Hero MotoSports rider, CS Santosh has suffered a crash that forced him to retire from the 2021 Dakar Rally. The crash took place on stage 4 of the rally which has resulted in Santosh to suffer from a head injury. The 37-year old Indian rider was airlifted to hospital in Riyadh after being resuscitated by a fellow competitor. Due to due to an impact on his helmet, Santosh is said to have a minor clot in his head. It is reported that Santosh has been put in a medically induced coma and will be kept under observation for 24 hours. However, it has also been reported that CS Santosh has not suffered any physical injury.
Following the crash, Santosh was said to be awake and stable. But due to the nature of the injury, he has been medically sedated. The incident occurred on the same stage where last year, Hero MotoSport rider Paulo Goncalves lost his life while competing in the Dakar in 2020. Hero MotoSport had retired the entire team following the loss of Goncalves last year. However, the organising team has taken many safety measures and new regulations to ensure the safety of the competitors this year.
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Santosh was making good progress after finishing Stage 1 in 43rd position. Through the subsequent days, Santosh moved up to 34th in the overall standings when he started Stage 4. While Santosh’s retirement was the lowest point for the team, the rest of the Hero riders finished on a positive note. Joaquim Rodrigues finishes the stage sixth overall. Team-mate Sebastian Buhler finished Stage 4 in P24.
Other Indian riders competing in the Dakar 2021 in Saudi Arabia include Harith Noah and Ashish Raorane. Noah, the Indian privateer finds himself 36th overall. Raorane is currently 80th overall after stage 4.
From the team at Express Drives, we extend our thoughts and prayers to CS Santosh, his family and the Hero MotoSports Team Rally. We wish Santosh a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on the saddle soon.