Dubai: Rookie of the year award goes to the Dubai based Indian flyer – Surya Raja
Losail, Sat, Jun 23rd 2013 – After a lot of hard-work over the past season racing in Dubai, Surya Raja already proved himself to be more than just a regular motorcycle racer.
After winning the Rookie championship in 2011 in Dubai, the 19year old Indian moved to the premier class 600cc category, and raised the bar of racing to a whole new level.
The Indian rider who was considered an underdog post-season wasted no time in proving everyone wrong.
The season started off well with back-to-back wins, and would the championship till the penultimate round.
Although, later due to various mechanical failures, crashes and racing accidents, he eventually lost out on the championship. Never the less, the Indian rider made a great impression on the local racing scene, and emerged as a force with potent racing skills and a championship wining mindset.
After wrapping up the season in Dubai and when other riders preferred taking a break, the young Indian had different plans, and resting was certainly not one of them. Surya decided to test his skills in the Qatar International Road-Racing Championship.
The teenager was up for a big challenge, to be racing on a new circuit, on a new bike, the Kawasaki ZX-10 R. But it was a challenge he was up for and yet knowingly made the decision to install no power upgrades or suspension upgrades on the bike and run it more or less stock.
When asked, Surya said ” I’m here to improve my skills, not to improve my bike. I want to push the stock bike to the best I can, and I want to see what times am I capable of doing on it. Of course, it’s impossible to win in Qatar with a stock bike, but for me it’s not about winning, but learning at this level, and I don’t want to let this opportunity go”
Surya’s season started off slow with lap times of 2:20.589 , but every successive round saw him set a new personal best , gaining more momentum , and confidence. Eventually Surya managed to clock times of 2’07.8 and made fantastic improvement all-round.
Surya Raja, eventually was awarded ‘Rookie of the Year’ in the Qatar International Road-racing Championship 2012/2013 for his consistent performances. Surya said “I have really enjoyed this year’s racing, although we have had a dozen crashes, guess that’s a part of this sport. I’m just glad that I have been able to learn from those mistakes and improve myself.
The level of racing in Qatar is very high, which is a great thing because there’s always one to catch up to and this sure keeps me going. I can wait to get back in September for testing, and race here again”.
On his plans for the next season, Surya commented “Next season is the one we have aims and goals set for. I have to mentally and physically be on top level to start off with. Also I have to make sure I finish all the races, and with the suspension for new season, I’m hoping to be down to 2’04 lap times. All of this is easier said than done, but I will be giving it110% to make it happen”.
The confident Indian, who also happens to be a mechanical engineering student will be keeping busy with his semester exams, and will kick start the UAE and QATAR championships once again this coming winter.
Action resumes in Qatar on 13th September, with official testing for 2013/2014 season.