Generally speaking, track racing is an onion layered term for different classes and variances of motorbike racing. Each of these variants adopt different track surfaces but similar oval-like tracks surrounded by cheering spectators and probably officials located somewhere within the space of the oval track.
Flat Track Racing is one of the five major variants of the centuries old and exciting track racing sports. It might also be referred to as “Dirt Track Racing” by some people, and this alternative name was deduced from the surface on which the sport is carried out, which is, literally, on dirt. The racing arena usually in case of Dirt Track Racing consumes less surface area compared to road or motocross racing where the participants are spread out.
Flat Track Racing dates back to as old as the 1920s, the period in which it gained grounds, acceptance, and popularity after its introduction in the early 1900s. Ever since, Flat Track Racing has served as a birth-place and a grassroots career training ground for several riders in the more lucrative and popular Grand Prix motorbike racing competition.
Due to the surface and nature of Flat Track Racing, motorbikes used in the sport run on either two or four internal combustion engines, with both front and rear suspension because of the constant need for quick brakes and turns while racing.
Harley-Davidson and Track Racing
Harley-Davidson, is a household name when it comes to the production of racing motorbikes for over a century now. It has stood the test of time, tides, storms and waves of both economic and administrative crises. The company is known as the master of fast-track racing having won several races with Joe Petrali in the 1930s which announced the brands’ dominance.
In 2011, they decided to widen their company’s coverage of the Indian market by establishing an assembly plant for wider sales of its wares in the region.
In 2018, the brand decided to organize its first flat track event in India and they got a veteran in the game, Marco Belli, to spearhead the event as a subsidiary of his Italian Di Traverso School of Fast Tracking.
The purpose-built Harley-Davidson Street 750 Street Rod motorbikes used for the event had modified seat units, exhausts, wheels, tires, and handle-bars. They were specially designed and customized by Vijay Singh Ajairajpura of Rajputana customs in India.
The two-day event saw a few selected lucky riders participate in the experience that was held at John Singh Speedway, Shahpura, near Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Day – 1
The first day of the event was preceded by a detailed theoretical classroom session by the Flat Track International Racing Legend Marco Belli himself. The session took into account all that the participants needed to know about Flat Track Racing before gearing up and heading for the tracks with their motorbikes.
After the theory session, they were introduced to the practical classes on the track with controlled movements and drills by the use of cones. Marco supervised and instructed the student riders as they drank from his well of experience.
Day – 2
The second day also featured a recap of the training lessons, ideas, tricks, and tips learned from the previous day with a lot more advanced techniques and increased speed. After the training, friendly races were organized between the riders with limited riders at one time and winners determined by elimination. The winners were rewarded with Di Traverso caps, certificates, and badges courtesy of Marco Belli.
After an educative and enlightening two-day event, Harley-Davidson is looking to test the waters by fully introducing Flat Track Racing as an official sport to the Indian populace.
Flat Track Racing requires lesser financial resources to set up and, hopefully, the sport should kick-start and be readily available to the general masses for fun and participation under the Indian motorbike community.
P.S. Did you know that MI Ambassador – India, Udipta Kumar Rath, had started his motorbike racing career as a stunt rider? He too has spent a considerable amount of time riding on a variety of tracks including on dirt during his early days.
To check out our articles on Udipta, follow this link: http://www.motorbikesindia.com/tag/udipta-kumar-rath/
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