Big step in Lalhruaizela’s fledgling racing career
April Lalhruaizela is a happy man, but does not show too much emotion.
The Mizoram rider topped the Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup after the third round of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship and will ride in a qualification round in Spain. If he qualifies, it will mean he gets to ride in the main Rookie Cup, which will be a support race during the MotoGP weekend.
“I am very happy to be going to Spain for the qualification round of the Red Bull Rookie Cup,” he told Motorsport.com.
There is, however, a hint of regret about the last weekend. “I am not entirely happy because I wanted to go there on a winning note. I finished second and third in the last two races. I would have loved to win,” he added.
Regretting not having won the last two races gives a hint of his competitive mindset. He will surely need a lot of that competing against a lot of other talented riders from other countries.
Riding in Coimbatore has given him good experience but the Aizawl resident is clear about what he has to do. For starters, he wants to improve his fitness levels.
“This is the first time I have ridden in a proper championship. I got a lot of experience racing here,” he said. “But, I have to improve my fitness a lot if I am to do well in Spain. I am going to increase my workouts.”
Riding outside his hometown was probably daunting at first. But, the Spain outing is going to be another big task, he feels.
“I am a bit nervous and anxious as I have to prove myself against some very good international riders on an international track. However, I am willing to go and give it my best,” he remarked.
This ride in Spain means a lot to Lalhruaizela. “It is my childhood dream to ride in MotoGP. This is like a first step and a dream come true for me,” he stated.
This assumes more significance as Lalhruaizela has had to endure a lot of financial difficulties to get to this point. The good thing is there is tremendous support for him.
“Financially, it is very difficult for me to be racing. But Mizoram Motorsports Association is supporting me and so is all of Aizawl. Maybe not financially, but at least there is a lot of moral support,” he said.
The Spain event will not be a problem since it is fully being funded by Red Bull.
There are larger implications about Lalhruaizela qualifying for the Spain event.
“This is not only important for the North East but all of India. We can’t ask for more. When we think of motorcycle racing, we think of only riders from the southern states. But we are also making inroads into this and people will start recognising talent from the North East states,” he said.
Lalhruaizela’s favourite rider is Honda’s Marc Marquez. “My favourite rider is Marquez. I like him because he can control his aggression. I like the aggression but the good thing is he knows how to control it,” he explained.
But on a lighter note, he added: “Depending on the situation when I am racing, I try to copy Marquez or Valentino Rossi.”
At the end of it, there was a smile on Lalhruaizela’s face. After all, it was probably dawning on him that he is going to do something that could change his life.
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