We have 20-year old Bhumik Lalwani with us for this round of ‘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. Born and brought up in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, this young lad started circuit racing quite early and will be riding a BMW S1000RR in the 1000cc class in the JK Tyre championship. Here’s his story:
When and how did you come into motorcycle racing?
By the age of 16, I had tried almost every sport (horse riding, show-jumping, golf, basketball, hockey, football) my school had to present us with, but I could not hold interest in any of them for very long and that is when I had a thought of how I could make use of that one sportsbike which was back at home. My first experience of riding a bike came at the age of 12 and by the age of 16, I had participated in various racing events across the country.
I’m currently the youngest to participate in the competitive racing in the liter class. I’m fighting for the most important title in India in motorsports and hope to represent India at an International racing circuit one day.
What has been your biggest achievement in racing so far?
After having participated in almost every genre of racing in India (150cc – one make championship, 300-400cc – national, 1000cc – national, 300cc-400cc endure national, Motocross – national, Desert storm rally), I along with Mr. Aakash Rajshakha was able to back podium in 300-400cc national Enduro race which was held at MMRT, Chennai.
Where do you want to see yourself in the next 5 years as a motorcyclist?
I’m mentally prepared to take motorcycle racing as a full time profession. Therefore, in the next five years, I either see myself as a racer racing for a team or as a coach. Either way, I stay on the bike and at the circuits.
How are you training/preparing yourself for the JK Tyre Championship?
Other than the physical workouts, I’ve been practicing at the circuit (BIC), playing with the suspension settings, trying to set my bike up. And for better stamina and to get an extra edge to push, I’ve been doing motocross in Abu.
How do you keep yourself fit, mentally and physically?
When not racing, I do yoga, hit the gym, go on trail-rides on a motocross bike and do mountain climbing sometimes, for physical fitness. And for mental fitness and stability, I guess nothing can beat music.
How important do you think is the JK Tyre championship for motosports, particularly motorcycle racing in India?
Important? The only reason it holds so much value in our consideration is because it is the only race we get throughout the year to participate in the liter class. There 5 rounds in a year but it is only for 150cc or 250s or 300-400s. In my opinion, we need more racing opportunities to reach a level, to compete abroad.
What do you think are the most important things to prepare as a racer that one should keep in mind?
Most important thing according to me is to know your bike well. We are all participating at an individual level with no proper support of mechanics or racing teams/companies. Whatever condition you have ridden your bike in throughout the year, you need to understand and get the best out of it during the race weekend, because at the end of the day you have practiced with that very machine for the one race waiting for you at the end of the year.
Could you please tell us how are you preparing your bike for the JK Tyre championship?
I “TRIED” reducing my weight for the race, didn’t work out very well. To set up my bike, I’ve been trying different modes on the bike and playing around with traction. Also I’ll be getting my suspensions set up by the very best Dave Moss over the race weekend.
Which bike will you be riding in the JK Tyre championship and why?
I’ll be riding BMW S1000RR for this championship, I feel I’ve started understanding the bike better and I’ve raced with it for the last two years. So it’s wise to ride and take risk on something you are familiar with in the race.
Have you had any crashes while riding and in particular racing? If yes, what did you learn out of it?
I’m known for crashing, be it rallying or circuit riding. I have had more than 15 crashes in just 2 years of riding and racing. For me crashing sets a limit, it tells me ‘that this is the point to which you can push.’ And being a racer I need to be mentally prepared for the worst outcome. You are riding a two wheeled machine with 207bhp (which is already crazy). So when it acts up what do you expect to happen?
I accept that I have a humongous challenge, facing much more efficient racers when I’m at the circuit; a challenge I accept with open arms. I am constantly trying to learn from my mistakes and perform better.
What do you think are two biggest issues that are hampering the growth of motorcycling racing in India?
I presume every racer in India would agree to the fact that the biggest issue we face racing is the lack of sponsorship and support. The second issue in my opinion would be lack of opportunities or a platform to showcase the talent we Indian riders have. Every race we participate in, comes with a big cost, not only financially but the efforts that are put in to attend a track day or appear for a race.