Aishwarya Pissay excited to make her Dubai International Baja debut

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru, March 1: Aishwarya Pissay, the flagbearer of India's female bike racing, is all set to set to compete in the second round of FIM Bajas World Cup 2019 that will be held in Dubai from March 7 to 9.

The Bengaluru-based Aishwarya had created history last year by becoming the first Indian femalre bike rider to participate in the gruelling Baja Aragon Rally.

That rally ended prematurely for Aishwarya as she crashed and ruptured her pancreas in the process.

But that painful experience has not, however, dented her passion for the sport and she looks to gain more valuable experience on the FIM Bajas World Cup trail through Dubai's demanding Al Qudra desert to prepare her for an eventual tilt at the Dakar Rally.

The dedicated off-road racer, who began riding as a teenager in her home town of Bengaluru, is the first Indian woman to have won five national road racing and rally championship titles combined.

She enters a Yamaha WR 450F and said: "I'm excited to start my 2019 international racing season at the Dubai International Baja as I will be racing with competitors from across the world. I hope to make a mark in the event in my debut year and I'm training really hard to race in the sand dunes."

The Dubai International Baja powered by Nissan and AW Rostamani will be launched by a ceremonial start at Dubai Autodrome on March 7.

Competitors head out from Dubai Autodrome into the Al Qudra desert on the morning of March 8 to tackle a dramatic 407km special stage which will be run again the following morning before the event finishes back at the Autodrome at 12.30pm the same day.

Kuwait's Shaikha Al Nouri is another competitor, who aim to use Dubai's FIM World Cup stage to show that women can mix it with the men in the tough sport of cross country rallying.

"We welcome Aishwarya and Shaikha and hope that their spirit and performances will encourage more young women to take up the sport," said rally legend and FIA Vice President for Sport Mohammed bin Sulayem, who also heads the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE.

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