Motorsport

‘Two years of struggle helped me learn from the best’

Inspiration: Jagan Kumar came from a humble background — his dad was an auto driver — and slowly worked his way to the top.

Inspiration: Jagan Kumar came from a humble background — his dad was an auto driver — and slowly worked his way to the top.  

Jagan Kumar clinched a staggering seventh-straight title by 13 points despite only two wins

Another season of the national two-wheeler championship came to a close earlier this week and yet again TVS Racing’s Jagan Kumar came out on top, despite a weekend in which he did not reach the podium even once.

But the 43-point lead he had built up before the final event was enough to help him clinch a staggering seventh-straight title by 13 points despite only two wins.

The 30-year-old’s tale of fighting the odds to become the best rider in the country is inspiring. Coming from a humble background (his dad was an auto driver), Jagan had to work his way to the top by working part-time delivering newspapers and couriers during his college years to support his racing career early on, before he became a factory rider for TVS Racing, where he is involved with the company’s R&D activities too.

Speaking on Thursday, Jagan said, “When I started I did not expect to win seven titles. But the effort of the team members and my crew has helped me win again. This year the season was tight and went till the last round, but somehow we managed to do it.”

Last year, Jagan overturned a 33-point deficit to win the title — and if there is one thing the riders know for sure, is to never underestimate Jagan. When asked about his career so far, the diminutive racer recalls fondly not his championship winning years but the two years — 2010 and 2011 — when he moved from winning the novice championship to the premier open class, where he had to contend with experienced riders like Harry Sylvester.

“When I started in the open class, the senior riders were very fast and I was way behind them often. But those two years of struggling and losing helped me learn from the best and improve myself.”

Come 2019, young riders will have another crack at trying to remove Jagan from his perch, but the 30-year-old is not resting on his laurels and is already trying to get better, with training sessions in Thailand with Asian champions to improve himself both technically and physically.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 5:16:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/motorsport/two-years-of-struggle-helped-me-learn-from-the-best/article25791065.ece

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