Becomes 1st Indian rider to be selected for 2020 IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup at Sepang
Sepang: Committed to developing iconic motorsport rider from India for the world, Honda 2Wheelers India Pvt. Ltd. today announced that Mohamed Mikail – the 2018 IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt find and running 2019 IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup (NSF250R) champion has made a new record. Just 2 years into racing with Honda, the 15-year-old rider Mohamed Mikail from Chennai is now the first Indian rider to join the prestigious 2020 IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup (IATC) grid.
Mohamed Mikail was among the 5 young riders from India to participate in
the selection for 2020 season of IATC at Sepang circuit of Malaysia. These
included 13-year-old Sarthak Shrikant Chavan from Pune, 14 year-old Kavin
Samaar Quintal, 15-year-old Geoffrey and 16-year-old Varoon S. from Chennai.
Since its inaugural season in 2014, the IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup is Dorna’s
development platform for young riders in the Asia & Oceania
region. One of the key objective is to ensure development of future generations
of such new talented riders, who will eventually take the place of current
stars of MotoGP™ and WorldSBK.
Racing India’s Mikail journeys from 90 registrations to final 12:
This year’s Selection Event saw drier skies than last year, allowing
nearly 90 young riders from over 15 countries to prove their racing mettle
throughout the day around Sepang Go-Kart track. After 3 consecutive short
listings based on actual riding, the Selection Committee, led by Talent
Promotion Director Alberto Puig (a former premier class racer and renowned
talent scout) selected a total of 17 riders from India, Australia, Malaysia,
Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and Turkey. While 12 selected
riders including India’s Mikail are selected to join the grid next year,
another 5 are on the reserve list.
Elaborating on this achievement by Indian riders and Honda’s plans to nurture Indian riders for the world, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “In 2018, Honda announced its biggest racing shift. Since then, our focus is to develop next-generation iconic Indian rider for the world. Our first step was to identify high-potential riders as young as 13 years with our ‘IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Hunt. These stars of future were further armed with the world class racing infrastructure. We were the first to bring NSF250R – Honda’s Moto3 race machine for Indian riders. In our journey to develop a top Indian rider for MotoGP, we are giving young Indian riders international racing opportunities like ARRC and Thailand Talent Cup. We are confident that, boosted by his team, Mikhail will make India proud at world stage and inspire young riders like him.”
racing journey began in 2018, when the Chennai racing prodigy was first
identified by Honda 2Wheelers India in the Season 1 of IDEMITSU Honda Talent
In his inaugural year
itself, 15 year-old Mikail showed raw racing talent and closed the season as
Champion of IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup in CBR 150R class. Spotting his potential
earlier on, Honda put him on an accelerated growth path.
In 2019, Mikail got
his first international racing taste in the ongoing Thailand Talent Cup. In the
national road racing scenario too, Mikail was also among first 8 next-gen
Indian riders to get the opportunity to race on NSF250R – Honda’s legendary
Moto3 race machine platform. Showing true challenging spirit, Mikhail created a
new best ever lap time record on a 250cc motorcycle at MMRT circuit (Chennai)
and ultimately won the inaugural IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup in NSF250R
QuMohamed Mikail, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider, said, “First, I would like to thank Honda 2Wheelers India, my team and our sponsors for giving me this big opportunity to race on the world stage. My racing journey ever since Honda 2Wheelers India shortlisted me in 2018 season of Honda Talent Hunt has been nothing short of a dream come true. With Honda 2Wheelers India giving wings to me, I got the opportunity to improve my skills internationally with best of Thai riders in 2019 Thailand Talent Cup. Thanks to Honda for bringing IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup on NSF250R – Honda’s Moto3 platform machine, I feel more confident on this world class race machine. As the solo Honda rider from India, I will work hard with the team and do my best in every race.”
2020 IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup race calendar:
For Mohamed Mikail and
the other Asia-Oceania stars of the future, racing action starts from February
2020 with pre-season testing. This will give Mikail a closer look at the
characteristics of the Honda NSF250R Moto3™ bikes and his competition. This
will also help him learn the trajectories, response of the suspension, and also
better his understanding of the limits of braking – a challenge for the
talented young riders as they take a step up onto this more demanding
Overall, the 7th
edition of IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup will be a 12-race championship held over 6
rounds from March to November 2020. The 2020 season kick-starts from Qatar (Losail
circuit) and then travels to Thailand (Buriram) in the MotoGPTM
weekends. Round 3 at Australia (Bend) and Round 4 at Malaysia (Sepang) will be
staged alongside the Australian & Malaysian Superbike Championships. The
last 2 rounds will once again see Asia’s young stars battle it out in Japan
(Motegi) and then Malaysia (Sepang) in MotoGP™ race weekends.
of previous editions of IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup (IATC):
Springing to life in 2014, the IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup has birthed some real gems who are now making a name for themselves on the world stage. The 2014 title winner of IATC, Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) won the 2019 Qatar GP in Moto3 class. Making impressive debut in Grand Prix with IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia are also the 2016 IATC Champion Somkiat Chantra from Thailand in Moto2 class and 2016 IATC runner-up Ai Ogura made impressive debuts in Moto 3 class.
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