Indian rider Sarath Kumar to team up with former Italian champion Riccardo Moretti
Mahindra Racing, the first team from India to participate in the MotoGP, today announced that it would be entering the Italian Motor Racing Championship in the 125cc class with Indian rider Sarath Kumar. The second rider in the team is Italian Riccardo Moretti, who was the 2009 champion in the 125cc class.
Nineteen-year-old Sarath Kumar is the first Indian to participate in the MotoGP 125cc World Championship. He was the 2010 National Champion of India in the 165cc expert class and the 2008 National Champion in the 130cc 4-stroke novice class.
Mufaddal Choonia, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing, said:
“We are proud to announce our entry into the Italian Motor Racing Championship with Sarath Kumar. This is a conscious step being taken by Mahindra Racing to nurture and grow riding talent in India. Some of the best names in the World MotoGP championship like Valentino Rossi, Giacomo Agostini and Marco Melandri have been Italian Championship winners. Riding in a championship with such high standards of competition would be a great opportunity for Sarath. This will provide him with the right opportunity to hone his skills and compete at the international level with some of the finest emerging talent in motorcycle racing.”
Riccardo Moretti, 26, started his racing career in cross motorcycle racing but had to give it up owing to a serious accident at the age of 16. Bouncing back after a three-year break, Riccardo restarted a career in road racing at the age of 19. In 2007, he finished 5th in the Italian Championship and then went on to finish second in 2008, with just two points separating him from the winner. In 2009, he won the Italian Championship with an amazing five wins and five pole positions in six races.
The Italian Road Racing Championship is the leading national track competition in Italy and a launch pad for Italy’s best young motorcyclists as they head towards the international arena. It is staged on the country’s best racetracks from March to October over six weekends and eight rounds. The event is organized by FMI – Federazione Motociclistica Italiana and CIV -Campionato Italiano Velocità.
Recent Italian Champions include the following:
2008: Lorenzo Savadori (competed in the World Championship till last year)
2009: Riccardo Moretti
2010: Francesco Mauriello (competed in 2011 125cc World Championship)
2011: Niccolò Antonelli.