One of the world's most challenging rallies, the Dakar 2020 finally comes to an end Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team ended its run on a fantastic note. French rider Adrien Metge finished in seventh place in the final stage and completed 12th overall, thanks to extremely consistent performance throughout the rally. The rider stepped for injured brother Michael Metge at the last minute and was the lone competitor in the team still eligible for an overall ranking. Meanwhile, India's Harith Noah finished the final stage 27th in the experience class, and while he wasn't eligible for an overall ranking, the rider did manage to complete the Dakar rally in his maiden attempt. But, making history was Ricky Brabec of Monster Energy Honda Team who claimed the title at the 2020 Dakar Rally, also claiming Honda's first Dakar win since 1989. The victory also managed to break KTM's undisputed run at Dakar with 18 consecutive victories for the team.
Post Hero MotoSports pulling out from Dakar after the death of its star rider Paulo Goncalves, Sherco TVS was the only Indian team in contention and put up a commendable performance. Apart from Metge and Noah, the team started out with Lorenzo Santolino and Johnny Aubert as well, but riders had to exit the rally at different stages. Noah faced technical difficulties post Stage 3, which pulled him out of contention, but the newly introduced Dakar Experience category allowed him to complete the rally since Stage 4.
Commenting on the team's achievement, B. Selvaraj, Team Manager, TVS Racing said, "Dakar Rally in its core element puts to test the most basic yet important skills of a rider. This time around, the setting in Saudi Arabia and overall ride routes were new to the riders, making it tougher and bigger than before. I would like to congratulate each of our riders for the camaraderie that they demonstrated through the Rally. Adrien put his experience into apt use which reflected in his steady performance chart from the start till the end, thereby helping him finish at a remarkable ranking. I would also like to congratulate Harith for his outstanding performance in his first Dakar Rally experience. Despite not being eligible for general ranking, Harith completed every stage at notable ranks. While Lorenzo and Johnny couldn't continue their Rally due to injuries, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for their performance during the Dakar Rally 2020."
Commenting on his achievement, Adrien Metge said, "I am happy that I got a chance to participate at the Dakar Rally this year and extremely humbled about my result. Saudi Arabia is a very beautiful country with a variety of terrains to ride on, which makes for a nice rally experience. It was quite a long one and I made my share of navigational mistakes from time and again however, I was able to perform well on my motorcycle which glided through all these terrains with ease. Lastly, I would like to thank the team for keeping the spirits high throughout."
Harith Noah said, "I can definitely say that these were the longest and hardest two weeks. I can't say that I completed the Rally, however, I did complete every stage but one, under Dakar Experience Class, so it's definitely something good to take home. I had a great experience despite not knowing what to expect or what not to expect, which also provided me with some great learnings every day. I made a navigation mistake and had a bad crash during Stage 1 which was a big learning in itself. I rode better from then on, and will be much better prepared for next year."
Spaniard Lorenzo Santolino and Frenchman Johnny Aubert had to exit the Rally after Stage 9 and Stage 6 respectively due to accidents. The 42nd edition of the Dakar Rally took place in the dunes of Saudi Arabia for the first time, moving out of South America after a decade. The nearly two week run saw a number of overwhelming moments and heartbreaks too. The rally started off in Jeddah passing through Riyadh and culminated at Al Qiddiya, covering a total of 7500 km.