Honda have raised the bar for Indian motorcycle racing by introducing their Moto3-inspired race bike, the Honda NSF250R, in Chennai along with an outline of their approach towards motor sport in India.
Honda’s plan is simple: to nurture young racing talent in India and prepare them to compete globally. For this, Honda have tied up with oil-giant Idemitsu and will focus on two key areas – structural management and brand management.
In its first phase, Honda will introduce the new Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – NSF250R category and will field eight hand-picked racing talents selected from racing championships to race in the inaugural Honda NSF250R category. Sarthak Shrikant Chava, 12, from Pune, will be the youngest to compete followed by Kavin Samaar Quintal (14), Geoffrey (14), Mohammed Mikail (15), S Varoon (16), T Charan (18), all from Chennai, Mohsin (17) from Mallapuram, and Kritik Habib (19) from Gadag.
The bike that the racers will compete on is the Honda NSF250R, an original racing machine developed exclusively by Honda Racing Corporation for a single purpose, to compete on the track. This racing motorcycle’s engine is a liquid-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC, single-cylinder unit that produces 48 PS at 13,000 rpm and 28 Nm at 10,500 rpm. In its stock form it weighs just 84 kg. That translates to a power-to-weight ratio of 571 PS/tonne!
Following this, Honda will conduct talent hunts in five cities across India in the 13-17 year age-bracket to discover more racing prodigies. In the next step, the selected riders will be groomed in the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup 2019 – CBR150R category. The best performing riders will get further grooming for an accelerated career development in motor sport.
For brand management, Honda shared their plan to compete in the ProStock 200-300 cc class of the Indian Motorcycle Racing Championship (INMRC) with a desire to lead all classes in 2019. In order to fulfil this ambition, Honda have already chosen six talented riders who will be the torchbearers for the Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing team. Abhishek Basudev (29), Sarath Kumar (28) and Anish Shetty (25) will compete in the ProStock 300 cc class. Whereas Yashas R L (25), B Aravind (24), and K Kannan (20) will compete in the ProStock 165 cc class.
Minoru Kato, President and CEO of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter Pvt Ltd, shared an overview of Honda’s future roadmap saying, “With our constatnt endeavours to expand the sport in step-wise manner in the past decade, Honda is now synonymous with motor sports in India. In 2018, we were first to create a solo Indian team at International Asia Road Racing Championship. In 2019, we are taking the next step and bringing the best of world’s motor sport to India. I am proud to share that the Indian riders will now race on the same machine platform as world champions of Moto3. Honda’s two-pronged approach of brand leadership and structural development not only spells our ambition to lead motor sport culture in India today but, moreover, create the next iconic rider from India and fast-track their development to the world level with a 360-degree roadmap. My dream is to create a future iconic rider for the world from India.”
Story: Koustubh Mukherjee