“The tracks are really fast but there is a certain element of risk” says CS Santosh before he enters the Desert Storm
The gruelling Desert Storm organised by Northern Motorsport starts tomorrow, May 6 2019. Red Bull athlete CS Santosh who is on the road to recovery from his crash at Dakar will participate in the Desert Storm aboard Hero MotoSport’s 450RR rally bike. Since he was unable to enter the Merzouga Rally which is the first rally on the ‘Road to Dakar’ calendar, this will be the first rally after Dakar 2019. We had a quick chat with the rally pilot before he heads out tomorrow, lets see what he had to say!
How has the motorsport season been for you so far, and how do you envision the rest of the schedule?
For me the motorsport season began with Dakar, so I started really well. I was up to the mark but unfortunately did not finish the race due to some circumstances but apart from that I have been on the road to recovery. I have had time to recover from the crash. Really for me now, the first race is going to be Desert Storm. I think I am just building my recovery post Dakar crash. So, looking forward to see how I perform at the Desert Storm.
You seem to have recovered from your crash at Dakar, what are the other rallies that you’re planning to participate in apart from Desert Storm?
I wait for Desert Storm and after that I fly to America for two weeks of training and then I will be in Spain preparing for the Baja rally which is in July. Joaquin and I are going to race in the Baja rally in Spain. Before that in June, we are going to do the testing in Morocco. After Baja Spain, we are looking forward to Pan Africa, Morocco and then finally Dakar. So, this is pretty much my race schedule and in between we will have some testing for the motorcycle.
Two years ago, you conquered the Desert Storm. Are you ready to repeat this?
The last time I won the Desert Storm was on a Suzuki. The last three years with Hero I have been leading the rallies in the Desert Storm at some point or the other and have managed to lose that lead. Last three years, I have suffered crashes. So this year, I am hoping to finish the Desert Storm which is very important. I want to get all those 4 days in the books and I am looking forward to come back and race in the Desert Storm.
Which bike are you going to be piloting? Will it be the Hero 450 RR or a small capacity motorcycle?
Now it is the Hero 450 RR. So yes, I will be racing with the same bike that I raced in the Dakar, so yeah that’s pretty much it.
Preparation and training for the desert storm, is it similar to the way you train for the Dakar?
No, I would not say it is similar to the way I train for the Dakar. Desert Storm for me is the rally that I usually enjoy because the tracks are really fast but also there is a certain element of risk at Desert Storm in terms of safety. There is a safety structure in place when you consider a Dakar Rally or any international race in case something happens. We don’t have the luxury of that in Desert Storm and the rally is really fast so it’s a lot different from the Dakar.
What are your views on the ‘Wings for Life – World run’?
I think the Wings for Life World Run is really important because it helps to find a cure or method to fix spinal disabilities which would be a great leap forward in medical science. Unfortunately, this year I won’t be able to be a part of Wings for Life World Run. I would have loved to be a part of the Wings for Life World Run as this is an initiative that I can related to. Considering I am into Motorsports, I have many friends in the circuit that have been hurt and a foundation like this is probably the only thing that has a chance to give these people a life that they had before. So for me, it is a great cause and I wish we have a big turnout for the event this year as well at The Wings for Life World Run.