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Words by Ganesh Murthy
The Sherco TVS factory team has announced a three-member team for the 2018 Dakar rally, consisting of the three racers who represented them last year as well: Aravind KP, Joan Pedrero and Adrien Metge. This marks the fourth year of collaboration for Sherco-TVS for the Dakar series. This will also be the second Dakar appearance for home grown racer Aravind KP who made his debut last year with the team.
The 2017 Dakar turned out to be rather tough one for the Indian as he was forced to retire in the early stages of the rally due to injuries resulting from a crash. Pedrero put up a stellar performance, finishing a commendable 13th overall, while team mate Metge finished a respectable 22nd position in the grueling rally. This will be Pedrero’s tenth Dakar appearance and Metge’s third one. The team is a formidable one, they have achieved great results in other rallies held over the course of the year. Pedrero and Metge managed a 1-2 finish at the Panafrica rally, while Aravind finished a strong 11th. At the Oilibya rally in Morocco, Pedrero managed to finish fifth, Metge finished 10th and Aravind finished 13th on their RTR 450s.
“Our partnership with Sherco for Dakar has been a hugely rewarding experience for our racing team. We have supported Indian riders and engineers in competing in international events, and this has resulted in immense learning for both the partners. We wish the Sherco TVS Factory Team the very best”, said Vinay Harne, president-New Product Development, TVS.
The Dakar rally is considered as the toughest rally in the world, where participants encounter conditions ranging from hot and humid to rainy to extremely cold conditions due to the vast terrain one has to traverse during the stages. The 2018 Dakar is the 40th edition, and is set to cover Peru, Bolivia and Argentina over the course of 15 days and more than 9000kms. It is scheduled to start from January 6 to January 20, with more than 500 competitors from 60 countries.