Words: Jehan Adil Darukhanawala
Images: Srinivasa Krishnan & TVS Racing
When a company makes winning a habit, it makes sure it has the best tools in the shed, the sharpest men building the motors and exemplary talent riding the steeds. And it is no secret how effective and supportive it is for a promising talent to ride for a factory outfit. Indian motorsports has produced few motorcycling greats such as C S Santosh, H K Pradeep, Shyam Kothari and Rajini Krishnan, all of them have one thing in common – their roots trace right back to TVS Racing. All of the above have gone on to be stalwarts in their disciplines and have been an inspiration to budding racers. No surprise then that TVS Racing’s current line-up of factory riders is filled with champions. Let us get to know them a little bit better.
Aravind K P
Aravind became the first of the TVS Racing prodigies to represent the team on the international stage as he took to the Dakar in 2017. TVS entrusted him with a seat aboard the RTR 450 Rally and he has been showing great results. Formerly a national supercross and rallying champion, Aravind’s first taste of international rallying at the Baja Aragon saw him finishing a high 21st position. At the following rally in Morocco, Aravind managed to come home in one piece and showed encouraging signs as he qualified for the 2017 Dakar. Sadly, a crash on the second day curtailed his maiden attempt. Aravind worked hard and generated strong results in Merzouga and OiLibya rallies this year. Aravind was in tremendous form in the 2018 Dakar, consistently churning out top 30 results. The gruelling nature of the Dakar caught him out yet again and his positive run was brought to a crashing end. We wish the champ a speedy recovery from his broken ankle.
Be it on tarmac or on gravel, this lady is fast everywhere. Aishwarya has been one of the newfound talents to emerge from the famed TVS Racing school. She did start out with road racing and TVS supported her endeavours in the rallying world as well. She repaid their trust by winning the women’s class of the 2017 national rally championship, bagging three rally wins along the way. Aishwarya also won three races and came second best in the other to win the 2017 One-Make ladies road racing championship with ease.
Abdul Wahid Tanveer
One of the young talents of the rallying world, Abdul earned himself the ticket to the Merzouga rally by finishing as the top FIM rookie in the 2017 India Baja rally. He exceeded expectations by finishing 27th at the 2017 Merzouga rally and tenth in the Dakar challenge category. Prior to that, Abdul was the reigning national rallying champion as well as the national supercross champion, winning both the premier classes in the same year of 2016.
Six years straight – that’s how many years this man has been the dominant force in the road racing scene in the country. Jagan is certainly one of the fastest road racers in the country and has won the Group B upto 165cc class consecutively since 2011. At just 28 years old, Jagan has eight national titles and multiple international race wins. 2017 was particularly tough as he had to fight through the entire season to win his sixth title. But his never-say-die attitude resulted in wins in the latter half of the season that helped his cause greatly.
Syed Asif Ali
Syed is one of the more experienced riders when it comes to dirt however his weapon choice is the scooter and not a motorcycle. As someone who has had a first-hand experience at how challenging the task is on a rally-prepped scooter, Syed has been making little of his opponents for numerous years. He has several Gulf Monsoon Scooter rally titles to his name and has also won the inaugural Gulf Monsoon Scooter Autocross in 2017.
He may just be 24 years old but Harith Noah cleanswept the 2017 MRF MoGrip Supercross championship. Noah had taken a break from the sport for a couple of years but he marked his return on a winning note this year. Noah took upon the mantle from teammates Abdul and Nataraj who were training extensively in Europe for international adventures. This was his third national title and it must have been quite satisfying for him to win ten of twelve races held in the season.
The senior most member in TVS Racing’s group of riders, Nataraj is the current national rally champion. He won four/five of the six rallies in 2017. Of the three rally raids held this year, Nataraj won two of them. He won his third Desert Storm in 2017 after a gap of five years and then went on to lift his third Dakshin Dare title later in the year. Nataraj also has numerous supercross titles to his name.