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Japanese two-wheeler giant Honda recently conducted the second round of the IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt 2021 as it continues its quest to find the next generation of motorcycle racers in India.
The second round of the Honda India Talent Hunt was conducted at the Aruani Grid in Bangalore. 14 amateur riders, including a single female rider aged 11, were present at the tests. The rider group was quite varied with regards to experience with ages ranging between 11 to 17 years.
The participating riders hailed from 8 cities across south India - Bangalore, Karnataka; Tirupur and Karur in Tamil Nadu; Kolhapur in Maharashtra; Kannur, Kottayam, Thrissur and Perintalmanna in Kerala.
All 14 amateur riders were put through a series of gruelling tests as part of Level I of the process. First, the riders were put through a gruelling regime to check their overall fitness.
Once fitness levels were determined, the young riders were sent out onto the track with Honda evaluating their riding skills and ability to manoeuvre their bikes on the race track.
The final part of the Level I program saw Honda conducting one on one interviews with the candidates and their parents/ guardians to determine firstly, their passion for motorsports, and secondly - the level of support from the families in their quest to become a professional motorcycle racer.
Out of the fourteen candidates who participated in Level I tests, seven riders(including the single female rider) were shortlisted for Level II. The shortlisted riders were then trained by Honda and once again given an opportunity to ride around the circuit in Level II.
It is from this pool of seven shortlisted candidates that Honda has stated it will pick up the best talent for future development. The best of the seven shortlisted riders will get a chance to compete in the IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup CBR150R series.
The Bangalore round of the Talent Hunt was the second of its kind this year. The first round of the talent was held earlier this year in Chennai. Two talented riders were selected at the Chennai round and are now racing in the Honda India Talent Cup CBR150R series.
Sharing his thoughts about the participation in Bangalore, Prabhu Nagaraj, Senior Vice President — Brand & Communication, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, "The IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt is a platform developed by Honda that gives an avenue to aspiring and budding racers from all over India to unleash their potential on racetrack. We kicked off the 2021 hunt for next-gen racing sensation earlier this year in Chennai and shortlisted two riders who are now showcasing their racing talent in IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup CBR150R. Moving ahead with this round in Bengaluru, we have shortlisted 7 candidates for phase 2 and the best of 7 will get an opportunity to ride and compete in CBR150R class of talent up. It is just the start of their professional racing career. In long term, Honda's focus is to put young Indian talent on multiple National & International platforms like Asia Talent Cup, Asia Road Racing Championship, Endurance championships. I am confident that these budding riders will change the scenario of motorsports in India and make the nation proud both at the national as well as international level."
Thoughts On Honda's Hunt For India's Next Racer
Honda has been at the forefront of motorcycle racing for a long time now and. Seeing the Japanese brand continue to give young Indian riders a chance to go professional is something we can get behind.