Johor Bahru (Malaysia), 31 March 2017: India’s top two-wheeler racers, Shankar Sarath Kumar and Rajiv Sethu, representing RAMA Honda Racing team by NTS T.Pro Ten10 team, and supported by Honda 2Wheelers India, are taking part in the 2017 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship which commences here tomorrow, April 1, with the first round.
Sarath Kumar, coming off a knee injury that severely impacted his 2016 season, will continue his campaign in the SuperSport 600cc class on a Honda CBR 600WR while Rajiv Sethu, riding the all new Honda CBR 250RR, has moved to Asia Production 250cc after a season in the Asia Dream Cup. Both are supported by Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India and Honda Motorsports Japan as a key talent development from India in the international racing series.
Sarath and Sethu, both Chennai-based, are also part of a five-rider contingent in two classes, backed by John Sudheer of RAMA Group of Companies and who is also the team ambassador.
The team also includes three experienced riders led by “pocket rocket” Tomoyoshi Koyama who shifts to the crucial AP250 class from SS600. While Tiga Hada takes up the mantle in SS600 to lead the championship fight for Honda, ARRC rookie Sena Yamada begins his Asian stint with vast experience in the European Moto3 and Moto2 circuits and is the dark horse to watch out for.
Looking forward to the 2017 season, Sarath Kumar said: “I am happy to get back to riding the SS600 this year. Personally for me, 2016 was a challenging year with injuries. This season, I have worked very hard and want to put up a strong performance.
“Throughout my career, Ten10 Racing with Honda 2Wheelers India always had faith in me and powered my dreams. I hope to deliver my best for them. I also thank Mr John Sudheer who has come forward to support this sport and a talent like me.”
Making his debut in the ARRC is the 2016 Indian National champion and former Asia Dream Cup participant, is Rajiv Sethu, the young rising talent from Chennai.
Visibly excited at his debut, Rajiv Sethu, said: “For any Indian racer, getting global exposure is a big opportunity. Honda 2Wheelers India has made my dream come true. I look forward to ride and learn from riders like Koyama San who is among the most experienced racers in the World.
“The 2017 season for me is all about improving my riding and presence in international races. This is my first exposure in ARRC and it’s a big deal for me. I will do my best to make my team and country proud.”
HMSI Statement by Prabhu Nagaraj: “India is making gradual but consistent progress in motorsport and our boys going international arena is great for the sport. As part of our rider development program two young talented Indian riders Sarath and Rajiv will be seen in action in ARRC this year. We are extremely delighted to have them in our international mix and are confident that they will put up a great show. I’m sure these riders will be creating and supporting dreams for many more young riders to make a career in Racing. Also, the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) will return to India later this year and this will be another great opportunity for the riders as well as the motorsport fans in India.”
Team Owner, Yusuke Teshima: “I am so happy to put together such a big team across two classes this season in FIM Asia Road Racing Championship in collaboration with India. The team comprises of very talented racers from India and Japan and this will be a great platform for them to grow to the next level of professional motorcycle racing. We are confident of putting up some good performances for Honda and our sponsor, RAMA, this year.”
Team Ambassador, John Sudheer: “I have been associated with the team for one year during the 2016 season and I have been to all their races. The kind of passion and commitment they have towards this sport made me decide to continue my support for the 2017 season, this time with my own brand RAMA (Royal Asia Movie Awards). I see this as a perfect platform for Asian collaboration, uniting Asia through motorcycle racing. Moreover, with Indian talents involved and benefiting through this sport, it is something exciting to see especially when they carry my brand across Asia.”
2017 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship: The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is the regional motorcycle road racing championship for Asia, held since 1996. This championship is part of the production-based category of racing, similar to the Supersport World Championship, British Supersport Championship and AMA Supersport Championship. Modified versions of production motorcycles that are available to the public are featured in the race. The Championship is currently divided into three open-make classes and two mono-brand developmental classes. The open-make categories are the SuperSports 600cc, Asia Production 250cc and Underbone 130cc. The developmental classes race on single-make motorcycles.
eom/AP Media Comm release