TVS Racing has been spearheading the motorsport movement in India for a long time — giving opportunities to budding riders through grassroot efforts, waving India’s flag on the global stage and even training journalists like myself on the brilliant Young Media Racer Programme. With lockdown blues behind us, 2021 brings a lot of hope — the FMSCI calendar is packed with races and TVS Racing riders are poised for a comeback. To understand the sentiment and the level of preparation that they’re carrying into the season, we spoke to riders from various disciplines a few weeks ago. And here’s what they had to say...
TVS Racing’s high-flying teenager is a superstar in the making. At just 19, Rugved has bagged multiple motocross and supercross trophies and now, he’s gearing up for a comeback from a grievous injury. “I was practicing at my farm and at the tip of the jump, the gearbox broke. The malfunction threw me off, with the bike landing on me, breaking my helmet and leaving me with a skull injury. I was in the ICU for 16 hours followed by three months of bedrest,” Rugved told us. The crash caused physical harm, but there was nothing hampering his spirit. “My target for 2021 is set, I want to win a championship for TVS Racing. Special mention goes to my mom who helped me recover. Now I’m training at full capacity,” says Rugved, after winning a motocross club event in Dubai recently. Up next for him is the National Supercross Championship, which has now been delayed due to the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic, followed by training in the United States for another motocross championship.
Hot on the heels of his first win at the 2020 Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (INMRC), 23-year-old KY Ahamed is TVS Racing’s rising star. He displayed stellar consistency in all four rounds last year and that helped him seal his maiden INMRC victory (301-400cc Pro Stock). And now we know what’s powering his success. “There’s regular training on the track but that apart, I do a lot of fitness training. I train on the ground followed by two hours of muscle conditioning in the gym. I do swimming and cycling as well,” says Ahamed. For 2021, the sky’s the limit as Ahamed plans to win at the INMRC again and then aim for a top-ten finish at the Asian Road Racing Championship later this year. The latter, however, is subject to varying international travel regulations as the ARRC season opener is slated for June in Malaysia.
TVS Racing’s Udupi-based rider put on a gutsy show at the 2020 FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship. He was the overall winner at the Mangalore round followed by a runner-up finish in Bangalore. He plans to compete across two disciplines in 2021 — supercross and rally. “TVS Racing’s support is excellent and that’s something that gives me confidence to enter the supercross this year. I’ll be competing in the Novice category and I’m confident that the team will give me the motorcycle in its best possible form,” quotes Jacob.
Miss Pissay continues to be a beacon of hope for budding riders and every year, she’s closing in on her Dakar dreams. She participated in Jordan Baja recently, but an unfortunate accident put her out of contention. However, she’s focusing on recovery currently and she still has her eyes on the prize. She’ll be riding the rally-spec RTR 200 at the 2021 INRC. “My goals are set higher every year, and that’s scary, but I look forward to conquering one race at a time,” she told us. And despite the frequency of her travels, Pissay manages to be in top shape. “Wherever I am, there’s access to the gym. Even when there isn’t, I keep my routine going,” she says.
What’s common among the TVS Racing riders is that they didn’t let the overwhelming pandemic restrictions bog them down. Even if that meant steering away from something they love for a while — racing and rallying motorcycles. Instead, they took time to reflect, saved their energies, trained rigorously when it was possible and now they’re geared up for some high-octane dirt-slinging and knee-scraping action. And that’s a small lesson for the rest of us as well, all we have to do is pull up our sleeves, find ways to make things happen and enjoy the Thrill of Riding in its best possible form.