From dropping out of school after Class X to fighting amongst the best riders in the country, K.Y. Ahamed has come a long way since his humble beginnings in 2012.
The rider scaled a new high last weekend at the MMRT when he clinched his first title in the premier class (Pro-Stock 301-400cc) driving for TVS Racing.
Ahamed swapped his thrill for speed on the streets of Triplicane in the City to the safe confines of the race track after being spotted by another National champion Jagan Kumar.
Jagan won the Pro-Stock 165 cc title for the eighth time this year, incidentally beating Ahamed by just one point.
“When Jagan saw me racing on the streets, he warned me not to do so and took me to the race-track so that I could do it safely. Once I tried his bike, I decided I wanted to race professionally,” said Ahamed on Thursday.
“Initially my family was reluctant with my decision considering the risks involved, but Jagan convinced them explaining how safe the track is with safety measures and protective gears. Now, they are happy that my decision has paid off,” added the 23-year-old who has had to support his mother and sister since his late teens.
Ahamed, who won the 125cc novice title in 2013, has been nipping on the heels of his mentor Jagan in terms of speed for the last few years after joining TVS Racing in 2014.
However, he has struggled to find consistency, involving himself in needless crashes. It is an aspect where Jagan has had a role to play in guiding the youngster.
“He has the speed but does not play the long game in terms of the championship. I have scolded him and, he used to get angry but this year he was able to finally understand that aspect of racing,” said Jagan, who reclaimed his 165cc title after his seven-year streak (2012-18) ended last year.
This year was supposed to be a big one for the duo as TVS Racing entered the AP 250 class in the Asian Road Racing Championship, a fully Indian entry.
However, the pandemic meant the season was cancelled after the first round. With the National titles sealed, the riders are focussed on a second attempt at international glory with the season set to start in June 2021.