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Podium for Aishwarya Pissay in Portugal

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Proença-a-Nova (Portugal), March 25, India’s Aishwarya Pissay, 23, came up with a gritty performance to finish on the podium with a third-place finish in the women’s category as the Baja do Pinhal, the second round of the FIM Bajas World Cup concluded here on Sunday after the riders completed a grueling course of 364.69 Kms over two days.

Though Bengaluru-based Aishwarya, a former Indian National girls racing and rally champion, finished 29th Overall in the two-wheeler class, she was placed third and fourth in the women and junior categories, respectively, but not before enduring a nerve-pull on her right hand on Saturday that cost her a lot of time. The podium finish here fetched her 15 points which took her World Cup tally to 40, following the 25 she received in the first round in Dubai, earlier this month.

Summing up her performance here, Bengaluru-based Aishwarya, who is supported by TVS Racing, Mountain Dew, BigRock Dirt Park (Bengaluru) and Scott Motorsports India, said: “I am extremely thrilled to have completed this rally and collect points for the Baja World Cup. The rally was quite challenging with lots of enduro sections, but I managed to avoid any crashes.

“With the nerve strain on my hand, I couldn’t push up my speeds and that affected my overall performance. I will continue to train and learn from this experience to be fully prepared for the Baja Aragon, the third round of the World Cup, in July 2019.”

Aishwarya’s hopes of a strong finish were dashed on Saturday when she suffered a nerve damage on her right hand which severely affected her pace, but survived the long Special Stage of 191.27 Kms.

“I had problems using the throttle and because of that, I could not have the pace that I wanted. Otherwise, it was a good day of riding for me as I managed to finish the stage without any crashes. My performance could have been a lot better but I hurt the nerve on my right hand forcing me to take it easy on the bike,” said Aishwarya who completed Sunday’s Special Stage of 173.42 Kms with a strapped right hand.

Looking ahead to the next round, Aishwarya said: “With the experience and confidence I gained by completing the courses in Dubai and here, I hope to perform better in the third round in Aragon in July. I would like to thank by sponsors TVS Racing, Mountain Dew, Big Rock Dirtpark (Bengaluru), Scott Motorsports India for showing belief in me.”