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Motorsport

Spanish rider Peru Arbulu wins Red Bull Ace of Dirt 2022; India's Shardul Sharma in third spot

With more than 60 national and international riders trying their luck for the podium, the country's toughest two-wheel race was an action-packed showdown at the Big Rock Dirtpark.

Red Bull Ace of Dirt 2022 took place at the Big Rock Dirtpark in Bengaluru
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Red Bull Ace of Dirt 2022 took place at the Big Rock Dirtpark in Bengaluru

By

The Bridge Desk

Published: 29 March 2022 12:44 PM GMT

The third edition of Red Bull Ace of Dirt, the toughest two-wheel race in the country, which took place on 26th and 27th March 2022 turned out to be a historic event with participation from more than 60 riders including extremely talented international riders. This unique bike race format where different off-road disciplines came together was held at the Big Rock Dirtpark near Bangalore, India's best off-road training facility, conceived by Red Bull Athlete CS Santosh.

66 selected riders, a mix of amateur and professional riders were invited to battle each other on a specially laid course which consisted of Motocross, Dirt track and Enduro elements. This year, besides the increase in the number of riders to 66 from 32 last year, there were a number of new obstacles making the track even more interesting and challenging even for experienced riders.

Action at the Red Bull Ace of Dirt 2022

The track is approximately 1.2km long designed by CS Santosh and his team with the goal to make it as challenging as possible for the competitors. Some of the noteworthy obstacles included the Mud Pie - a steep downhill slope with a puddle of slush at the bottom followed by a steep uphill climb, the Splatter - a near-vertical climb followed by tractor tyres set in staggering sizes and the newly added Wall Ride which is basically a wall placed at a 45-degree angle right next to a bed of rocks, so the rider has to either choose the wall or the rocks. Most of the riders were riding Hero Xpulse 200s or Hero Impulses.

On Day 1, 60 riders in total set out in batches of ten on the track and the five fastest riders in each batch were selected for the mega final of the 2022 Red Bull Ace of Dirt on Day 2. Pavan BK set the fastest time for the day on 26th March with a time of 16 minutes and 20.625 seconds for completing five laps of the course.

On Day 2, 36 riders competed across 4 different Heats. Top-16 from the Heats then competed in the final race to claim the title.

Joaquim Rodrigues & Red Bull Athlete CS Santosh with the winners of Red Bull Ace of Dirt 2022

The third edition of Red Bull Ace of Dirt also witnessed, for the first time, the participation of 4 international riders including Sandra Gomez, World Champion in Enduro and Dakar Malle Moto winner Arunaz Gelazninkas giving Indian riders an opportunity to compete and interact with some of the world's best riders.

After two days of gruelling, bone-breaking enduro riding, the final race consisted of 9 laps around the circuit with seasoned enduro rider Peru Irazola Arbulu finishing the fastest. Here are the times of the top three competitors:

1️. Peru Irazola Arbulu: 18:49.578

2. Sandra Gomez Cantero: 21:59.117

3. Shardul Sharma: 22:49.156


Indian rider Shardul Sharma from Uttarakhand finished ahead of other international riders and managed a podium finish in the Grand Finale. Yuva Kumar and Mahesh V.M. who won the Red Bull Ace of Dirt in 2019 and 2021 also competed this year and ranked 7th and 10th respectively in the grand finale.

Participants also had the opportunity to interact and learn from Dakar Rally Stage winner and Portuguese rider, 'JRod' Joaquim Rodrigues.

Commenting on the success of the third edition of Red Bull Ace of Dirt, Red Bull athlete CS Santosh said, "First thing that comes to mind with the 3rd edition of Red Bull Ace of Dirt is that it was a historic event. It's the first time that we had a format of racing like this which is enduro and hard enduro merged into one. This is also the first time we had participation from stellar international riders including Sandra Gomez, World Champion in Enduro and Dakar Malle Moto winner Arunaz Gelazninkas. I think the race was spectacular, everyone was so excited and learnt tremendously from athletes like these and then competing on a course that was unlike anything else in India and giving them this possibility to experience this. Red Bull Ace of Dirt is that kind of event that it is something which will generate stories and adventures for years to come with all the participants who had an opportunity to compete in this. It is pretty much the hardest motorcycle race we have in India, also in a format which could help a rider improve his skills, he/she might need because Dakar is one of those kinds of races. Looking forward to building this from here and it's going to keep moving upwards."

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