Pune: The Indian arm of Honda 2Wheelers has announced an aggressive motorsports strategy for 2018 season of Asia Road Racing Championship that aims at going full throttle to expand motorsport in India.
Besides aiming to develop an iconic Indian rider for national and international championships, this new directional shift in its motorsport strategy is likely to make India a destination for two-wheeler track racing.
Hondo 2Wheelers India will now have first all-Indian team-Idemitsu Honda Racing-that will be managed by T Pro Ten10 Racing.
Globally Honda is synonymous with Racing with a glorious history of iconic riders since 1959. In India, Honda 2Wheelers made its debut in motorsports a decade earlier in 2008.
For the first 10 years till 2017, Honda 2Wheelers India fucussed on nurturing, developing and giving professional platforms to Indian riding enthusiasts.
And now in 2018, Honda is aiming to develop iconic Indian rider under Honda’s aggressive vision to nurture and develop Indian riders of international stature.
“Honda 2Wheelers India is proud to announce that for the first time, an Indian team will be participating solo in the 23rd season of Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) 2018. It is our next step towards realizing the dream to develop iconic Indian riders for both only national but more so international racing championships,” is how Minoru Kato, President and CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd, explained the new direction and the initiative of Honda.
Honda will be developing two riders Rajiv Sethu and Anish D Shetty, he declared.
Sethu and the rookie Anishwill battle it out with 23 other Asian riders in the Asia Production 250cc class. The marquee SuperSport 600cc will see the team’s third rider, 23-year old Japanese rider Taiga Hada compete with 21 other riders. Hada was overall 3rd in SuperSports 600cc in 2017 FIM ARRC season and is placed 7th in the first qualifying of 2018 season.
“This is my second year at the ARRC, I had an amazing debut and learnings last year. By providing me with this global platform, Honda 2Wheelers has given me wings to achieve my dream of becoming an international Indian motorsport rider,” said Sethu.
“We are extremely delighted to extend learning curve of Rajiv while giving debut international exposure to the promising rider Anish. We are confident that they will put up a great show and supporting dreams for many more young riders to make a career in racing,” said Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President- Customer Service, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India.
“Taking learnings from 2017 season, I have worked diligently this year. I am very excited to be a part of the first Indian team and aim to deliver my best this year for my team and my country.”
“I am elated and honored to be a part of the historical first all Indian team at the 23rd season of ARRC. 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 the most experienced racers in the world.
2018 ARRC calendar:
Round 1: Thailand--March 2-4.
Round 2: Adelaide, Australia-April 19-22.
Round 3: Suzuka, Japan-June 1-3.
Round 4: Chennai-August 3-5.
Round 5: Indonesia-October 12-14.
Round 6: Thailand-November 30-December 2.