Pune: What better way for a student to learn than from the teacher himself, who gave a masterclass dispaly on how to negotiate a racing track, which is technically challenging. The two races of the Asia Production 250cc class (AP250cc) at the Round 5 of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) over the weekend were the perfect example of it.
Koyama Tomoyoshi of Japan, who races for RAMA Honda and trains Rajiv Sethu as well, triumphed in Race 1 and finished second in Race 2 to show his pupil how to go about the business.
While Koyama sizzled on Saturday afternoon and on a drizzling Sunday morning, his pupil Rajiv finished lowly on Saturday and suffered a non-finish on Sunday.
Despite the outcome of the race, 18-year-old Sethu was content with the way things have gone for him in the difficult circumstances.
“I am learning a lot this season as AP 250cc is a very tough class in Asia as the riders participating in it are doing well in other world championships as well, so this has been a great learning experience for me,” he said.
The rider was quick to point out the area where he is lagging behind and the help he has been getting from Tomoyoshi San in his preparation.
“Since I ride in India, I’m not used to tyres that cause us to lag behind. Riders from other countries are used to breaking inside the corners, which I cannot do on Indian tyres but I am learning day by day.”
Tomoyoshi, who trains another Indian rider — Sarath Kumar in ARRC, also agreed that Indian riders need to learn the art of braking.
“Currently, they brake 100 per cent, but they need to learn about braking points, amount of braking they have to do, for example, 60- 70 per cent of braking, they need to learn that,” said the 34-year-old rider from Japan.
The fact that both Tomoyoshi and Sethu ride in the same class, things get little easier as Sethu can compare his data against Tomoyoshi’s data and learn the areas where he can improve.
The other area in which the Japanese rider is helping the Indian youngster is setting up a bike as Tomoyoshi feels that it’s just a matter of experience before Sethu learns the trade.
The two riders joined hands four months ago when Sethu and Sarath Kumar went to Japan for training, but have a long way ahead according to their trainer.
“They need to train many more times (where he repeated the word more at least half a dozen times). They need to work on physical training, mental training, they need to train on track but it takes years of training to become a top rider,” he added.
Sethu accepts the fact that there is no getting away from hard work but is happy to take it all on board as he feels that he has learnt just 40 per cent so far from Tomoyoshi, but aims to finish in top 10 next season with sights set on the future.