Chennai, March 1, 2019: Challenging itself to strive to develop world class iconic motorsport riders and team mechanics from India, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. today announced its international racing team for 2019 season.
In 2019, Honda reinforces its commitment on its direction which is ‘To develop iconic Indian rider for National & International Championships’ with a more aggressive THREE-PRONGED approach.
Elaborating on Honda’s 2019 plans to discover and nurture riders from India to compete internationally, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said,
“Honda is driven by a challenging spirit and passion to win. A lot of people have high expectations from us, so we will work hard as a team to get the best possible results. With 2 of India’s most promising riders representing the IDEMITSU Honda Racing India at Asia level, we are aiming that our boys climb the top group and make India proud on the international stage in 2019.
Last year, we announced our motorsport direction. And now, staying true to our commitment, we are fast-tracking the development of 2 next generation riders to the Asian platform. Starting from identifying high potential riders as young as 13 years through our ‘IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt to aiming to develop a top Indian rider for MotoGP, Honda has an aggressive roadmap to support young Indian riders to realize their dreams.”
Honda 2Wheelers India’s team IDEMITSU Honda Racing India at ARRC & TTC:
In the 2019 season of Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) - Asia’s toughest road racing championship since 24 years, the solo Indian team IDEMITSU Honda Racing India strives to emerge as a tough challenger to the best Asian riders in the Asia Production 250cc class.
Leading the battle in ARRC battle will be experienced Rajiv Sethu for whom this year will be his 3rd season in ARRC. Rajiv has shown consistent improvement since his ARRC debut in 2017; climbing from 46th spot in his inaugural year to and earning India multiple points and closing 27th position in 2018.
Backing Rajiv up as teammate is the 17-year-old promising rookie rider Senthil Kumar. In 2018, Senthil showed promising results in his debut year at Thai Talent Cup while grabbing the 3rd position in the 2018 INMRC Pro Stock 165cc championship on the domestic front.
Sharing his thoughts, Rajiv Sethu shared, “This is my third year in ARRC, and I’m very thankful to Honda 2Wheelers India for giving me this great platform. I am realizing my dreams to grow my skills and prove myself in international championships. With every season, I am going a step closer to my dreams. For 2019 my preparation has been the toughest with Honda’s best in class training facilities. This year I am challenging myself to climb even further and strive to close the season in top 15.”
Making his debut in ARRC, Senthil Kumar said, “I feel very blessed to get international opportunities with Honda in just 2 years since start of my professional racing. ARRC will be my first ever exposure to the Asia’s toughest race. I am extremely happy and excited to be a part of the IDEMITSU Honda Racing team and representing India on international soil. It is a dream opportunity for me after Thai Talent Cup and I’ve prepared day and night for to make our country proud. Looking forward for a great learning with team Honda!”
IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt to Thailand Talent Cup (TTC) 2019:
The biggest hurdle in the development of an INDIAN iconic rider for International Championships has been the late entry point into professional racing. But Honda’s is challenging this and fast-tracking the career development of young Indian riders who have high potential.
The unique platform – the IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt, introduced in 2018, has become a huge success in the country. Honda’s team of experts combed through 132 young riders at the hunt, hailing from 21 cities across 7 states and has identified top 12 with immense potential.
The new riders for 2019 season of Thai Talent Cup are 14-year-old Chennai boy Mohamed Mikail & 18-year-old Kritik Habib from Gadag, Karnataka. From bagging top positions in IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup last year to fast-tracked career development through Honda’s key Asian rider development program, these talent hunt stars have come a long way.
Giving priority to developing not just world level rider but also technician, Mr. P Prabhakaran will join “Honda Asia-Dream Racing Team with SHOWA” competing in new category Superbike1000cc class (ASB1000) as a part of HADR technical team.