Malayali rider Harith Noah crashed out of the Dakar Rally after suffering an injury in a fall, informed his team Sherco TVS Rally Factory.
"Harith Noah fell in a dune. He had to be evacuated by helicopter, he suffered a fracture of the T5. He is currently being treated at Riyadh hospital and will either have surgery to repair the vertebra or the doctors will give him a back brace. We are waiting for the latest news," said Sherco Racing in a statement on Thursday.
Harith, a 29-year-old from Shoranur in Kerala's Palakkad district, is India's best ever rider in Dakar, which is regarded as the toughest rally in the world.
The Dakar 2023 rally that was flagged off at the Sea Camp will cover 8,549 km and will end on January 15.
In 2021, Noah had become the first Indian to finish in top 20 in Dakar when he was placed 19th. He is only the third Indian to compete in Dakar after KP Aravind and CS Santosh.