“My motorcycle journey started well over a decade. I had a Suzuki Shaolin which I loved so much that I wanted to race it. When I was 18, I had a burning passion for biking that drove me to act on it. I was rash on city streets, back in the day. But I found a sport where I could direct my energies.”

“For any sport to thrive, amateurs need to be given the opportunity. Today, the youth needs these opportunities, particularly adolescents. Involving in these activities can be dangerous on the roads, putting you and the others at risk. The environment is safer to enjoy motorcycles. Whether it is road racing or off-roading, take it to a track along with safety gear. And simply enjoy.”

“Frankly, it has been a great career so far. I have worked in the TVS factory and won the National Championship twice. I’m now with Hero and competing in Supercross, Motocross and a number of other rallies. More importantly, I am fortunate to have the support of Hero during the biggest rally- Dakar. The 2018 rally was personally and globally a very special race. This year, since it was celebrating its 40th edition, the race was all the more challenging. Spread across 3 nations, the difficulty level skyrocketed as temperatures varied from 6 to 40 degrees in high altitude. I take pride in it the fact that I finished 34th.”

“I won’t forget my first international rally in Abu Dhabi. My bike caught fire and it was a scary moment for me. Falling and getting up is something we do as kids. It’s not different today. It hasn’t stopped me from racing. The only lesson I learnt was that life is precious and I have one shot to make the most of it.”

On biking being a male dominant sport

“Motorcycles don’t understand the concept of gender. Sure it is a physically challenging sport and women have shied away from it before. But it is nice to see many of them giving it a shot now. A motorcycle is two wheels and a handle bar. All the same irrespective of who holds it. I am CS Santosh.”