2022 Red Bull Ace of Dirt | Day 2 report
The third edition of the Red Bull Ace of Dirt saw participation from international riders for the first time ever over 60 Indian and international riders competed in what was the most gruelling track designed at the BigRock Dirtpark by Dakar veteran C S Santosh and his team. After two days of hard-core enduro riding, three riders took top honours. Peru Irazola Arbulu took the first step of the podium followed by Sandra Gome Cantero in second place and giving a tough fight to these veteran international riders is Indian rider Shardul Sharma in third place.
A total of 66 riders were selected to take part in the 2022 Red Bull Ace of Dirt on a track specifically designed by C S Santosh to include various disciplines of off-road riding. The first day saw 60 riders get herded out to 30 riders over the course of six qualifying rounds. These 30 plus four international riders and Mahesh VM and Yuva Kumar (winners of the previous editions of the Ace of Dirt) participated in four heats and then the fastest 16 raced in the final round which decided the winner of the 2022 Ace of Dirt. Peru Irazola Arbulu finished the 9 laps of the final race the fastest in a time of 18:49.578 minutes. Sandra Gomez Cantero finished the course in 21:59.117 minutes and shortly after that Indian rider Shardul Sharma finished the gruelling course in 22:49.156 minutes.
The 2022 Red Bull Ace of Dirt was the first edition that was open to both Indian and international riders allowing our local champions to get a taste of what the level of competition is like on an international scale. To that end, the riders also got to interact with Hero Motorsports athlete and Dakar legend Joaquim Rodrigues.
Commenting on the conclusion of a successful third edition of the Red Bull Ace of Dirt, C S Santosh said, “First thing that comes to mind with the 3 rd edition of Red Bull Ace of Dirt is that it was a historic event. It’s the first time that we had a format of racing like this which is enduro and hard enduro merged into one. This is also the first time we had participation from stellar international riders including Sandra Gomez, World Champion in Enduro and Dakar Malle Moto winner Arunaz Gelazninkas. I think the race was spectacular, everyone was so excited and learnt tremendously from athletes like these and then competing on a course that was unlike anything else in India and giving them the possibility to experience this. Red Bull Ace of Dirt is that kind of event that it is something which will generate stories and adventures for years to come with all the participants who had an opportunity to compete in this. It is pretty much the hardest motorcycle race we have in India, also in a format that could help a rider improve his skills, he/she might need because Dakar is one of those kinds of races. Looking forward to building this from here and it’s going to keep moving upwards.”
The third edition of the Red Bull Ace of Dirt was an immense success and it really gave Indian riders a level playing field to go head to head with some of the best international off-road riders. If the 2022 Red Bull Ace of Dirt is anything to go by, the 2023 Ace Of Dirt will be an absolute banger and all aspiring off-roaders worth their salt should definitely consider taking part.