Lima, Jan 7 (IANS) Seasoned rider Aravind KP was the lone Indian among the four Sherco TVS Factory Rally riders, who began their Dakar 2019 journey with a ceremonial flag off here on Monday.
This is the fifth consecutive participation of the team in the iconic Dakar Rally. Besides Aravind, the team boasts of three other riders in Michael Metge (France), Adrien Metge (France) and Lorenzo Santolino (Spain).
The Dakar 2019 will see the team traverse a distance of 5000 kms across 10 stages with special stages of 3000 kms. The Rally route, unlike the previous one comprises a substantial section of sand dunes, and will test the navigational skills, endurance and techniques of the riders.
The Sherco TVS Factory Rally team is riding the new Dakar-spec RTR 450 Rally motorcycle. The motorcycle boasts of an improved cooling system and an enhanced top speed of 180 kmph.
The motorcycle is equipped with specially designed pistons and a new diaphragm spring clutch and higher capacity fuel tank. The Sherco TVS Factory Rally team has trained in Morocco, Spain and France in the international race calendar.
Ahead of the annual race, David Casteu, Team Manager, Sherco TVS Rally Factory team said: "The Sherco TVS Factory Rally team has been training for Dakar extensively over the past year with impressive performances across international rallies. The team this year shares a great camaraderie, skills and are hungry for a top 10 finish."
"Along with this winning combination, we are backed by an experienced technical crew who will help us maintain the RTR 450 Dakar motorcycle through the duration of the rally.
"We have raced in Peru before, which is an added advantage. Overall, we are positive about exceeding our past performance in the 41st edition of Dakar."
The first stage of the rally will be a 247 km stretch, including a 84 km stretch where they will encounter the soaring temperatures of the Pisco valley.