The Story Of This 11 Year Old Youngest Motocross Racer Of NE Will Leave You Amazed!
Think Motocross and images of flying bikes and whirling sand come to the mind. We picture a daredevil on a motorcycle gunning his bike over sand dunes and off-ramps, with the noise of a rambunctious crowd in the backdrop. What could possess a man to risk his life simply for the momentary thrill of jumping over a ramp? Madness perhaps, or the sensation of flying, albeit for just a moment? Is this a sport only for adrenaline junkies with bottomless pockets and time to kill? Hardly! Motocross is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world and also one of the most dangerous. Every rider who signs up for a race is very much aware of the dangers involved – broken backs, damaged spines, burn-injuries – only some of the many perils that await a Motocross rider.
Prepared to take on the risks and breaking stereotypes associated with motocross racing is an 11 year old boy from Guwahati, Manish Hazarika. Manish is a 6th standard student of Delhi Public School (DPS), Guwahati who got initiated to the world of bikes at the tender age of 10. Born to Diganta Hazarika, two-time successive motocross national champion in the years 1992-93 and 1993-94, Manish got his very first bike in July, 2016 and started practicing there on.
Talking about his son’s inclination towards motorsports, Diganta Hazarika said, “I’ve myself been a motocross rider for a very long time. But I had to leave the sport and start my own business in 1998 to get settled in life. When Manish was a very small kid, I bought him his very first bicycle because it was my ambition to see him become a renowned rider in the national circuit. Since then, he has also gained interest in the sport of bike racing and has been making efforts to excel.”
Because the Indian law prohibits issue of license for people below 18 years of age, Manish doesn’t own a license and is only allowed to ride inside closed tracks. Diganta Hazarika drives Manish along with his bike and riding gear to the Panikhaiti practice ground on his jeep every Sunday morning and on school holidays where Manish gears up to practice the sport.
Apart from practicing bike riding, Manish also goes to the gym everyday in order to develop his muscles and plans to start taking meditation classes. Talking about the need for gym and meditation in bike racing, Diganta said, “To have full control over the bike, one needs to have developed muscles or they won’t be able to ride heavy vehicles or perform stunts. Meditation is important for making quick decisions and controlling one’s blood pressure.”
Talking about his interests and hobbies, Manish said that he likes to play football with friends and he’s also been learning to play the guitar. Apart from that, he likes to spend time playing video games on the computer.
Being the youngest motocross racer of North East India, Manish has participated in the Under-14 National Championship, 2017. He has so far visited Goa and Coimbatore to compete in the National Championship, against more than 20 other kids from across the country. Looking at kids as young as 8 years old competing at the championship, Manish developed an urge to understand the sport better so as to match the high standards being set nationally. Talking to G Plus about his experience at the championships, Manish said, “I hadn’t seen anyone my age riding a bike in Guwahati, but looking at so many boys of my age at Goa and Coimbatore made me realise the level of competition and that there’s so much more for me to learn. I developed a fighting spirit and greater interest in the sport, becoming determined to excel in the field.”
Manish will be missing the next two rounds of the national championship due to his exams, but will represent the state in the last two rounds to be held at Indore and Pune on 26th November and 2nd December respectively.
Since Diganta had faced enormous challenges while pursuing his passion for bike riding and motorsports, he didn’t want his son to struggle. “My family wasn’t very strong financially. I used to ride on rented bikes, wear rented gear and pay off the rents with the prize money that I won at various competitions. I’d struggled a lot to reach where I am today, to provide my child with nothing but the best,” explained Diganta.
Manish rides a Yamaha YZ 85 that has been brought all the way from Los Angeles and is specially made for young motocross riders. The bike weighs a mere 71 kilos.
Diganta shared with us his thought on today’s younger generation and their craze for biking. He said, “Today’s youngsters have immense craze for biking. Parents are so inclined towards fulfilling all their kids’ desires that they buy them a bike. These kids take out all the adrenaline rush on the road, risking the lives of many. By giving him exposure at such a young age, we feel like we’re converting all that negative energy into positive. By the time he reaches that age, he’ll have already experienced the thrill associated with biking and wouldn’t feel the need to ride rashly on the roads.”
Diganta further informed us that most motocross racers go to the United States to get trained by professionals. He wants Manish to be trained by the best too, but due to the nature of his work, he hasn’t been able to take him there. So he’s trying to bring a trainer from the US to Guwahati to train Manish, along with other aspiring motocross riders from the region. This should be a massive step for Assam in the field of motorsports.