TVS Racing Diaries: How to get into motorsport rallying and motocross

TVS Racing Diaries: How to get into motorsport rallying and motocross

As far as two-wheeled motorsport is concerned, there has never been a better time in India. Interest in circuit racing is at an all time high going by the kind of queries we receive daily here at the office. Things don’t stop there either. In the wake of the best ever Dakar result produced Sherco TVS this year, the spotlight on rallying too has been shining at its brightest best. No, there has never been a better time for two-wheeled motorsport in India. Yes, that’s good news for sure for us enthusiasts. What’s even better news is that you too can become part of all this action. Provided you know how to get started. We have scrounged out all the information necessary to help you get into the fantastic and adrenaline pumped world of rallying and motocross.

Step 1 – The competition licence for motorsport

Want to go rallying? Get hold of this critical document first because your regular road going licence is of no use in the world of competitive motorcycle riding. You have to have a competition licence issued by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI). This is part of the rules and regulation of the Federation Internationale Motocyclisme (FIM), which is the premier global regulatory body for all two-wheeled motorsport. Rules and regulations are administered in India by the FMSCI, which is designated as the national motorcycle federation by the FIM.

Application process remains the same as in road racing or circuit racing. Log on to the FMSCI website (see box). Select the category of motorcycle racing you’re interested in. Obviously, if you’re reading this particular feature you’ll be choosing either motocross, supercross, dirt tracking or rallying. As before, the competition licence is issued to those under 18 years as well. However, if you are above 18, you will need to have a road going licence to apply. While the physical licence may take some time to reach you by courier, the confirmed licence number on the above website would suffice to take part in events.

Step 2 – Sorting the riding gear

From the helmet to the rest of your riding gear, every single article is different from what you would need for road racing. In these disciplines of bike racing there are no race leathers and knee sliders. Instead you wear full torso armour, front and back, with a jersey on top. Even the riding pants are different. As are the boots, which have thicker soles and more robust shanks that will protect the feet and legs far better than regular race boots in an off-road environment. This is because the nature of riding and therefore the protection demands from the riding gear are completely different. While your helmet will be different too, incorporating a peak and a port for goggles instead of a visor, it will still have to be DOT or ECE certified and with a double D-ring clasp.

Step 3 – Local motorsport events

Having sorted out your competition licence and riding gear, you’re now all sorted to line up on the grid. But it’s not the grid of a national championship event just yet. To get there you will first have to start with local events. You’ve got to keep an eye on the motorsport calendar that appears on the FMSCI website and every other month in our sister publication Motor Sport India, which is India’s only magazine dedicated to Indian motorsport and is run in partnership with the FMSCI.

Unlike in the case of road or circuit racing, there are no racing schools that will train you in the art and science of motocross or rallying. You’ll have to rely on old doc Pavlov’s techniques and learn through trial and error. The more you ride, the more you’ll discover what your limitations are, what your strengths are. And eventually you’ll start improving on your strengths while learning to get past limitations. If you’re lucky you might find a mentor but be prepared to go on a solo learning mission.

Step 4 – Get spotted

Even though you’ve only begun to participate in local motocross events and as a privateer in rallying, be sure that talent spotters from TVS Racing are watching you. In the absence of one make series in motocross and rallying, it is these events that become the happy hunting grounds for spotters to discover fresh talent. The only catch to this is the word ‘talent’. You’ll have to show some. You will have to perform well enough at these events. This will be to demonstrate that you aren’t a one-event wonder or someone just not worth training. You will have to perform well and consistently, and the start point of that isn’t just going fast. Its also got tonnes to do with actually finishing events.

Step 5 – Graduating to the National Championship

Once you’ve bagged yourself a seat with TVS Racing by showing them that you really have the talent, both in performance and consistency, to wear the factory colours, a bunch of experts will train you at whatever field you’ve gotten yourself into. If you’re in motocross, the team’s ace motocross riders will mentor you to become better, improve your technique, style, and ultimately, lap times. If you have bagged a seat for rallying, then you’ll be taught how to ride better, create strategy, how to preserve the motorcycle or scooter (Yes! TVS races scooters too.) over long and arduous rally stages. Start finishing events and moving up the leaderboard. And you’ll find yourself firmly planted in a career in motocross riding or rallying with TVS Racing.

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