Indian Privateer Ashish Raorane Confirms Participation In 2021 Dakar Rally
Ashish Raorane will be India’s only privateer next year and will participate in the unassisted Malle Moto category for motorcycle and quad competitors.
Sameer Contractor By Sameer Contractor
| Updated: 28-Jul-20 03:00 PM
Ashish Raorane will be the only Indian privateer to compete in the 2021 Dakar Rally View Photos
Ashish Raorane will be the only Indian privateer to compete in the 2021 Dakar Rally
Ashish Raorane is the first confirmed Indian participating in Dakar 2021
A merchant navy professional, Ashish is competing without factory support
The Malle Moto class witnesses riders competing without any assistance
Pune-based rally rider Ashish Raorane has confirmed his participation in the 2021 Dakar Rally, scheduled to be held next January. The Indian privateer has been participating in a number of world rallies in recent years preparing his run for Dakar. One of the world’s most challenging rallies, the Dakar has been his dream for the longest time. The merchant navy professional took to his social media earlier this week to confirm his participat with the organisers accepting his proposal. Raorane will be India’s only privateer next year and will participate in the Malle Moto category for motorcycle and quad competitors.

Also Read: Interview: Ashish Raorane On Chasing The Dakar Dream

Ashish Raorane has been participating in several international rallies notably the Africa Eco Race and Baja 2019 to prepare for Dakar

Ashish Raorane will compete in one of the toughest classes in Dakar as if the rally itself wasn’t hard enough. The Malle Moto class is described in the Dakar rulebook as one ‘without any kind of assistance for bikes and quad pilots.’ This essentially means that the rider is on his own without a support crew for assistance through the rally. Not only do the competitors need to work on the bike themselves and navigate through the rally within the time constraints, but they will also have to carry spares, tools and accessories.

Competitors also need to carry their own gear including camping material, plan for accommodation and food and service their bikes, which results in extra hours before and after every stage. Dakar organisers, however, will provide assistance by carrying an extra trunk, one set of wheels and tyres, one sleeping tent, and a travel bag for each competitor.

The Malle Moto category can be exhausting both physically and mentally, but the rewards are certainly huge, not to mention the bragging rights. Raorane will be competing with the KTM 450 Rally Replica, a bike that he decided to invest in earlier this year, after using rental bikes in the previous rallies. The rider, who turns 38 this year, has previously shown an incredible performance in the 2019 Baja World Championship and the 2020 Africa Eco Race. Both events have helped him prepare for Dakar from a performance standpoint.

Also Read: Bajas World Cup 2019: Ashish Raorane Finishes 27th In Portuguese Baja

Apart from Ashish Raorane, India’s factory teams Hero MotoSports Team Rally and TVS Sherco Racing Rally Factory Team will also be fielding riders at Dakar next year. The teams though are yet to confirm the rider line-up. In the past, India’s CS Santosh (Hero), as well as TVS’ Aravind KP and Harith Noah have represented India at the challenging rally.

The 2021 Dakar will start and finish at Jeddah crossing through the desert and the Red Sea

For 2021, Dakar organisers have also announced updated rules for improved safety of the competitors. The event now mandates airbag vests for riders, while the paper roadbooks are being placed by digital units with aural warnings. The slow zones will now have a speed limit of 90 kmph.

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