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Despite facing mechanical problems on both days, Ashish managed to finish 21st within the allotted time
Ashish Raorane, India’s only privateer rally raid motorcycle racer finished 21st in the FIM 450 category astride the KTM EXC 450 at the FIM Baja Aragon despite a series of mechanical issues. Ashish was the only Indian participating without a full factory team. Other Indians at the rally included Sherco TVS Rally Factory team’s Aravind KP, Aishwarya Pissay and Harith Noah and Hero MotoSports Team Rally’s CS Santosh.
Ashish entered the Baja Aragon with immense focus and determination to finish all the stages safely. He was consistent with his pace and was making good progress on the first day across two special stages but ran into mechanical problems on the final transportation stage. Delays that occurred due to identifying and fixing the bike resulted in a seven-minute penalty for day one. He finished day one at 17th position, battling competitors who were more experienced at the Spanish rally. But it wasn’t the end of problems for Ashish, as the mechanical issues with his bike continued into day two along with an oil leak that could not be rectified at the time. Ashish had to carry forward cautiously, having to top up the oil and restart the motor multiple times. All the mechanical issues and delays cost Ashish an additional 20 minutes on day two and he ultimately finished 21st within the allotted time.
Speaking post the rally, Ashish Raorane said, “It was an incredible experience racing at the Baja Aragon! I had good flow, and look forward to building and improving on it,”
Ashish is supported by Luminox, Klim, Leatt, EBC brakes, Big Bad Bikes, Lazy Ass Bikers, Motousher and Slipstream Performance. He represented Big Rock Spain at the Baja Aragon, where he underwent road book and navigation training.
Words by Karan Ramgopal