- CS Santosh [Copyright: Hero MotoSports Rally Team]

Hero's Santosh hospitalised after S4 crash in Dakar; Noah, Raorane continue

The Indian rider had a heavy fall and was flown to the hospital but is stable.

A year after the tragic death of Paulo Goncalves, Hero MotoSports Rally Team had another scary moment in 2021 Dakar Rally, when its rider CS Santosh had a heavy crash on Wednesday in Stage 4. The Indian rider had to be airlifted to the hospital in Riyadh.

Santosh had a steep fall - reportedly face/head first - at around 135 km into Stage 4. Medical assistance arrived at the scene immediately and took him away. His condition seems to be stable as per a small statement from Hero on the social media.

"In an unfortunate incident, CS Santosh suffered a crash in Stage 4 of Dakar 2021 today. He has been taken to a hospital in Riyadh. In the initial assessment, he seems stable. Join us in wishing him a speedy recovery," said the statement.

Team chief Waffi Fischer talked about the mix emotions, especially remembering that it was Stage 4 in 2020, which Goncalves had won:

Santosh was 36th overall until Stage 3 and was looking to improve on his position in the remaining stages, as teammate Joaquim Rodrigues had his best finish of sixth in Stage 4, to be 16th, while teammate Sebastian Buhler finished 25th, to be 24th overall.

"The pilot was immediately rescued, placed in the hands of the Dakar medical service and transported by helicopter to the Al Duwadimi Advanced Medical Post," noted ASO. "He suffered a head injury and has been evacuated by helicopter to the Saudi German Hospital in Riyadh where he will undergo a more thorough medical examination."

With Santosh out, the Indian contingent has two riders still running, with Harith Noah in 36th position after Stage 4 abode his Sherco TVS Racing bike, whereas independent Malle entrant Ashish Raorane has improved to 80th abode his KTM.

[Image courtesy: Hero MotoSports Rally Team]

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