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GS Trophy 2020 – A marshal’s story – Prelude

About GS Trophy

BMW Motorrad organizes the world’s most exciting adventure riding event – the International GS trophy. The main objective of the GS Trophy is to bring together the best of the rider owners from each country participating. Test them on a few stages on a daily basis for 8 days.

It has carried the true nature of adventure as you stay in remote locations and under tents provided by the organizing team. These tents are meant to be unpacked at the end of each day and packed back every morning before the takeoff.

The International GS Trophy is an incomparable and challenging motorcycle adventure. More than a dozen teams from all over the world were meeting again from 9 – 16 February 2020. The riders were in for a treat as this year’s venue was New Zealand. There the participants had the opportunity to experience a unique and once-in-a-lifetime event.

BMW Motorrad has been hosting the great enduro extravaganza since 2008. So far, participants have ridden through Tunisia, South Africa, Patagonia, Canada, Thailand, Mongolia, and New Zealand. Five teams started at the first GS Trophy, now a total of 22 teams are taking part. It is organized every 2 years. This year the main agency organizing it was Enduropark Andalusia. They are also the official partner for the Follow the trails.

India Qualifiers

Before the international GS Trophy, all countries need to contact and conduct their local qualifiers. In this qualifier, they screen the top three riders from their country and one media person. All operational markets are given an opportunity to send their team. All owners of GS 650 and/or above from across the operational markets of BMW Motorrad can participate in their regional qualifiers.

Since I am the official BMW Motorrad instructor for India, I organized the zonal qualifier for India in September 2019. Which were four months before the international GS Trophy. Conducting the zonal qualifier is not an easy task which is why BMW Motorrad India brought additional marshals from Germany (Marchant Maasdorp) and Thailand (Patima Kongpetch and Back).

We organized the zonal qualifiers where over 100 participants joined and over 70 participated. At the qualifiers, Mr Ricky Nayak, Mr V Sathyanath and Mr Shakeel Basha qualified at the top positions. We also conducted the trials for the media personnel, where the top position was secured by Pratheek Khunder from Bikewale.

Injury

After the qualifiers, the real deal started, the practice of the teams and my recovery from my injury. At the Indian qualifiers, I had a trifecta injury on my left knee where I tore the MCL, ACL and the meniscus ligaments. After finishing the Indian qualifiers with torn ligaments and a knee brace to keep me going with the pain, I came back home and got it operated. From there, I started the journey of recovery and getting fit to ride in New Zealand.

I canceled all the other training that I had planned with Top Gun India and started focusing on getting back to business as soon as possible. During this time I focused more on my riding apparel business – Ulka Jackets and grow it as fast as possible.

I was also communicating regularly with team India to motivate them for the GS Trophy. Team India went to Enduropark Thailand where they had special training. This training was under the keen eyes of Tom Wolff and the Enduropark Thailand team.

To get back to my potential I had to train hard and go through rigorous physiotherapy sessions. Since it was a big injury the usual recovery time phase is somewhere around six months to one year. However, with the discipline in the regime and dietary habits, I was able to get back on the motorcycle within three months. All of this would have not been possible without the efforts of my physiotherapists at Physio active India in Gurgaon.

Let me know if you would like to continue reading the story about a marshal’s side to the GS Trophy 2020.

Pictures credit: AmyLee Photography and Vmoments