Bengaluru, August 30: More than six months out due to injury and Aravind KP is raring to get back into the swing once again. Aravind along with TVS Racing teammate Abdul Wahid Tanveer are all set for the PanAfrica Rally, to be held in Morocco from September 8 to 15.
Karnataka rider Aravind started off the year on the wrong foot. The 33-year-old who crashed out of the Dakar Rally in January after sustaining injuries, is all set to get back into action next month.
Following the PanAfrica Rally, which is characterized by technical, fast and sandy tracks and areas of sand dunes, will be Aravind’s first real test after the injury.
Udupi lad Aravind will only head back home only after he takes part in the 2019 Dakar Rally, and the 33-year-old is focussed to get his rhythm back in time for the Dakar. Talking to Mykhel, before leaving for the PanAfrica Rally, Aravind opened up about his return from injury.
Injury is nothing new for the Karnataka lad, and Aravind believes an injury makes him more determined to get back into the saddle. Talking about his timeout, a smiling Aravind said, “This is not the first time I’ve been injured! I’ve been injured several times before this. I’ve had broken ankle, fingers, wrist, collar bone, hip! Of course, there’s definitely a downside. But just like every other time I’m positive. I’ve had a lot of support and I’ve recovered well. The first event will be just like a starter for me. It’s just to get the feeling of the bike back and how I feel when I’m in an actual event rather than just racing. So I’m quite excited to be back on the bike.”
Apart from the obvious physical struggle, an injury leaves a mental mark as well. And getting back from that is a test for the riders. Having been in the circuit since the age of 19, Aravind believes it’s all a matter of determination and practice. “When you start riding after an injury, you talk yourself into it because you’re not confident and you’ve not been on the bike in sometime. So everything starts feeling new. But as you have more seat time you gain confidence.
“I’ve been riding for over a decade now and after an injury when you get back you’re a little more conscious because you don’t want to hurt yourself again. Slowly you get your confidence back. Other than that it’s just bike time. The more time you spend on the bike it becomes easy. It’s muscle memory. You’ve got a switch in your mind and once you start riding you automatically switch everything else off. It’s just riding and nothing else matters,” said the TVS rider.
Having endured so many injuries over the year, it’s quite possible for the desire to quit take over a rider. But such is not the case. The injuries in fact increase the thirst for the Udupi lad. “Everytime you’re injured you don’t want to ride anymore. But then when you’re sitting on the couch and not doing anything for so long, there’s an irritation happening in your head. You want to get back on the bike. The feeling gets stronger. The more injuries you have, the more you rest and the more motivation you have to get back,” signed off Aravind.
Tanveer voiced the same opinion as his teammate, though the 27-year-old happily pointed out that he has endured less injuries than his senior pro. Tanveer, who finished third in the Group A category at the India Baja, earlier this month, will take part in the PanAfrica rally along with his teammate. The duo will then participate in the Oilibya Rally - Morocco to be held in October from 7 to 13.