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IDEMITSU Honda Racing India’s rider Mohamed Mikail makes India Proud!

Becomes 1st Indian rider to be selected for 2020 IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup at Sepang

Sepang, 01 November 2019: 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.

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Mohamed Mikail was among the 5 young riders from India to participate in the selection for the 2020 season of IATC at the Sepang circuit of Malaysia. These included 13-year-old Sarthak Shrikant Chavan from Pune, 14-year-old Kavin Samar 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 objectives is to ensure the development of future generations of such new talented riders, who will eventually take the place of current stars of MotoGP™ and WorldSBK.

Honda 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 the 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 the 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 the world stage and inspire young riders like him.”

Mohamed Mikail’s 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 Hunt.
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 the 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 class too.

Quote by Mohamed Mikail, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider, “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 the 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 the best of Thai riders in the 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 about 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 machinery.

Overall, the 7thedition of IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup will be a 12-race championship held over 6 rounds from March to November 2020. The2020 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.

Champions 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 SomkiatChantra from Thailand in Moto2 class and 2016 IATC runner-up Ai Ogura made impressive debuts in Moto 3 class.

 

IDEMITSU ASIA TALENT CUP – 2020 SELECTED & RESERVE RIDERS

Start N. Rider name Nationality Age Birth date Cm Kg
12 SELECTED RIDERS
10 MUHAMMAD S. EZWAN BIB MOHD SHARIL Malaysia 15 30-Jun-2004 163 50
54 AZRYAN DHEYO WAHYUMANIADI Indonesia 14 1-Jun-2005 165 50
56 FADILLAH ARBI ADITAMA  INA Indonesia 14 14-Jul-2005 170 48
57 ALDI SATYA MAHENDRA INA Indonesia 13 27-Jun-2006 150 40
58 HERLIAN DANDI INA Indonesia 12 6-Nov-2006 159 43
60 THANAKORN LAKHARN THA Thailand 16 12-May-2003 168 49
69 MOHAMED MIKAL AHAMED SALIH INDIA 15 23-Mar-2004 164 48
76 ALFRED JAKOB SABLAYA Philippines 14 30-Mar-2005 157 44
81 GUN MIE Japan 13 30-Apr-2006 151 41
90 TAIYO FURUSATO Japan 14 12-Jul-2005 158 48
101 MAX MARTIN GIBBONS Australia 14 19-Aug-2005 157 45
109 CARTER WILLIAM JAMES THOMPSON Australia 11 29-Nov-2007 143 35

5 RESERVE RIDERS

12 ALLAIN HARRIIS BIN HERMAN Malaysia 15 9-Apr-2004 163 55
62 KANTAPAT YABKANTHAL Thailand 15 2-Jul-2004 157 50
77 KELEB SATICI Turkey 15 2-Jun-2004 169 69
86 MASAYA HONGO Japan 15 9-Apr-2004 160 40
114 TSUBASA HOSOYA Japan 16 20-Aug-2003 165 54

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