Indian biker Shreyas Hareesh has become the first Indian to qualify in a world race so far. The 12 year old has recently qualified for the FIM MiniGP World Series. In this exclusive interview, Shreyas speaks about his introduction to biking, representing India internationally, special achievements in his career, preparing for the World Championship, overcoming challenges and his future goals.
Q 1) When were you first introduced to biking and what has motivated you to pursue it professionally?
I was introduced to cycling at the age of 4. Since I did well with cycles, Dad introduced me to motorcycles at the age of 7.
Q 2) Tell us about your experience of representing India on the international stage?
This would be the first time I will be representing India on the world stage. No Indian till date has qualified in a world race so far. Hence feeling nervous but also equally determined as my goal, when I joined this sport was to hear the Indian National Anthem play at the MotoGP and this shall always be my goal.
Q 3) You became the first Indian to qualify for the FIM MiniGP World Series. Is this the most special achievement of your career so far?
Yes, it is a great honour and I intend to give my best.
Q 4) How are you planning to prepare for the World Championship? How difficult do you expect the level to be as compared to the events you have competed in before?
Due to budget issues, we could not plan any training in Europe ahead of the Championship but Dad is making me work hard on my physical fitness, my mental strength and my racing skills in Bengaluru itself.
Q 5) What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced in your career? How did you overcome them?
Injuries and recovering quickly is something I have learned to do and is a need to be successful in this sport. For Dad, the lack of sponsorships and his struggle to find me the money to support my racing was and is the single biggest challenge.
Q 6) What are your future goals? How do you plan to achieve them?
Next year (2024), I plan to take part in the Red Bull Rookies selection and hence this opportunity in Spain is of great value to me both from a learning perspective and from a racing perspective.