Indian motorcycle racer CS Santosh has suffered an accident during the ongoing Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. He has since been admitted to a hospital in Riyadh and put in a medically-induced coma. The 37-year-old was representing Hero MotoSports in what is considered to be one of the world’s most grueling rally events.
Santosh, who hails from Bangalore, crashed about 135 km into stage 4 on a gravel track and had to forfeit after a suspected head injury. He was found to be conscious when the paramedics reached him and was airlifted to the medical facility in Riyadh. Hero MotoSports put out a tweet on the incident saying that he seems to be stable after initial medical assessments. This was Santosh’s seventh attempt at Dakar Rally. He became the first Indian to finish the race in 2015 and has done the same twice thereafter.
The Dakar rally this year is being held between January 2 and 16 and has 12 stages covering 7,646 km. Stage 4 is coincidentally the same stage where another Hero MotoSports rider Paulo Goncalves met with an accident and unfortunately lost his life last year. Hero MotoSports had withdrawn from the rally after the incident. Santosh himself has had close calls before. In the 2013 Abu Dhabi desert challenge, he had suffered burns to his neck after his Suzuki MX450X caught fire.