Pune: Yuvrajsinh Kondedeshmukh is destined for bigger things, but this 13-year-old from Pune has already charted paths seldom taken by children of his age.
An eighth standard student of Symbiosis International School has been national champion in his class for the last two seasons and now aims to fly the tri-colour on the Asian stage.
“I am pretty confident of doing well in the Round 1 and 2 of the FIM Asia Motocross championship after long training session at Pala Motor Speedway in the United States,” Yuvraj told Sakal Times as he readied for first round slated on Saturday.
It had been long and punishing days for Yuvraj, who has travelled extensively since January when the first round of National Supercross championship was held in Kochi.
Four weeks in the United States with his coach Rustom Patel, himself an eight-time national champion, has been a big learning time as Yuvraj prepares for one of the busiest season of his nascent career. “My training was good and I won one race in Pala, which was organised by Transworld Motorsports,” informed Yuvraj, who participated in two classes—125 Open and 125-250cc mixed class.
“I won 125 Open and came second in the mixed class,” informed Yuvraj, who will be travelling to all the FIM Asia Motocross rounds this year, which would be his last year in Under-14 age category.
Being a student of International Board school, his final examinations are yet to happen and are scheduled in May, but a dedicated Yuvraj finds time for studies and motorsport alike.
Yuvraj’s parents are his biggest supporters even though he has chosen to take up an otherwise ‘risky’ sport.
“At a very young are he showed characteristics that led us to belief that he was interested in something like this than a sport such as tennis or football,” explained his father Sandeep.
“During one of the races he once broke his right femur bone, and his mother had a question for him whether he would like to continue with motorsports, but in that state and pain Yuvraj stood his ground,” explained Sandeep.
As Yuvraj gets ready for the big day for Round 1 and 2 in the Malaysian State of Kuala Terengganu, it is worth to mention that tracks thewre are much longer, jumps tougher and higher than what is laid out in the national championships here.
There are riders from ten countries participating in the championship including those from Japan, Thailand, Guam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Indonesia and Singapore.
The FIM Asia compliant outdoor Supercross circuit is located at the Gong Badak Sports Complex in Kuala Terengganu, which has a permanent venue for the sport and has hosted this championship for last 18 years on the trot.
Yuvraj, who finished fourth overall out of 16 riders in the Asian Motocross Championship 2017, says he would target World title in 2021. “This year I will be going to Mongolia for a Asia round and that should be interesting,” said Yuvraj, who rides KTM SX85cc bike and is sponsored by Ajmera Racing Academy and fully supported by Atul Ajmera, Director of Mumbai-based construction company, Ajmera Group.
The tracks in the United States are bigger and longer. So also in Malaysia and other Asian countries, but in India paucity of space makes it difficult to offer such option for riders preparing for bigger things.
“We need to have longer tracks with bigger jumps. Internationally riders drive in 5th and 6th gears, while here it becomes difficult to go beyond 3rd gear,” said Sandeep Kondedeshmukh.
When Yuvraj went to Pala Raceway, it took 8-10 days to adjust to the track where average speed riders ride at is 94-kmph. “We need to have such longer and challenging tracks to prepare riders for international championship,” said Sandep, who has laid out a motocross track on his private land in Khed-Shivapur near Pune where Yuvraj practices regularly.
Everybody was older than me in the Open class. I was the youngest, but it is good to compete against experienced riders and learn the competitive skills.
—Yuvrajsinh Kondedeshmukh, Motocross rider