Coimbatore: Football may have been the easiest and cheapest choice for the youngsters from Mizoram to indulge in, to channel their energies, but biking is in their DNA without any second thought.
Motorsports may cost much more than their parents could afford, but that hasn’t stopped these youngsters from the football-mad Aizawl to pursue their dreams built on watching “every Moto GP live on television”.
“I cannot miss even a frame of the Moto GP telecast. Bikes are what I love and this is a passion I know. I may not be able to earn from my passion, but I will pursue this as far as I can,” says Zothanmawia, one of the 11 riders from Aizawl, who are competing in the JK Tyre Suzuki Gixxer Cup series, the support races of the 20th JK Tyre National Racing championship.
Whatever these youngsters do in Mizoram under the banner of MiMSA, the Mizoram Motor Sports Association, could be technically termed as illegal or unsanctioned, but that hasn’t stopped them from doing what they really like to do. “I feel happy that people around here know us as football crazy State and that we won the I-League title further establishes Mizoram’s credentials, but I am not a football fan,” insists Zothanmawia, one of the few who could converse in English.
No wonder then that the 13-grid JK Tyre Red Bull Rookie Cup has 8 riders from Aizawl. There are two from Chennai, one each from Delhi, Bengaluru and Sri Lanka. The grid itself looks an invasion by Mizoram over the hitherto dominant Southern India, especially Chennai.
But the story doesn’t end here. There were two from Aizawl who made it to the podium behind the winner Jaden Gunawardena, but since the Sri Lankan would not be considered for computing championship points meant only for the Indian nationals, it was a clean Aizawl sweep.
The perk is, the winner of the Red Bull Rookie Cup gets the chance to travel to Spain and ride with other such winners from different countries in the qualifying for the international Red Bull Rookie Cup.
There are three more from Aizawl, in the Suzuki Gixxer Cup, which is for the 16 years and above.
The good part is, JK Tyre has fundamentally agreed to pay the membership fee of MiMSA and get Mizoram in the FMSCI fold. The MiMSA, a loose association of motorsports enthusiasts from Mizoram, have so far avoided getting recognition from the national governing body as the yearly fees of Rs 30,000 was too much considering there was no activity being conducted by the FMSCI.