As we mentioned before we have been hard at work preparing for the Final Round, Round 4 of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship which will be held at the Buddh International Circuit from 16th to 18th November 2018. And also, we have been working to get to know the racers that will be participating in the race. We converse with them to bring to you, their story. So here we are with ‘Have a seat, champ’ powered by JK Tyre, Castrol POWER1 Racing, OnePlus and autographix.com.
This time around, we talked to Manmeet Singh, a 36 year old BPO consultant from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. A bike enthusiast since childhood, he had a dream to buy a superbike and guess what he rolls on nowadays… a 2017 BMW S1000RR. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation with the 2014 JK Tyre National Superbikes Racing Champion:
When and how did you come into motorcycling and then to the track?
I am a bike enthusiast since childhood. In school days, my dream was to buy a superbike when I start earning. My first bike was a Yamaha RXZ 135 which I bought 1999. In 2012, I bought my first ‘superbike’, which was a 2007 Suzuki GSX R-600. It is a supersport but a super bike nonetheless. Like everyone, when I got my hands on the GSX R-600, I wanted to know how fast it can go. But I quickly realized that the full potential of these kind of bikes cannot be explored on public roads. I have had my fair share of close calls and I take safety very seriously, so I was really puzzled about what to do. Finally, I sold the middleweight Gixxer.
Then I met Gurvinder Paji and he invited me for a track day at Buddh International Circuit (BIC). I did my first track day at BIC in November 2012 and I can’t express how much I enjoyed it. I was immediately hooked. It was like I finally had the wide open ‘sky’ so let the ‘bird’ loose. Since then I only ride at the track. I changed many bikes and currently I have a 2017 BMW S1000RR.
And how did racing happen?
I am a regular track rider since 2012 and part of a group which organizes the track days once or twice a month. I was quite slow initially but there are many great riders in our group who helped me getting in getting faster and faster. In 2014, JK Tyre started the 1000cc Superbike Racing Championship at Buddh International Circuit and that was the first racing event I participated in.
What has been your biggest achievement in racing so far?
By god’s grace I became the first JK Superbikes Champion in 2014. My winning machine was a 2013 BMW S1000RR.
Where do you want to see yourself in the next 5 years as a motorcyclist?
Although, I came very close on many occasions but didn’t quite get there, I am sure I will break the lap record at BIC one day. And yeah, even after 5 years, I’ll still be riding on the track and become not only a faster rider, but a safer rider as well. Improvement is the way to go.
How are you training/preparing yourself for the JK Tyre Championship?
By doing as much as practice I can do. By preparing my bike the best I can. Regularly testing different upgrades for my bike. That’s the way to go. Smallest of things count when you race on the track and I am focusing on them to get better.
How do you keep yourself fit, mentally and physically?
For me personally, riding on the track is a therapy in of itself. I think it’s the best exercise for my mind and my body. So I try to ride as much as I can. Apart from that I do cycling and functional exercises. I eat healthy food, mostly. And alcohol is big no no since I started riding.
How important do you think is the JK Tyre championship for motosports, particularly motorcycle racing in India?
I’d say very Important as JK Tyre started 1000cc Superbike Racing in India. We see riders are improving a lot and breaking lap records every year in JK Championship. But there are only 2 races each year. I wish someday there will be 6 to 8 races every year.
What do you think are the most important things to prepare as a racer that one should keep in mind?
Buy the latest bike. Change the bike after 3 years max. Get the best upgrades that you can afford. Do as many track days as you can. Ride these kinds of bikes on street as less as possible because obviously, there is more risk of injury on street compared to the track. A bad injury can ruin a whole year’s efforts or maybe even more.
Could you please tell us how are you preparing your bike for the JK Tyre championship?
I recently got a 2017 BMW S1000RR. I have installed a new braking system, light weight wheels, race fairing and adjustable rearsets. I will also upgrade the suspension system if I feel the need to do so.
Why the S1000RR?
I am riding BMW since 2013 and its fantastic machine. Its low maintenance, very Strong and very fast obviously.
Have you had any crashes while riding and in particular racing? If yes, what did you learn out of it?
Fortunately, I never had a crash in any racing event but I have had a few crashes on trackdays. I learnt that crashes happens because of improper riding technique, poor maintenance and using worn out parts or parts that are not race compatible.
What do you think are two biggest issues that are hampering the growth of motorcycling racing in India?
There are more than 2 issues to be honest. Expensive motorcycles, spare parts and consumables. Very expensive track fee, compared to Europe and America. And then the sponsors. Automobile companies do not sponsor racers.