places you can get hurt. I was not in the correct state of mind when I was pushing. Because I had lost 25 minutes, I think I should take it a bit easier.

KP: So it’s the same Dakar spec bike?
A: Yes. It’s the same. Just the engine oil and clutch plates have been changed.

Q: How was India Baja for you?
KP: It was great but could have been better. Had a clean run. I think if we were on an equal bike, it would have been much better. Ours was an Enduro race bike but it was a good run. Coming back from the injury, it was definitely a confidence booster. A great feeling after that for sure.

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EVO India

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