Dakar Rally: Hero MotoSports' CS Santosh in hospital after crashing in Stage 4

Santosh, 37, who represents Hero MotoSports in one of the world's biggest rallies, has been sedated and is under 24-hour observation. His next set of scans are due this evening, and chances of a clot or a concussion cannot be ruled out.

FP Sports January 07, 2021 17:04:21 IST
Dakar Rally: Hero MotoSports' CS Santosh in hospital after crashing in Stage 4

File image of CS Santosh. Image: Firstpost/Shantanu Srivastava

New Delhi: Indian rider CS Santosh has crashed during the ongoing Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia and has sustained head injuries. He is currently hospitalised in Riyadh.

Santosh, 37, who represents Hero MotoSports in one of the world's biggest rallies, has been sedated and is under 24-hour observation.

"We are pleased to share that he has no major physical injuries except for the dislocated right shoulder and head trauma. The latest scans have also shown no major issue that could impact his full recovery," said Hero MotoSports in an official statement.

"The medical team attending to him have decided that the best approach to manage the injury is to reduce the body functions to a minimum and keep him in a sedated condition or an artificial coma," the statement added.

Santosh suffered the crash 135 kilometres into the fourth stage of the race and was first spotted by Husqvarna’s Paul Spierings. As per some reports, Santosh was unconscious and had to be resuscitated. He was then attended to by the on-site doctors before being transferred to Riyadh.

"He has suffered a head injury, the extent of which is still unknown," the Hero spokesperson said.

"In an unfortunate incident, @cs_santosh22 suffered a crash in Stage 4 of #Dakar2021 today. He has been taken to a hospital in Riyadh. In the initial assessment, he seems stable. Join us in wishing him a speedy recovery," Hero MotoSports said in a tweet.

Hero MotoSport rider Paulo Goncalves met with a fatal crash at the same stage last year, following which, the motorsporst giant had withdrawn from the rally. In an interview recently, Santosh had expressed his desire to finish in the top-20 at this year's Dakar. At the end of Stage 3, Santosh was placed 34th overall, having consistently improved from his 43rd-place finish after Stage 1.

This was Santosh's seventh attempt at the Dakar Rally, considered the world's most gruelling off-road motorsport event. He was the first Indian to complete the race in 2015, and replicated the effort in two further editions.

Santosh had a near-fatal accident during the 2013 Abu Dhabi desert challenge, suffering burns to his neck after his Suzuki MX450X caught fire.

Hero MotoSport's other rider, Joaquim Rodrigues, meanwhile secured their first top-10 position in Dakar Rally. Rodrigues completed Stage 4 in the sixth position, while teammate Sebastian Buhler ended the Stage placed 24th.

The January 2-16 rally divided into 12 stages has competitors traversing 7646km. Stage 4 is, incidentally, the longest stage of the rally, spanning a total of 813 kilometres.

With PTI inputs

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