He who starts early on in life knows how far he has to go. Rustom Kersi Patel, Head Coach of Team Ajmera Racing, India, started his journey to success at the age of 6. At 42, having bagged 8 national titles and 3 international titles, Rustom still speaks about his races and hay days with just as much zeal and passion. And while doing so, he does not forget to mention how grateful he is to Ajmera Builders for being his strongest support system throughout his journey. We got a chance to have a chat with him and we loved to hear him get candid with us. Read on to know all about his journey and experiences.
When and how did you start your journey?
I started my journey in 1985 when I was only 6 years old. My entire family was into motorcycle racing. In 1985, I was the youngest Indian rider to ride a motocross event at 6 and the second youngest in the world back then.
What excites you about bike racing and coaching?
The adrenaline rush is what excites me about racing. When it comes to coaching, I believe that knowledge should be shared. I retired from racing after I was declared National Champion in the MRF motocross in 2007 and that’s when I decided to start coaching. Since then I am the official coach of team India and we are the first Indians to participate in the world championship motocross held in Australia last year.
What are some challenges you face while training kids for bike racing?
The biggest challenge while coaching kids is their parents. I prefer parents to stay 100 meters away from us because kids get confused.
What have you inherited from your coach or who has inspired you?
Honestly, nobody has inspired me to become a coach. I always believed in giving back to the community. The key to racing is you have to be super cool in your head when you race. As a coach, I teach where to attack, how to attack and still be calm and cool in your head. You have to be cool when you race. There are so many things to learn - how to overtake that guy, wait for his mistake, play the waiting game with the 10 lap race, don’t try to be a hero in the first or second lap, 8 more laps to go, take your time, overtake people slowly one by one if you don’t get a good start.
Which was your best/favorite championship?
It was the first race of my life at 18, the first national title I won in the year 2000.
Which is your favorite Monster energy drink?
I am still the old Monster Green Can fan.
A piece of advice to the young riders?
Please don’t act smart on the streets. If you have the guts please do it on track. PLEASE ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET TO SAVE YOUR HEAD.