At the end of practice-cum-qualifying, I clocked my fastest time of 1:36:270, which I wasn’t too proud of. Then again it was my first time and 15 mins didn’t seem enough. My partner had clocked the fastest lap time of 1:21:520, placing us third on the grid for race day. The endurance race format is quite interesting and I’m glad Suzuki Motorcycles India takes this initiative every year. It didn’t matter who was ahead or behind you. It didn’t matter if you posted the fastest or slowest lap time. The only thing that mattered was the number of laps completed and to achieve that, consistency was key.
All was going great until the terrible miscommunication that took place between me and the Race Marshall
Day 2. A million thoughts run through your mind before a race, but they all vanish once you mount your stallion. Varad and I settled on him starting the race. It was a 40 min race where each rider had to spend a minimum of 14 mins and a maximum of 26 mins on track. As the second rider, I held the bike and kept it ready for my partner to run towards it and begin his lap. We anxiously waited for the flag to go off. It was time. Varad clocked the fastest lap time in his run, giving us a good lead over others. 22 mins passed and it was my time to shine. I entered the track with only one goal in mind, “I will not let anyone lap me”. Confidence was higher, which resulted in better lap times. All was well. We were the leading team. The podium was in sight!
But in the final 4 mins, a Race Marshall flashed my competition number (12). This meant my partner wanted me to come in. I was confused, and couldn’t understand why I was called in. Yet, trusting his instinct I went into the pits, only to see him as confused as I was. It was a false call. A mistake that cost us the entire race. I raced back on track trying to cover up the time I lost, but it was too late. We dropped to the sixth position. I improved my time by 6 seconds, clocking my fastest lap at 1:30:002. I was certain that we were the winners, had this mistake not occurred. We appealed to Race Direction in writing. Gathered witnesses from rival teams who also saw my competition number flash as evidence. Yet the verdict wasn’t on our side.
Then again, I looked at the positive side of it all. I wasn’t going to let this incident ruin everything else that I gained. I improved as a rider, made valuable connections with people who share a common love for bikes, and most of all, I got to experience KMS on a beautifully crafted bike. In conclusion, I’m thankful for Suzuki Motorcycles India, who created this platform for enthusiasts like myself. It only adds fuel to our burning desire to grow as riders. This whole experience has left me wanting for more. I can’t wait for next year’s edition and I’ll ensure there are no mistakes next time.