Now, this may sound weird, but I’m really grateful it rained because I wasn’t prepared for Kari Motor Speedway. The first corner of the track alone is a medium right-hander followed by a sharp right and then followed by another sharp left. Thanks to the rain that discouraged me from picking up any major momentum on the tarmac, I was properly able to study the track and find my lines through it during the several laps we had to cover. Each corner had its own set of scars and skid marks from that day’s hard races, which further discouraged me from outdoing myself. But things did get easier with each lap, as the long day gradually came to an end with the completion of our 15 scheduled laps. In addition, after returning to the pit lane we had the opportunity to observe the forthcoming races for the day, which helped us learn more about the various strategies and techniques used by racers throughout their races, who by the way, did not seem to be bothered by the rain in the slightest. Eventually, we mustered up the strength to do the same.
The next day, we came to the track early in the morning to have ourselves a beautiful track walk, as it was being cleaned and swept for dirt, debris, and water. I think it’s safe to say that the track walk sufficed at teaching us about how to conquer the track. As we headed out on the track for our Qualifier, the track, fortunately, was just damp in certain areas leaving the majority of our route dry, but still technical nonetheless. Racers were led onto the track in a random order with transponders mounted on our bikes to time our laps. During the qualifier, I had a decent lap time, but I noticed that some of my fellow racers were a lot more confident on the track than I was and at times, just glided past me. After returning back to the pit lanes we got a little more insight from our trainer Harry Sylvester who happily helped us with all his knowledge about the track. It was time for the first race and it was extremely uncertain who could win.
As I stood there, I could feel the burden on my shoulders already
We proceeded to the starting line and got into position since I qualified in third place I had a clear track ahead of me. Launching a motorcycle can be a little tricky, especially with the sound of ten other machines behind you. It’s all about keeping calm and steady as you wait for those red lines to appear and disappear. As the lights vanished, so did we, right across the start as we stampeded down the straight. Due to my lack of weight, I managed to get ahead of everyone and stay towards the outside, while the other riders moved towards the inside.
This managed to throw me off balance as I couldn’t close the line on them and went off the track. Now as embarrassing as this sounds, I immediately got back on the power and followed up as soon as the last rider passed me. In order to redeem myself, I knew I’d had to battle my way across every rider on the track but it’s not like I had much of a choice. Once you’re on a track like this, it lures you to push yourself and get as fast as possible and so I did. By the fourth lap, I had managed to get into the top three positions and boy was this a tough one! It was extremely hard to find an opening as all three of us were battling to get ahead but slipstreaming was my savior as I used it to my fullest. I was able to get ahead within the final lap and secure the first position!
I cannot truly explain what a happy moment it was, almost felt as if it was something straight out of a movie, but I guess “like a movie” is the best way to describe a surreal experience of motorsport. It was an amazing experience to ride beside so many experienced and skilled riders, each of whom had a lot more experience than me. To be honest with you, one of the biggest inspirations was watching our trainers KY Ahmed and Jagan Kumar race and win their first round at the National Championship. This experience wouldn’t have been possible without the support of TVS Racing, I’m honored to experience a taste of that 36 Years of racing heritage.
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