Indian rider Harith Noah will head to the 2022 Dakar Rally with a far better preparation time under his belt but insists that his primary focus would finish the race and the result would follow.
The 26-year-old had become the first rider representing India to register a top-20 finish at the Dakar Rally in what was only his second appearance in the event last year.
“I never looked at the results. So, I don’t know where I finish (in every stage). Every day I have a feeling, as the starting line-up is decided on how you finished in the last stage. It’s such a long race and I want to do the best I can and the results will follow,” said Noah.
Dakar Rally is considered to be one of the most challenging races in motorsports with riders expected to navigate through the desert and sand dunes.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Noah did get enough time to prepare before the 2021 edition but has been putting in the hard yards in Spain and France for the last few months ahead of the 2022 edition that starts on January 2.
He also spent a couple of weeks training in the Moroccan desert and had planned to travel to the African country once again this month. But with Morocco closing borders due to coronavirus threat, he chose to train in Spain.
Speaking about what makes competing in the Dakar Rally so special, Noah insisted that unlike circuit races this event is a test of a rider’s navigation skills, physical and mental fitness as even the participants can’t really know what to expect during the two-week competition.
“You don’t know what to expect. They give you information about the stages but not much. This year the marathon stage is in the first week. Normally, it’s in the second week. In fact, it is on the second day. That is very surprising.
“At Dakar, you are sure to do mistakes. The important thing is how fast you get back on track and how long you think about the mistake. I have tried to work on it, tried to live in the moment. Try not to think far too long,” said the Scott Sports-supported Indian rider.