2017 Honda One Make
The race prepared Honda CBR150Rs are not only faster but handle better too
So for a company with so much racing heritage to come down to our country where track riding is still an idea that hasn’t gained popularity is nothing short of a bold move towards the faith it has in the growing talent that India harbours. Honda’s Ten10 Racing academy invited me to have the experience of being professionally trained by their director and extremely seasoned trainer Mr. Ramji Govindrajan.
Our day began with us boarding our flight to Chennai at 5 AM and finally reaching the track by 8:30 AM. We were one of the first to arrive and after a quick walk around the track, I was surprised by what I saw. I saw young teens, both boys and girls training in complete race suits. To me who’s been chasing speed and tackling local speeders on our city streets and nearest ghats was a huge surprise to see how young all this talent has started and my eyes were filled with pride and envy.
We were greeted by Mr. Ramji himself and we headed for the briefing room where all the other journalists assembled and the room was filled with this ‘Back to school’ vibe. Speaking of back to school, we were all sleep deprived and exhausted and desperately waiting to be let out for our recess on the track. After a whole hour and a half of briefing and safety instructions, we were finally sent for our first practice session.
The safety gear provided to us was nothing short of good quality. We were given Taichi racing suits and gloves and KYT racing helmets. Once in our leathers, the sleep started to fade away and as we were set out on our bikes from the pit lane, my sleep and the rider ahead of me blasted off. My heart started pumping and I got nervous but as I got on the track, I started to soak it all in, the wind hitting against me, the loud exhaust, the committed riding position, the smoothness of the track and all of a sudden it hit me.
This is it, this is that moment where I don’t have to worry about any potholes or pedestrians or cows for that matter, I realized this was that moment to reach my full potential and not hold back. I won’t lie, I was a little nervous about getting my knee down at first but with each passing lap, I could see my confidence grow and me getting lower through each corner and my God that feeling is amazing!
I could feel the balance we were given between theory and practice
We were called back into the pit lane and then another briefing where Mr. Ramji pointed out to each of us what we were doing wrong and pointed out our potential. He made one thing very clear to us that the fastest way around a track isn’t always with your knee down, not every corner needs you to get your knee down and as a rider, it’s us that has to identify which ones need it and which ones don’t. We were all given equal attention and it never felt that any of us were being left out when it came to being taught both in our briefing and individually. As we hit the track again, I could immediately feel myself go a lot faster and be more consistent through the corners.