10 things you didn't know about CS Santhosh & Joaquim Rodrigues
As Motorsports continues to trend upwards in India, the country has seen a rise in the stock of its talented exponents associated with the sport and is now firmly positioned on the International rally map.
CS Santosh, a rider who is under the banner of Hero MotoSports, has spearheaded a rally revolution of sorts in India and has given fresh hope to fellow talented riders that they too can make the step up to the global rally level.
Yes, we are talking about Santosh Chunchunguppe Shivashankar— the brightest Indian star that has represented the country on a global scale in Motorsports competitions.
Coming from a background that had nothing to do with Motorsports, it is quite spectacular how far CS Santosh has come as he stands as a living epitome of ‘where there is a will, there is a way’.
And then there is another gem under the belt of Hero Moto Sport: Joaquim Rodrigues. Unlike Santosh, he hails from a country where Motorsports has a big influence—Portugal—and is one of those riders who are beginning to make an impact in the sport.
Representing the country in a sport that is not yet viewed in the same bracket as Cricket and Football is a special thing in itself and goes a long way in validating the tremendous efforts and magnitude of the task at hand for the Heroes. And here are 10 facts that you need to know about CS Santosh and Joaquim Rodrigues:
1. Being India’s pride in the world of Motorsports, one would have thought that CS Santosh was hopping on bikes and riding them from a very young age. However, that’s far from what really happened as CS Santosh didn’t even watch the sport before the age of 16!
2. CS Santosh aspired to be a Software Engineer as a child. However, all that changed when his father bought him a bike to go to school and that is when his love for riding began.
3. Like any sport, not too much is expected of the rider in his first attempt at a rally and the experience is only viewed as a learning curve. However, in 2012, CS Santosh scripted a fairytale story by winning the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya in his very first attempt.
4. No Indian had ever participated in the Dakar rally before CS Santosh. He made his nation proud when he became the first ever Indian to participate in Dakar rally in 2015. He finished the rally in an admirable 36th position, which is special in itself because most fail to even finish it. CS is driven by a never ending pursuit of addressing his fears and stepping out of his comfort zone in daily life as well as on the motorcycle.
5. The sign of true greatness is consistency and that is something CS Santosh is endowed with. With three consecutive first place finishes at the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm in 2014, 2015 and 2016, he has stamped his name as one of the sport’s best ambassadors from India for many years to come.
6. Joaquim Rodrigues was born on 6th December, 1981, in Barcelos, Portugal. This is his first stint as a rider in rally sport as he comes from the world of supercross and motorcross.
7. The Portuguese might only be 36 years old, but he already has 25 years of riding experience under his belt. At 11 years old, most kids face a daily struggle to do even the simplest of work but here was Rodrigues, riding bikes and daring to do things most kids of his age would never imagine of doing.
8. Rally raids are always difficult events to participate in and many a times we have seen riders falling prey to the fangs of death. However, JRod finished 9th in one of the most dangerous rallies, Merzouga Rally also known as ‘Mini-Dakar’ which was also his first ever rally incidentally.
9. Rodrigues also has the experience of participating in the most difficult rally on the planet, the Dakar Rally. Infamous for being a tough rally for even the most-seasoned riders, the rally—which takes place in South America—has seen many riders being killed in action over the years and the first objective of most participants is to just survive and make it across the finishing line. JRod rode to a creditable 12th place finish while competing against an elite field of riders comprised of top factory teams and their riders.
10. So far, we have spoken about Joaquim Rodrigues’ experiences as a rider. However, he has won several accolades in the sport in SuperCross and MotoCross and most recently, he conquered the Indian Baja 2017 while representing Hero MotoSports Team Rally.