Anthony West's Indian connection

What makes Anthony West's victory in the first round of the fourth leg ongoing Asian Road Racing Championship is the fact that he rides for an Indian private team, Motorev, that challenges major manufacturers like Honda, Kawasaki etc.

Anthony West stormed into a healthy lead in the ongoing Asian Road Racing Championship after winning the first round of the fourth leg at the MMRT, on Sunday.   -  Special Arrangement

Endurance, brilliance and intelligence are some of the traits Anthony West possesses in abundance and when the Australian displays them on the race track to leave everyone in awe, he sums it up as ‘just another day in office.’

The veteran racer stormed into a healthy lead in the ongoing Asian Road Racing Championship after winning the first round of the fourth leg at the MMRT, on Sunday.

What makes the lead more special for West is the fact that he rides for an Indian private team, Motorev, that challenges major manufacturers like Honda, Kawasaki etc. And what's more, the rider even puts the team on top of the charts by winning with ease.

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A team of 11 – 3 mechanics, 1 electronic engineer, 1 engine engineer, 1 chief engineer, 1 team manager among others – manage the show at every race. The team isn’t huge by any standard but that is not what defines the quality of Motorev. Every member of the team is experienced in all departments of the sport and West is also an active crew member behind the scenes, because it is ‘his machine’.

Former riders make the crew

“The sport in India has no lookout. It isn't like cricket and IPL. It was pretty difficult for us to survive on this. So, we keep hiring our mechanics from different parts of Asian countries. The entire crew were riders in the past,” says Balavijay, team principal of Motorev.

Having a strong motorsport background has made selecting riders easy for Motorev. “A one-to-one connection between the rider and the team is there. To whichever rider we pitch our ideas, they already know us. They know the crew, who we are, what we have done, what's our past and what titles we won. And if you look at that, competing against all factory odds, this particular crew has bagged seven all-Asia championships.

"The guys (racers) know that even though we don't have a factory sponsor or a backup or anything, they are ready to jump into our bandwagon. With limited facilities and limited funds, we battle on,” Balavijay adds.

For West, racing with private teams and taking on manufacturers isn’t new. It is, in fact, a piece of cake. “I have been racing with private teams for long. I know what it takes to win over them and it hasn’t been an easy ride too,” West says.

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“But Motorev is doing a great job. It is a small team. We have crew members from various countries like India, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and Japan. It is not often you find a team with so many nationalities working towards a common goal. It somehow works for Motorev. We all have experience in racing for a long time and that has been a huge advantage for us,” West adds.

Budgetary constraints

While the team has been doing well on the track, budgetary constraints always threaten to pull the team down. “It is always an issue for private teams like us,” Balavijay says. “We are in some discussions with Yamaha. But we’ll have to see what either party gets out of it. In India it is always a battle for survival. It is always what I get versus what you get,” he adds.

West, however, is unfazed. “I know we always run on a tight budget. But somehow the crew always finds a way. I don’t know for how long that can happen but we are pulling it off.”

With West and an able crew, Motorev has been successfully battling all odds and has passed many a test with flying colours, so far and a glimpse was dished out on Sunday at the MMRT with West dominating the race from start to finish. He was so fast that he even overtook the last rider on the grid (by finishing a lap extra) by the time the race reached the halfway stage.