Sherco TVS aims for Top 10 result in Dakar 2018, reveals line-up
In a press meet in Bangalore, the Sherco TVS outfit presented its Dakar 2018 line-up, along with presentation of their partnership so far in the presence of officials from TVS Motor and Sherco.
It will field the same 2017 line-up, with nine-time Dakar entrant Joan Pedrero heading the pack, alongside two-time entrant Adrien Metge and Aravind KP - who made his debut earlier this year, riding the Sherco TVS RTR 450cc machinery.
The world's most dangerous cross-country rally will take place between January 6-20, 2018 and will cover three countries, starting in Lima, Peru before moving to La Paz, Bolivia and culminating in Cordoba, Argentina.
The riders will traverse for approx 9000km, which Pedrero and Metge managed in 2017, having finished 13th and 22nd respectively. A double fall led to Aravind's retirement in Stage 3 in his first attempt in the grueling rally, after the Bangalorean injured his wrist.
The Indian will be hoping to see-through the rally, as the Sherco TVS riders have had a solid running all-year since the Dakar, participating in India's Desert Storm and India Baja, while also competing in international events like Baja Aragon, Merzouga Rally, PanAfrica Rally & OiLibya Rally.
In fact, the Indo-French connection, which kick started in 2015, took its first major win together in the PanAfrica Rally last month, as Pedrero led a Sherco TVS 1-2 from Metge, while Aravind rounded out in 12th position.
Sherco Motorcycles' General Manager, Thomas Teissier said: “This is the fourth year of our partnership, and with each passing year our preparation for Dakar has become more focused and fierce.
"We have a strong relationship with TVS Racing, and we have worked together on the existing team structure. We are excited to have Aravind KP in our team again. The preparation has been good so far, and I have full faith in the abilities of our team for Dakar 2018.
"The preparation in the last two months before the race will be very crucial, and I am sure that the team will perform to the best of their ability," he added.
"TVS was the first Indian manufacturer to participate at Dakar, and this year we have stepped up our participation in, and preparation for, international rally-raids," said Arun Siddharth, TVS Racing's Vice President Marketing.
"Races such as PanAfrica Rally, Merzouga Rally and OiLibya Rally have helped us get more exposure, thus helping us improve our readiness for Dakar. Based on our performance at the other rally-raids this year, we are aiming for a Top 10 finish at Dakar 2018.”
In a separate event, the Sherco TVS team also met with the current Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in India, Rajyavardhan Rathore, a Silver medalist in shooting in Olympics.