Ashish Raorane, one of India's most notable privateer riders, competed in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge after a two-year absence. He overcame a slew of mechanical and physical difficulties, including rupturing his bicep following a fall in Stage 3, to cross the finish line. In the Rally 2 class, he finished 11th overall.
Motor racing is that one sport that has rushed human adrenaline towards it since the first motored vehicle began rolling forward. Certain racing events, on the other hand, test human and engineering abilities to such an extent that only the greatest dare to participate. Even among that elite group, only a few chosen ones emerge victorious. The Dakar Rally is one such event, an off-road endurance race that has been probing the limits of what a man-machine combination can achieve since 1978.
Raorane qualifies for Dakar
Despite a significant muscular injury, Ashish Raorane finished 11th in the Rally2 category of the 7-day Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC), the second edition of the FIM World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC) and qualified for Dakar 2024. Several Dakar veterans competed in the tough Desert Challenge, which spanned 1,915 kilometers of demanding and dangerous terrain amidst the spreading sand dunes.
Participating with some of the best names in racing, the 41-year-old Pune rider conquered the international cross-country rally astride a KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica to seal his admission for the Dakar 2024. With painkillers, the former marine engineer completed the final day's Stage 5 for an Overall P20 among 49 competitors and 11th in his class.
"I am overjoyed and relieved that the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is over. "I knew this was going to be a challenging and physically demanding rally coming in, and I am delighted to have endured despite the numerous challenges," said Raorane, who is sponsored by Rynox Gears, Dosmoto Design, Motousher, Bigbadbikes, and LazyAssBikers.
Riders must complete at least one FIM-sanctioned World Championship race or other rally that falls under the "Road to Dakar" banner, and finishing ADDC clears the way for Raorane's participation in Dakar 2024.
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