xBhp: When and how did you start motorcycle racing?

Dilip Rogger: I started racing when I was 15 years old. I started riding on a Yamaha RX-135 and I slowly graduated to bigger bikes. My parents were really supportive right from the very beginning. When I told them that I wanted to race motorcycles, they told me I should go for it if that is the career that I want.

I started my racing career in Malaysia. But before that, I went to the UK as well. Upon reaching there, I realized that it was much more expensive than I had figured. Also, the skill level of the riders was much higher. So, I decided to start from somewhere in Asia, finally settling on Malaysia.

There’s an interesting story regarding my career and studies that I have. So, I had been training for motorcycle racing in Malaysia. I was studying there too so I finished my schooling but I did not want to go to college. But I ended up going to one because my parents told me that I need to get a degree if I wanted to continue racing! This is something very common in India. Even the few who are able to go into racing have to study too in order to keep the parents pacified. But then In India, there are not many races in a calendar year so it is easier for kids here to focus on studying.

xBhp: Please tell us about your experience in racing and what you think is your biggest achievement.

Dilip Rogger: I have been racing for more than 15 years now. I won the Malaysia Super Series Championship in 2004 and I was the first Indian to do so. So that felt great. I was the champion for 6 years and I was in the Top 10 of Asia in 2007 and that was something. But I feel that my biggest achievement was being nominated for Arjuna Award in 2009.

xBhp: Which motorcycle do you ride?

Dilip Rogger: I ride a 2017 Kawasaki ZX-10R. I feel that it is an awesome motorcycle. Very nimble and a very good handler with loads of power. I feel very comfortable on this motorcycle as I have been riding it for almost 2 years now.

xBhp: According to you, what are the things that a racer should keep in mind?

Dilip Rogger: I believe that fitness is of prime importance for racers. And by fitness, I mean both mental and physical because motorcycle racing exerts both your body and mind. But even more than that, it is the attitude that matters. Racers should know how to accept their mistakes on the track and learn from it. That is one trait I believe racers here in India are lacking in.

xBhp: What is the reason because of which India is not able to compete at a global level in motorsports?

Dilip Rogger: There are multiple reasons for that. Motorcycles racers outside India are faster because they have motorcycle racing as a legitimate career option there. The racers in a few other countries start out as early as 3-4 years old and in India, it’s usually after 13.

Another reason is that they have so many races all around the year that the racers there gather a lot of experience. After all, there is no better training than on-job-training. By the time they reach the age at which kids in India start to race, they are already much more experience and much faster.

But the reason why India is not competitive in racing is that we don’t get any support from the government. This is a sport which requires a good amount of support, both moral and financial. Even our manufacturers use the fantasy of people who are more into movie artists or cricketers. We racers do not get recognized by our own Industry manufacturers. This pushes many upcoming talents down as they see the veteran riders who have achieved what they have with no support or recognition.

xBhp: What role do you think OEMs can play in bringing about a change in the state of motorsport in India?

Dilip Rogger: Manufacturers can play a big role in improving the state of the sport in the country. Giants like Honda and Yamaha could work towards having factory teams for bigger bikes here in India. Proper support and effort from the government could help a lot too. In Europe, racers are like celebrities and in India, we cannot even boast of someone who is racing and earning, not enough at least. But despite all that, I do see some positives too and quite a few manufacturers are showing to help the cause and so, we are making steady progress and things are starting to look up.