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Hero Motorsports rider CS Santosh says the key to the Dakar Rally is in the mind.

Santosh, who is appearing for the fifth consecutive year in Dakar, said: “Dakar is for 14 days we need to perform well. The mindset is critical, to understand your limits. Recognising when you have a good day and when you have a terrible day and minimising the mistake to achieve the best is our only aim.”

Santosh is eyeing a podium finish in the 2019 event, which began on 6 January, after the team achieved an all-time best seventh-place finish last year.

Hero teammates Joaquim Rodrigues and Oriol Mena are aiming to repeat the team's 2017 performance where all three riders made the chequered flag. Last year Rodrigues crashed out in the first stage.