Ashwin Rai from Sikkim to participate in National Motorcycle Racing Championship ’22
Motorcycle racer Ashwin Rai from Sikkim is participating in the MRF-MMSC-FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (INMCR), a National Championship event approved by the FMSCI, the body that approves all the races that racers can take part in in the nation and also issues racing license and other documentations for racers.
MRF-MMSC-FMSCI INMCR is returning to the refurbished Kari Motor Speedway here after a three-year gap for the Rolon round which began on Friday, June 10.
Ashwin is the first ever Sikkimese rider to participate in the premier racing championship in the country. He is racing for team RACR.
Among those in the line-up are Rajini Krishnan, whose team RACR is where Ashwin is racing from, and Jagan Kumar; both multiple national title winners. The five-round 2022 championship will see teams including TVS, Honda, KTM and Yamaha vie for honours, with the number of reported entries crossing the 200-mark.
Ashwin Rai is from Gangtok, with a BBA degree from Amity University, he graduated from Indian Superbike Racing and Riding Academy, commonly known as ISBK Racing.
Founded in 2019, ISBK has the motto of teaching people the art of going fast on the racetrack, the technical aspects of road riding, and to make riders safer, better, and faster.
Based out of Bangalore, it operates out of multiple race track facilities across India. They regularly conduct academy and trackday sessions at the BIC in Noida, MMRT in Sriperambadur, and KMS in Coimbatore.
There are a number of racing categories in the INMRC, Pro: (Stock 301-400cc and 165cc), Novice: (Stock 165cc) and Girls: (Stock 165cc), Petronas TVS One-Make Championship: (301-400cc Open, Rookie, Girls and media), Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup: (NSF 250R, CBR 150 and Hornet 2.0), and a new addition, Stock 301-400cc category which will be run as a support race.
Ashwin will be participating in the under-23 Novice Stock 165cc category. The Novice category (under-23) boasts of a grid of 32 riders selected from 35 entrants and is expected to throw up keen competition. The team Ashwin is riding for is team RACR.
RACR [Rajini Academy of Competitive Racing] is a top Academy in India that has graduated more than 3000 Riders/Racers across the world since 2015. RACR is a brainchild of Rajini Krishnan, India’s most successful Motorcycle Racer and titled Fastest Indian in Two wheels.
There’s evidently a lack of awareness on moto-sports in Sikkim let alone the infrastructures needed to help aspiring racers rev towards their dreams. Racing is seldom seen as a potential sport because there aren’t any race courses or speedways in Sikkim, and because there aren’t any race courses or speedways, racing is seldom seen as a potential sport for Sikkimese riders to make a career in.
Talking about the risks, challenges, and a potential way forward in the racing world, Ashwin Rai spoke with Sikkim Chronicle. He spoke about how motosport is also a sport and how infrastructures should be developed so cases of road rash go down, how awareness should be spread about health aspects to let people know about the fitness part of the sport and the legal aspects to know about the documentation part of the sport.
Addressing aspiring racers in Sikkim, Ashwin says, “Motorsports is also a sport, a ‘racing’ sport and it is better if people practice racing in racetracks and not on roads as that practice isn’t safe.”
Telling Sikkim Chronicle more about the process leading to competing in legitimate championships Ashwin says that it is important to work on the fitness and the certification part of the sport to be able to stand a chance to qualify for championships.
“Roads aren’t safe for racing, and personal fitness is important for racing, there’s a lot of cardio involved in the training” Ashwin shares. “There are courses that deal in levels, and I would like to say (to Sikkimese racing aspirants) that they should take classes, complete there levels 1 and 2, and then apply for racing licenses,” Ashwin says talking about the best way forward for racing aspirants in Sikkim.
“Only when you have a valid license, then you’ll be legitimate for racing or else one cannot compete, and for one to obtain the license they must pass proper health checkups and the level trainings,” he adds.
Talking about the scarcity of racing infrastructure in the state he says, “if there were racing tracks then road rash would decrease, because I was one of those people who used to ride rashly in roads, then I got to these racetracks and learnt the sport in a proper way,” “it (having a racing infrastructure) would also assure people not overspeeding on roads and practicing in racetracks instead and create disciplined riders,” he adds.