Motorsport

Honda India hunting for the best

Starting out early: The participants at the IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt in Coimbatore.

Starting out early: The participants at the IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt in Coimbatore.  

Eight young riders put through three levels of test

After identifying potential talents in Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune, the IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt returned to the motorsports capital in search of a few more gems during the fourth round of its second season here on Saturday.

It was one big opportunity for the participants as Honda 2 Wheelers India is shortlisting and grooming the best of the lot for a racing career spanning national and international championships.

Eight young riders from Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Madurai, Ariyalur and Coimbatore went through three levels of test — physical fitness, race orientation and riding skills and one-on-one interviews. It was quite clear from the way these young riders handled the various sessions that they were serious about the sport.

Parents interviewed

Interestingly, the interviews were for both the participants and their parents. The idea was to help them understand the sport better and, with it, to find out how best they can support their wards in becoming the next iconic rider from India.

Prabhu Nagaraj, vice president, Brand & Communication, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd, was pleased with the success of the 2019 racing season for Team Honda. “Our 19 selected young guns were initiated into professional track racing at national level through CBR 150R class of the Talent Hunt 2019. We also fast-tracked the career of eight riders by giving them an opportunity to race on NSF250R — Honda’s world class Moto3 machine,” he said.

“In fact, Honda also gave the chance to two of the Talent Hunt riders to test their skills with the best of the Asian riders at the Thailand Talent Cup,” he added.

Long term plans

Talking about long term plans, he said Honda’s focus is to put young Indian talent on multiple world class platforms from CEV, Asian Talent Cup, going up to premier class MotoGP.

Nagaraj was delighted with the overwhelming passion of the young boys who participated in the Coimbatore leg. “The Hunt is just the start of their professional racing career.”

After the first phase of shortlisting, the top candidates of this round will be provided with the platform to improve their skills in the second phase at the Chennai race track. Honda will then pick the best of the bunch and provide them with direct entry to the Honda Talent Cup CBR 150R class in 2020 season in the first phase.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:37:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/motorsport/honda-india-hunting-for-the-best/article30594684.ece

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