Aug 13, 2012

11 Sarath Kumar takes a break from professional racing. Does any Indian care?

I need not be ashamed that as a motorcycle enthusiast from India.. I do not watch MotoGP

Racing.. Motorcycle Racing.. Motorcycling racing in India and Indians.. So what up?

First Indian to have featured at Moto GP (125 class), thinking of driving a Taxi now..

TVS Motors prides itself with its 20+ years of racing heritage in the domestic racing scene. Mahindra currently participates in the Moto3 category at the premier World MotoGP Championship and also participates in a 125 cc, 2 stoke racing championship in Italy, Hero MotoCorp has made a big PR splash with its association with EBR (Eric Buell Racing) in the AMA (in some American racing series). Honda and Yamaha (& also TVS) runs their “one make races” in the domestic motorcycle racing scene. And the big news is that come 2013 and India (& Buddh International Circuit) will feature the World Superbike Championship calendar..!!

Personally, I have never cared to follow motorcycling racing. How can I? At the highest level, I see no passion in trying to root for a racer/manufacturer of foreign origin. At the domestic level there is zilch coverage of the racing events to get me interested (actually hardly anybody cares for even Ranjit Trophy). That’s one reason you won’t find me posting about racing.

Blogs, auto sites, forums go gaga “copy + pasting” the news and press releases (that automatically finds its way to the inbox of bloggers like me) of how racing is alive and kicking in India. But when the first Indian to have ever featured in a MotoGP (125 cc class in 2011) race decides not to race citing “personal” reasons, nobody cares and goes well.. unnoticed.

Story of Sarath Kumar:

Sarath Kumar will be remembered in history as the first Indian to feature in the premier 125 cc class at MotoGP in 2011. Although it was not a fairy tale affair with him struggling to just qualify for the initial races and managing to race in just one circuit and finishing last in it. After that Sarath (and probably his Indian team Ten10) did not participate for the entire 2011 season. Things appeared bright for Sarath once Mahindra Racing decided to take him under their wings and let him race as one of their racers in the 125 cc class in a 2012 (ongoing) Italian racing championship. Sarath did well and even managed to secure a third spot in one of the races.

But a few weeks back there appeared a video on Youtube about Sarath and how he was struggling to meet his family commitments and keep his racing passion alive at the same time. Sarath who is still a young boy, revealed in that video that he was contemplating on taking up driving a taxi to be able to support his family financially. He did thank his team, Mahindra Racing on supporting him and giving opportunity to race for them but due to the lack of a sponsor, he was now finding it hard to concentrate on racing.

And just a couple of days after the video, I came across a news article which said that Sarath opts out of the Italian Championship citing “personal’ reasons. Surprisingly this news hasn’t been able to create the same amount of buzz.

It’s probably fashionable to talk about Rossi/Lorenzo/Moto GP and how WSBK is coming to India, how Honda/TVS/Yamaha is supporting domestic racing in India, how Hero Moto and Mahindra Racing is taking India’s name in the international racing circuit.. but when it comes to someone as humble like Sarath Kumar and what it seems like giving up on racing (God forbid), nobody seems to care. Come on, how much would it take to take care of Sarath’s finances? Rs. 30-40K per month? That would be like a single 10 second Ad spot on Prime time TV..!!

If this is how Indians care about racing, I am relieved that I should not be ashamed as a biker that I don’t watch MotoGP.

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


Roadrockerz said...

Hi there, our small bike group is ready to help Sharath as much as we could and seek help from other riders across the country. Please let us know how we can get in touch with him. our mail id:
our facebook page:

Anonymous said...

It surely feels like a sad story. I know that Sarath should get due support financially. And why just Sarath, there are a lot more who need such support. But does anyone know the real reason for him to quit Italian Championship? He needs financial support but Mahindra was sponsoring him. The reason why he had to leave Italian Championship was that he had not been able to come up with impressive progress. On similar machinery, his teammate was winning races while Sarath barely managed to finish second last, third last. The new rider who has replaced him is straight winner on the same bike. At this point, isn't it fair on part of his team to ask him to leave cause even they want to win the championship and they need racers who can bring the glory at some point of time.

sunil said...

bravo mahindra, please continue to waste money on bollywood starts like aamir khan and kareena, the ones who will never ride a 2 wheeler in their life.

also waste more money in buying an off the shelf italian racing unit while you try to sell taiwanese scooters rebranded as your own in india. one suggestion, why don't you guys sell in italy?

why did you ever think of giving an indian talent a try when you can buy enough gora sahebs

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


Didn't Sarath win 3rd position in his last race? also how come are you so sure about the cirmstances in which he was asked to leave the team? Got any proof?

Anonymous said...

bravo india...where cricketers are gettin crores for seatin on bench..but here this guy strugglin get money for his family...plz highlight this story to government

Anonymous said...

Payeng, there were 5 riders on that grid when he finished 3rd

Unknown said...

I'm surprised .. why Mahindra isn't doing anything for one of its racers!

Roshan said...

Sarath Participated in three races last year in 125cc category, which is also known as Moto3 class this year. First two races he qualified last and crashed out while in the third race he finished last, thats 24th. Thats about Race Track experience Sarath has in Moto3 class. Though Sarath did not lit the track on fire, all he wanted was training and guidance, clearly he is a talent. It takes a lot of compete with that bunch in MotoGP. Sarath has to concentrate on racing instead of concentrating on earning his living.

Anonymous said...

Cant any one of the major automotive companies give him a good job? Experiece is always gained and never earned!!! If any one of the companies like TVS,Bajaj give him some job in testing he would be the best person to do it...... We are in a country where real talents gets burned...

While this goes in one end.. There was news about people earlier who don't want to play with each other..... Please remember people are representing India and not themself... Real waste of talent. I have some races in chennai race track live the pain what every one faces just to make the bike or a car to fit for the race and to complete the race is excellent.

Some thing has to be done for him.... Talents should always be encouraged. He is not the first one who's talent will go waste there are many like Dilip roger,Emmanuel Jebaraj,Preetham dev moses etc........

Anonymous said...

First ever Indian to finish on the Podium in a European race, and he is released due to reasons that make us speculate as to why Mahindra won't encourage a talent that is probably the best Indian hope to shine on the World scene in the near future. Mahindra as a company has made some fantastic contribution to Indian sports like the youth football development. But this decision to let go of Sarath and not support him at this crucial stage of his career makes me wonder what the actual story is. Very very pitiful and soul-less decision.

TwoWheelers said...

Very Sad:(
Mahindra have to do something for Sarath.

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