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In conversation with Kalyani Potekar – a motorcycle rider turned racer

Kalyani speaks to us about her journey from riding to racing on two wheels, her inspiration and much more

How did it all start?

December 1993. I was a 3-month-old baby in the cradle with my dad on the motocross track, racing his bike. I grew up watching him battling it out in the dirt and that was probably the kickstarter of my motorcycle journey. Later, I started participating in many motorcycle events. Highlighting a few of them:

2013: Raid-de-Himalaya

2015: MTV – Chase the Monsoon

2016: India Bike Week

2017: It was probably a turning point in my career. I completed my training from California Superbike School which enhanced my skills and brought them to a different level. After the training I participated in the MRF Indian National Championship and Honda one make series. On the basis of performance in the championship, I was selected to represent India on an international platform and that was like a dream coming true. I also participated in Drag Races in the same year. Winning the ‘Outstanding Women in Motorsports‘ awards by FMSCI.

“I was a 3-month-old baby in the cradle with my dad on the motocross track, racing his bike”

How do you feel as a woman biker?

Honestly speaking, FMSCI has opened new doors for female bikers. It proved to be a stepping stone in my journey as I got a golden opportunity to represent India (FMSCI) on an international platform which was my dream. I’m very thankful to FMSCI for recognising and appreciating my talent. I hope to get more opportunities.

Juggling riding and your profession

Well! I set some goals every year which makes it easy to juggle between my passion and my profession. Last year, the goal was Indian National championship and racing abroad which was successfully accomplished. This year I’m focusing to upgrade to higher capacity bikes. I always focus on improving my skills and learning as much as I can.

Favourite motorcycle yet?

KTM 1290 Super Duke R and BMW S 1000 RR.

Being an inspiration

It actually feels good when people look upto me as an inspiration. It gives me a lot of positive energy and motivates me to work harder towards my goals and set an example.

Message to girls

Girl! You are special. You are a lot more than people think. I’m sure all of you have been told that you don’t have what it takes and you may not be good enough and you don’t have enough people supporting you but the most important thing is to always believe in yourself and keep chasing your dreams. Only you have the power to turn your dreams into reality. There’s a different world waiting out there for you. Glad to mention the efforts made by FMSCI and TVS racing. New opportunities are coming your way. So girls, ‘Focus!’ and don’t get distracted. Set your goals and live life full throttle! Be an example and never ever give up.

As told to Afzal Rawuther

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