If motorcycle racing interests you then this inspiring story of a 25-year-old Udipta Kumar Rath who hails from Temple City, Bhubaneswar would motivate you to take it up as a profession.
Rath, who has participated in Suzuki Gixxer Cup 2016 and more recently in Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship, in a candid chat with Catch News shared his inclination towards racing bikes since childhood, an accidents on tracks, and many other things.
At the age of 11, he had started assembling motorbikes and his dreams revolved around the racing track and finish line. Unlike other kids of his age, his vision and career were quite clear to him and his parents, who were aware of it, supported him. They brought his dream into action at the age of 15 when he started freestyle stunt riding.
After completing his graduation in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Rath followed his dream and headed towards a training institute in Chennai and started with a rigorous regimen trying his hands at professional racing.
"Seeing a dream and actually achieving it are two different things," said Rath, “I practice for more than 8-10 hours yet when it comes to racing track, it is totally different. It needs a lot of concentration and focus.One wrong step and you are gone. Just like it happened to me in Pirelli Malaysia Superbike Championship 2017 when I met with an accident and was in coma for 25 minutes.”
Motorcycle racing as a profession is at its nascent stage in India while the action is mostly in countries like Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.Given the situation, taking it up as a career in India without any role model would have been difficult for the young biker.
When asked about it he said, “With few people to follow, it was a challenging task but the amazing YouTube videos and books like 'Twist of the Wrist', 'Top Gear Super cars' and 'Aussie Grit: My Formula One Journey' helped me a lot and gave me an insight to the world of racing.”
In the year 2015 Udipta managed to get the third position in TVS One Make Championship and then there was no looking back for the young lad. He not only turned out to be the fastest finisher but also managed 10th on point table in the recently held Malaysia Superbike Championship. However, due to the unfortunate accident, he lost the game and could manage only a few points.
When asked about the accident that took place on track he said, “I was doing really well and completed three rounds with excellent speed and turned out to be the fastest finisher in those rounds but unfortunately the fourth round didn’t go well and I met with the accident and as much I remember I was in coma for 25 minutes and lost the match.”
However, this accident has not deterred him or taken away his willpower. Rather it has made him more determined to continue with his practice for the next season --that is in March -Nov 2018. Presently Udipta is undergoing physical training and focusing on fitness-- mainly cycling, yoga and swimming. And the final destination is World Championship after Asia Road Racing Championship and the Malaysian Championship successfully.