Mohit conquers Dakshin Dare, set sights on Raid de Himalaya

  • Kuldeep Panwar, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 14, 2014 15:44 IST

Having fully recovered from a right-thigh muscle tear, city-based biker Mohit Verma is making an inspirational comeback journey.

Three months after the 24-year-old grabbed the top spot in the SJOBA Sub-Himalayan Rally, he won the overall championship in the two-wheeler category of the Dakshin Dare cross-country rally in Goa last week.

On the way to claiming the latest trophy in his cabinet, Verma, riding a KTM 390 bike, overcame last year’s champion Nataraj Rajanna who had led over four legs and looked certain to clinch the title.

While Nataraj had to be content with a second place finish, Pramod Joshua claimed the third spot.

“A good part of hard work and some luck made it possible,” said Verma, who was the only biker from North India at the event. He had made his Dakshin Dare debut last year, when a mechanical problem in the bike made him finish overall fifth.

“The last year’s performance was still fresh in my mind, and it fuelled my desire to take the podium this time. Also, I learnt a lot from my mistakes from the previous year’s edition and used the experience to a great effect,” said the champion rallyist, who tore his right-thigh muscle during a local competition in December last year and took almost two months to recover.

He took his first step towards making a comeback in the rallying circuit to defend his title in the Desert Storm rally, but had to withdraw from the event midway due to a chain break. It was before he claimed the top honour in the SJOBA Sub-Himalayan Rally.

“But, compared to SJOBA rally or Desert Storm, Dakshin Dare has a completely different format and even the rally terrain was speed-friendly. And it was the nature of the track that caused me a big problem,” added Verma, who was running overall second at the end of the second day of the rally.

“On the third day, a minor crash during the race not only injured my right hand wrist, but also wasted one-and-a-half minute of my total timing. However, at the end of day four, I was again holding the second spot. On the fifth and final day, I was still running second when Rajanna made a couple of mistakes in the second last stage. I took advantage of the situation, gradually inching into lead. I am happy that I managed to pull it off,” added the biker, who is a graduate from SD College, Sector 32, and runs a family-owned automobile shop in Sector 28.

On the goals next on his radar, Verma said that besides local events, he was gearing up for the Raid de Himalaya to be held in October.

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