Indian off-road rider CS Santosh has confirmed his participation in the 2016 Dakar Rally, switching to Suzuki from KTM.
The Red Bull-backed rider will ride the modified version of Suzuki's RMX 450 off-road bike for the cross-country rally to be held between on January 3-16 in the new year.
"I am looking forward to adding a second Dakar under my belt and to be competitive for a good position at the end of those 15 days racing," Santosh said in the press conference held in Delhi.
Last year, the Indian was 36th overall out of 79 finishers, riding his #59 KTM machine with an injured shoulder and a broken toe in his first Dakar appearance.
"What I felt for the first time is hard to put it in words. And in Dakar it is supposed to get tougher," he said to the press.
"Thanks to the hype generated last year, the preparation is better this time. I am fitter and in much better shape overall.
"You don't know what is coming at you in a race like this, but I should be among the top 20 bikers if things don't go horribly wrong.
"I definitely hope to see myself winning a stage. The first step is to win one of the stages in Dakar," he added, talking to Motorsport.com
The rally will start from Buenos Aires and will cover a distance of over 9,000 km across Argentina and Bolivia, ending in Rosario after 13 stages.
For the immediate future, the Indian says he will continue competing in rallies on motorcycles, although, in the future, he will switch to four-wheel racing.