Round 5 of the ‘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 is here. And today, on the opposite side of the table so to speak, we have 19 years old Samruddha Patil, better known as Sam Patil, from Pune. He runs a page on Instagram which goes by the name sampatil7117 and he runs a motorcycle around the track which goes by the name- R1.
When and how did you come into motorcycle racing?
It’s been less than a year that I’ve started Track Riding/ Racing. But I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 15 (In a closed and safe environment). MotoGP has been the biggest inspiration! Watching those racers race at those speeds always got me thinking, if ordinary people like us could do the same? Not MotoGP obviously but something similar like ARRC. So I started looking up for ways to go ahead with this plan. I got to know about California Superbike School from a friend. So I decided to go for it. After that, I’ve been doing track days. Improving my skills and learning from fellow riders.
What has been your biggest achievement in racing so far?
As 2018 JKNRC will be my first ever race, I don’t have any achievements as such. But we have a consistent pace.
Where do you want to see yourself in the next 5 years as a motorcyclist?
I want to race. I’ll be looking for opportunities internationally like Malaysian Superbike/Thailand Superbike Championships. And if I’m good enough, maybe ARRC.
How are you training/preparing yourself for the JK Tyre Championship?
I’m a nerd when it comes to Motorcycling. I am constantly watching informative stuff from the Internet. This helps me a lot. Also I take advices from the experienced riders on Track. The more you learn, the better you get.
How do you keep yourself fit, mentally and physically?
As fitness is the most important part when it comes to track riding, I make sure that my fitness level is good and I’m not getting out of shape. Because track riding is extremely demanding on your body, so I make sure I have good stamina. Cardio helps a lot. I also go for cycling.
How important do you think is the JK Tyre championship for motosports, particularly motorcycle racing in India?
JK Tyre is doing a fantastic job when it comes to promoting racing in India. Probably the only accessible platform for normal people like me, who can race against the best racers of the country.
What do you think are the most important things to prepare as a racer that one should keep in mind?
As Races are different from track days, just being fast will not help. A racer needs to have a good start, should be able to make clean overtakes, maintain pace and defend position.
Could you please tell us how are you preparing your bike for the JK Tyre championship?
My bike is just a month old, it is almost stock. I feel that upgrading components of your machine should only be done when you feel something is not right. But there are some key upgrades that one should consider like brake pads.
Which bike will you be riding in the JK Tyre championship and why?
I will be riding my 2018 Yamaha R1 this year. Why? Because it is like a perfect package! It is agile, stable, has both good midrange and top end!
Have you had any crashes while riding and in particular racing? If yes, what did you learn out of it?
Fortunately, I haven’t crashed yet. I’ve had a few close calls but that’s about it.
What do you think are two biggest issues that are hampering the growth of motorcycling racing in India?
The biggest issue I feel is the lack of Racetracks in India. The next big issue is the lack of awareness. Motorsport is a sport, but it is treated as Entertainment. I feel that a person should be able to Ride/ Race in India without spending a bomb just on logistics/flights etc.