Fans at next weekend’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix MotoGP race will have a local hero to cheer for when Chennai’s K.Y. Ahamed races in the Moto 3 championship (two levels below MotoGP) as a wildcard entry.
The 26-year-old national champion will race for PETRONAS MIE Racing Vision Track Racing team aboard the Honda NSF250R bike, making him the first Indian to compete in the Moto 3 class.
Ahamed will follow in the footsteps of S. Sarath Kumar, who drove one race in 2011 in the 125cc class, the precursor to Moto3.
Speaking to Sportstar from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where he is training for the race, Ahamed said, “It is a dream come true to be part of the world championship event. While growing up, I used to dream of just seeing a MotoGP race. But to be part of the world championship is a dream come true.”
Earlier this year, the FMSCI selected Ahamed and Rajiv Sethu for a selection trial in Japan, where they had a one-week camp and trained under former Moto2 rider Tetsuta Nagashima.
“We tested on Ohvale GP minibike and were evaluated on timing, skills, and endurance. I have to thank the FMSCI and TVS Racing for helping me get this opportunity,” added Ahamed, who got the nod following the trial.
Ahamed had his first taste of being part of a MotoGP weekend when he competed in the 2016 Asia Talent Cup at three rounds in Qatar, Malaysia and China when it was one of the support races before funds dried out.
As part of his preparation for the weekend, Ahamed is training with former Indonesian Moto2 rider Doni Tata Pradita on a Supermoto bike. “I have been here for the past two weeks, and it has been an intense schedule. I am grateful Doni agreed to train because he is very experienced and can help me prepare quickly.”
While it will be a steep learning curve for the India rider, Ahamed said, “I have always been someone who never gives up until the chequered flag. Sometimes, I have crashed and lost points trying to be aggressive, but I try to look forward and not just sit back. I aim to do my best, learn as much as possible, and share the knowledge with upcoming riders.”
“Things are changing with riders starting as young as 13 or 14, and having a MotoGP race in India is going to be a huge thing,” he added before signing off.
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