TVS Racing had a good run in the 2019 Dakar Rally with Aravind KP becoming only the second Indian to complete the Dakar. But just as important was the fact that last year saw the debut of India’s rising star Aishwarya Pissay internationally, in the Baja Aragon Rally held in Spain. Currently, she is attending her second international event, the FIM Bajas World Championship in Dubai.
In the three-day Baja Aragon Rally last year, Aishwarya completed the prologue stage on day 1 without incident. She finished day two as well, but an injury sustained at the end of the second day prevented her from being able to start on the final day. On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019, we take a look at her rise in the motorcycle world.
The big break for Aishwarya Pissay
The 23-year-old Bengaluru lady broke on to the scene in 2016 with the TVS Ladies One-Make series, thereafter going on to bag a factory ride. But long before that, it all began with baby steps, like most of the big names today. As a child, Aishwarya would sit on her father’s motorcycle and with her father riding pillion, she would operate the throttle. She always enjoyed the feeling on two wheels but never expected to be a racer someday. A decade later, a simple weekend hobby turned into a career as TVS Racing picked her up and has helped her hone the skills, over the years, be it on tarmac or off-road. She debuted at the TVS One-Make Race Championship for Women and became the inaugural champion of the series. She is the winner of the ladies class of the Raid De Himalaya 2017, Dakshin Dare 2017, Indian National Rally Championship 2017 and TVS Apache Ladies One-Make Championship 2017. This extremely promising racer is also a TVS Racing factory rider. She had a packed schedule of 20 races to compete in, in 2018.
Courtesy her prowess at evaluating two-wheelers, she even earned herself the privilege of being part of the two-wheeler jury at the 10th Times Auto Awards, conducted in partnership with Fast Bikes India and evo India.
Things reached an all-time high when TVS Racing signed her up for the Baja Aragon rally as a factory rider alongside the brothers, Adrien and Michael Metge. History was thus created for Aishwarya became the first female rider from India to participate in the Baja Aragon rally, thus joining the likes of Laia Sanz who has been promoting female riders in rallying. The riders were astride Sherco TVS Racing’s RTR 450 motorcycle, the outfit’s Dakar bike.
The 827km Baja Aragon rally covers a tough and challenging route, particularly with high summer temperatures that add to the difficulty for racers, making for a perfect trial for the Dakar Rally. In Aishwarya’s own words, “I’m going one step at a time. Baja Aragon is the first step towards Dakar. Whenever I feel ready, I’ll definitely make a move to Dakar.”
She definitely has time on her hands and TVS Racing is always there to guide her when required. “TVS Racing has always backed me up and have given me the career that I have today. I’m sure they’ll support my Dakar endeavour. That is the ultimate dream,” she declares. We hope to see her reach there one day.