Another interview from ‘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. This time we talk to Sandeep Abdagiri, 38-year old businessman from Pune who will be participating in the 1000cc class of the JK Tyre Championship aboard his mean green Kawasaki ZX-10R. Here’s the conversation we had with him:
When and how did you come into motorcycle racing?
Since childhood I was fond of racing, but my family didn’t allow me to get into it. Then in 2016, I came into racing somewhat accidentally, in the 19th JK Tyre Superbike championship. My friends started doing track days just a couple of months before the JK championship. Then I came to know that in November, JK Tyre National Championship is taking place. I didn’t have any track experience earlier, but my friends just pushed me in. It was a magical experience for me. My childhood dream came true.
What has been your biggest achievement in racing so far?
I finished my fist race on 22nd position without having any experience. Then I joined CSS in 2017 and completed levels. That made a huge improvement in my riding techniques. As a result, in 2017 JK Championship, I finished 7th with my personal best time of 2.04. In this race, I was the fastest rider from Maharashtra.
Where do you want to see yourself in the next 5 years as a motorcyclist?
I want to participate in and experience International races.
How do you keep yourself fit, mentally and physically?
I keep myself engaged doing weight training, cycling and trekking.
How important do you think is the JK Tyre championship for motorsports, particularly motorcycle racing in India?
When I first experienced JK it was like ‘Wow, what an event.’ Hats off to the JK organizers for such a wonderful race. It’s a very proud moment for motorcycle racing in India to have such races.
What do you think are the most important things to prepare as a racer that one should keep in mind?
A racer should be mentally prepared and physically very fit. Racing is not at all easy, it’s a different ballgame altogether.
Could you please tell us how are you preparing your bike for the JK Tyre championship?
I am practicing since January doing track days almost every month, trying new things on my bike like suspension, brakes etc. Till I find the best setup for myself. I kept on a consistent pace throughout this year which is around 2.03 to 2.04.
Which bike will you be riding in the JK Tyre championship and why?
I would be riding my 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R 2016, the bike which I trusted for my last two seasons. It’s one of the more reliable and stable machines you can find.
What do you think are two biggest issues that are hampering the growth of motorcycling racing in India?
There are quite a few issues. One of them is lack of support from the government for racers. Also it’s very difficult to get sponsorships as there is very little exposure towards this sport. Races should be conducted throughout the year and automobile giants should support this.