Having returned to the track after recovering from injuries, superbike racer Sandesh Prasannakumar is determined to do well on the international circuit this year.
The Chennai lad had broken his collarbone in an accident on the track last year and another one just a week before the race. But despite the injuries, the biker is confident of achieving success this year.
"I had a couple of crashes last year on the bike which resulted in a broken collarbone -- which didn't take much time to recover. I recovered fast, but I was low on confidence," Sandesh told IANS.
"Just when I got my confidence back and built the bike after the crash, I had another small crash a week before the race which disturbed the geometry of the bike and from then we are just unable to set the bike to my riding style and ride to the limit. But step by step we are getting there and I'm sure I'll be riding on the limit in no time," he added.
Winner of the JK Tyre Superbike Cup race (2016), Sandesh also spoke about the racing scene in the country and said that the Indian racers are still 5-10 years behind their counterparts in other Asian countries and 15 years behind the European riders.
"Racing in India, we are 5-10 years behind the Asia championship guys and 15 years behind the European riders. We aren't sponsored by any companies as they show a lot of interest only in cricket which gives them more branding than what our sport does," he said.
"The resources here are very limited, we need to book a track and pay them for our training as well in advance," the racer added.
When quizzed about the scope of the game in the country, Sandesh said: "Racing has a huge scope for everyone if treated and nurtured well. I'm sure if the media, government and corporates start funding the sport it will be huge for India. We have all the capability to go for gold on the world stage."
Sandesh also shared his upcoming plans to participate in the Thailand Championship and Asia Supermoto meet.
"The main aim is to get faster, learn a lot more and be the best I can be in India. I am planning to ride in Thailand superbike championship and do a couple of wild card races in Asia supermoto championship. And also get back this year to the JK Tyre Superbike championship which I had won in 2016.