Imagine an oval track of 400 metres long with only loose stones and mud. Now add a bike weighing approximately 200+ kilograms with no front brakes. Only a few with mettle like no other will have the crazy idea of racing those bikes on a track like that. That is exactly what Flat Track racing is all about.
Flat Track racing began approximately 100 years ago somewhere in the United States and Australia. A century later, one of the purest forms of racing enters India courtesy Harley – Davidson India along with Rajputana Customs in 2018 with the training session held in John Singh Speedway, Jaipur. Where International Flat Track legend Marco Belli, the man who introduced nine-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi to the world of flat track racing headed the training session.
A year later, IBW 2019 saw the Flat Track being opened up commercially where Harley- Davidson saw 500 + entries for a 150 slot registration for which Rajputana Customs customized the Harley- Davidson Street 750 Rod for the event.
Abhishek Vasudev, A four times national champion under the Pro- Stock Class with 6 yrs. experience as a professional motorcycle instructor and 9 yrs. experience as a professional motorcycle road racer on the race tracks sponsored by Tyremarket.com took a shot at taming the dirt tracks.
Every rider was given 4 laps around the dirt track, only top 10 riders with best lap timing were called for round 2. In the second round, Sanjay Kumar took the trophy with Abrar Bin Ayub and Dev Venkatesh secured 2nd and 3rd position.
After the event, we were able to get an insight into flat track racing from Abhishek Vasudev.
In his words, “Being a professional racer for close to a decade in the tarmacked tracks, flat-track racing was something that I’m drawn to as it is the purest form of racing as you don’t have the time to plan your strategies like one would do on the tarmac, here it’s all about how one handles the bike in the spur of the moment as the dirt track is shorter with much less grip and no front brakes.”
“From the riding technique, the bike mods, seating position, holding the handle bars to the braking and cornering is so different and the adrenalin of racing is far more superior as before you finish one corner you have to be ready to dive into the next one with the right amount of momentum because if you are too slow you are sliding off the track and if you are too fast the result is the same. Ultimately Flat track racing is just pure fun and adrenalin. You just ride, you don’t think!”
When asked if he had anything to say to the people aspiring to get into flat tracking he encouraged newer racer to pursue this form of racing as there is no age bar on it and the skills you learn from the experiences help even when you move onto the more lucrative racing segments.
In fact, He too revealed the fact that his professional racing career began after bagging the title in the Bangalore edition of Indian National Rally Championship in 2010.
So, that’s it folks… There you have it…
Flat Tracking is the basics and it is here to stay for centuries to come.