We bring to you another one from our ‘Have a seat, champ’ powered by JK Tyre, Castrol POWER1 RACING, OnePlus and autographix.com in which we talk to the racers who will be participating in the Final Round of JK Tyre National Racing Championship which will be held at the Buddh International Circuit from 16th to 18th November 2018. We conversed with Dr. Aakash Rajshakha from Gujarat who is an M.S General Surgeon, a hobbyist motorcycle racer and a horse rider. He is usually seen lapping the track aboard his 2016 Yamaha R1, but in the championship, he’ll be seen riding a 2017 BMW S1000 RR as a part of Team #xBhpRacing. Here’s an excerpt from the conversation we had with him.
When and how did you come into motorcycle racing?
Well, I have a very short history in racing. A very close friend who is like a brother to me, Monty Singh was the one who hooked me to track days in March 2016 when I got the Yamaha R1. That was the year when I did my first motorcycle race.
What has been your biggest achievement in racing so far?
Umm, the biggest achievement in racing would be that in my debut year, I was on the podium.
I have raced twice in three years and fortunately I’ve been on podium both the times. The first race was 2016 JK Tyre National Championship. I started 8th on the grid during the first race and finished 6th. In the second race, I started 6th on the grid and finished 3rd. Also, I’ve raced in AVT GOLD CUP endurance race at MMRT in February 2017 where I was on the podium as well.
How are you training/preparing yourself for the JK Tyre Championship?
To train in any field the most important aspect is consistency. Whether it is Olympic sports or racing. It’s the consistency which will take the person a long way. I’ve been doing regular tracks days, never get disappointed if I get stuck at any certain point. Just keep pushing yourself and you’ll get there. That’s all there is to it and that’s all that I’d say.
How do you keep yourself fit, mentally and physically?
I train myself physically 5 days a week throughout the year. A combination of strength, endurance, flexibility, mobility and agility training. Mentally, I’ve always been a tough kid thanks to my father. He has always taught me to never give up, no matter what the situation is.
How important do you think is the JK Tyre championship for motosports, particularly motorcycle racing in India?
JK Tyre Motorcycle Racing is the only Superbike championship in India, they’re the ones who are trying to bring this sport into limelight. We Superbike riders give it our all for this event.
What do you think are the most important things to prepare as a racer that one should keep in mind?
Well, to be a motorcycle racer it has to be in you since your childhood, the fire burns from within. It isn’t an easy task to handle those horses between your legs. Constant practice on track and off the track is of the prime importance. By off track, I mean packing some heat on off-road tracks.
Could you please tell us how are you preparing your bike for the JK Tyre championship?
Redline Racing, one of the best in the industry, has been taking care of all the racing needs for my machine.
Which bike will you be riding in the JK Tyre championship and why?
I was to ride the Yamaha R1, 2016 model for the championship this year but an uneventful incident happened a few weeks back because of which I won’t be able to ride the machine on which I’ve practiced so far. So, this year I’ll be riding a 2017 BMW S1000 RR, the reason for me to ride the S1000RR is because that’s the second preferred machine after the R1 for me.
Have you had any crashes while riding and in particular racing? If yes, what did you learn out of it?
I’ve been in one major crash in the last three years and a couple of small crashes around the track.
I had a nasty highside in October 2017 right before the races and I was declared unfit to race. I had to undergo a surgery for it. Took me a good 5 months to recover from it before I could saddle up again.
Crashing is part of the game, you can’t just expect not to crash when you go at 300 kmph with adrenaline gushing through your veins. It ought to happen sooner or later, just be mentally prepared for it if you are a part of this sport. I am not saying you should crash or ride like a lunatic. No matter what level of safety you practice, it’ll happen if it’s going to happen.
What do you think are two biggest issues that are hampering the growth of motorcycling racing in India?
This sport is expensive, lack of racetracks around India and high track fee hampers the growth of racing in India.