We have a chat with Raheesh Khatri and his racer dad, Mudassar. Raheesh is a 8 (yes 8, that’s not a typo!) year old motocross racer, who does things on his motorcycle, that most of us cannot even dream about! Here Mudassar tells us about his son’s journey of riding motocross bikes at this relatively young age, something which isn’t a common sight in India.
xBhp: Do you ride motorcycles? From when have you been riding motorcycles?
Mudassar Khattar: Yes I do ride motorcycles & have been riding since the age of 7, started with Kinetic and then moved to bikes by 14.
xBhp: When did you decide that your son has the potential to race motorcycles?
Mudassar Khattar: The first words he said was ‘brrooommm brrooommm’ and he used to twist his fist as if he was throttling, further when he was 2 & half he started twisting the Honda Dio throttle & at the age of 4 he came to me & said can I ride for India someday & that’s when the journey started to let him live his Dream.
xBhp: Did he show an interest in motorcycles himself or did you have to push him.
Mudassar Khattar: Nope it was absolutely him who wanted to get the sport into him rather than he being pushed for it.
xBhp: Since when has he been riding bikes now?
Mudassar Khattar: Since the past 4 years.
xBhp: Does he have the opportunity to receive formal training?
Mudassar Khattar: Yes he has got official training but that’s locally with the Patel brothers who have been into the sport for such a long time, also now with the facilities by C S Santosh at Big Rock it’s a good option. But from here where we head to, there is no such facilities for young talent for circuit racing & to get there we need to take it him to the international venues for training to get a level of racing to the international standards.
xBhp: How difficult is it to manage a regular education along with a sport this physical?
Mudassar Khattar: His cycle is completely scheduled, once he is home from school, he finishes his routine of studies & playtime. Later he does the exercise schedule regularly & weekends he does his practices & races all across.
Also would like to mention that his school, Army Public School Mumbai & especially his Principal Mrs. Sehdeva is one of the main support pillars to let Raheesh go & live the motorsports life.
xBhp: Do you get any support from any manufacturers/ sponsors?
Mudassar Khattar: Nope not currently, we are looking for sponsors & manufacturers but nothing has shaped up so far, as this is a very expensive sport so eagerly looking for sponsors & manufactures to take it ahead from here to the dream
xBhp: How have family and friends reacted to your son participating in motorcycle racing, an inherently dangerous sport?
Mudassar Khattar: It was really very tough & challenging but as people saw that as there are safety measures taken. Junior has proper safety gear, it’s done in a closed track where it’s away from traffic, they started accepting it, yes it was difficult but then they started to accept it.
xBhp: Were you afraid when you rode a motorcycle for the first time?
Raheesh Khattar: Nope I was not, in fact in the thrill to ride I gave lot of gas and had my first fall.
xBhp: Which is your favourite style of motorcycle competitions?
Raheesh Khattar: Motocross as of now but then will head to Circuit Racing & then someday reach the Asia Cup followed by the Moto3 to Moto2 & then finally the MotoGP someday.