Sarath Kumar belongs to a city that worships a certain Rajnikanth for his acrobatic stunts on the 70mm screen. But the 19-year-old from Arumbakkam, Chennai, has never been enamored by the superstar and always preferred to try his own stunts on a moped. He will now become the first Indian rider to participate in the World MotoGP Championship, when he will take the starting grid for WTR-Ten10 Racing team in the 125 cc class for the 2011 season.
Italy based WTR Team and Ten10 Racing from Bangalore have entered into a three-year partnership that paves way for Indian riders to MotoGP. Italian Francesco Morriello will be a WTR-Ten10 rider.
"Selecting Sarath for the spot was a logical decision since he is one of the best riders in the category in the Indian circuit and is favourite to be crowned champion at the end of the season," said WTR Team Manager and Director Loris Castellucci through an interpreter.
Sarath, who joined Ten10 racing in 2009, will compete in the two-stroke category in 2011 and will graduate to the four-stroke event in 2012.
Ten10 Racing Team Principal Ramji Govindarajan said the first year in MotoGP would be part of the learning curve. "Sarath has no experience of two-stroke bikes. But he has a lot to learn and we hope that he will be ready in the second season when he will also be riding a four-stroke bike."
Sarath said he was excited to chart a road no other Indian had traversed but at the same time was aware of the challenges.
"I will be going to Italy sometime in January and will participate in testing and training with the team before the start of the season," he said.