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CS Santosh: The beacon of Indian Motocross

Parth Shah
SENIOR ANALYST
Feature
3.79K   //    02 Sep 2013, 14:45 IST
After being airlifted to the nearest hospital, Santosh underwent surgery for his burns and returned to Bangalore for a recuperation period of four months, this ending his hopes of competing in the Qatar Sealine Cross country, to be held from April 21 to 26.

“It was a hot day and the bike was overheating,” Santosh said. “I contemplated stopping but the finish wasn’t far, so I thought that I’d make it using high gears to cool the engine and so on. In retrospect, I should have stopped. I had been running low on fuel so I switched on the secondary tank which pumps into the main one while riding,” he added.

The charred remains of CS Santosh’s bike following the Abu Dhabi incident

The overflowing fuel came in contact with the hot engine, leading to a fireball that engulfed Santosh.

“Having realized there was a fire, I got off and stood there frozen for a few seconds as my riding gear zipper and helmet strap melted. I hadn’t expected anything like this and I didn’t want to breathe my last in the middle of a desert,” he said.

All in a day’s work for this champion, who has already shirked off the near-death experience and is raring to get back to training.

“I could not believe that I was in that situation. Now that the worst is behind me, I just want to recover, train and get back on the bike as soon as possible to continue my preparation for my ultimate goal, which is the Dakar Rally,” he said.

A burnt child dreads the fire, so the saying goes. An ordinary man would think twice about getting back on a machine that nearly killed him. But CS Santosh is no ordinary man. He is a man on a mission, Mission Dakar. And he is prepared to face and overcome all obstacles that come in his way, and for that we salute him.

The first Indian to compete in the Abu Dhabi desert challenge, CS Santosh is well on his way to becoming the first Indian ever to take part in the Dakar Rally, the most demanding race in the world.

Santosh also has plans to open his own off-roading facility on the outskirts of Bangalore, to promote the sport that he has already championed. Fans are already salivating in anticipation of a sporting facility of this nature, a rarity in India.

There is also a movie in the pipeline, a movie on his life and times as a Motocross champion titled Moto-Unbound.

Currently, CS Santosh is recovering from the injuries sustained in the Abu Dhabi desert challenge, but that is simply a temporary situation. In all likelihood, CS Santosh will soon be seen lighting up the roads on his bike, ready to do it all again for the sport he loves so dearly.

His forays into the international Motocross domain are sure to inspire youngsters to take up the cause and make India’s presence felt in the world of two-wheeler motorsports. Who knows, perhaps the next CS Santosh is reading this right now.

CS Santosh’s achievements

2005

MRF National Supercross champion
Gulf National Dirt Track champion

2006

5th overall in Dubai National MX championship (1 win)

2007

National Supercross champion

2008

MRF Supercross Challenge champion
Gulf Dirt Track champion
Asian MX championship (1 round, fourth place)

2010

MRF National Supercross champion
Rolon National Dirt Track champion
6th overall in Asian MX championship
Foxhill Supercross win in Sri Lanka.

2012

14th Raid De Himalaya overall winner

Follow CS Santosh’s career via his Facebook page.

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Parth Shah
SENIOR ANALYST
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