Motorcycle diary: A champions’ meet

“Once we got talking about bikes,strategy to win races and of course cricket,time just flew,” said Sofuoglu.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 31, 2013 1:30:21 am

When multiple-times Supersport World Championship biker Kenan Sofuoglu met Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday,he wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Dhoni may be the principal of the Mahi Racing Team India for whom Sofoglu races,but the Turk was only vaguely familiar with the Indian cricket skipper’s passion for biking. Sofuoglu,teammate Fabien Foret and technical manager Andrew Stone were only scheduled to have a 15-minute talk but the four eventually talked for over three hours.

“Once we got talking about bikes,strategy to win races and of course cricket,time just flew,” said Sofuoglu. “He is quite knowledgeable about the sport. He was at ease discussing technical aspects of the bike and quite rightly suggested that with the amount of technology that is packed into a superbike,it was the tyres that ultimately made the difference during races,” Sofuoglu said.

The Supersport World Championships are essentially a support race for the Superbike World Championships. And while the team has started the season spectacularly with Sofuoglu winning the Philip Island Grand Prix in Australia and Foret finishing fourth,Dhoni also gave them a bit of advice regarding handling pressure. The team will be competing at the Buddh International circuit in the final race of the season. “He told us to simply focus on the races and not worry about the results” said Foret

While the four obviously bonded over their shared passion for motorbikes — with Dhoni telling them how he doesn’t allow anyone to even touch one of his favourite bikes — the Indian skipper also tried his hand at introducing them to cricket. The most receptive was Stone,an Englishman.

“We talked about biking in general but we had a bit of a laugh about cricket. For example we were comparing the two sports and Mahi said that unlike SuperSport where the bike can constantly be modified,there wasn’t such an option with his game. I’ve seen him hit some big sixes but he said that if a bat,like a superbike was constructed out of carbon fibre composites,it would be easy to hit balls out of the ground,” he said.

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