Come March next year, history could be in the making as Bangalore-based Ten10 Racing would become the first Indian outfit to make a mark on the MotoGP circuit in the 125cc class with an Indian rider onboard.
The provisional technical and commercial partnership with the Italian outfit will be renamed WTR-Ten10 Racing will be structured on a three-year basis, will continue into the new Moto3 class in 2012 and also has intentions to compete in the Moto2 category in the future. Excitingly for the 125cc category the new collaboration will also provide an Italian and an Indian rider on the 2011 grid, signifying the first participation for India in the World Championship.
The WTR team is a midfield outfit in the MotoGP 125 grid with several top 10 finishes to its credit in the 2010 season with a best result of sixth place at the Sachsenring GP with French rider Johann Zarco finishing 11th in the final championship standings. Zarco has now signed up with 2010 125 championship winning team Ajo Motorsport for 2011. The WTR outfit fields Aprilia machinery with other makes on the grid including Derbi, Honda and KTM.
Ten10 Racing has also proved its credentials and more in the 2010 national racing championship with rider Sarath Kumar currently leading the championship and successfully smashing lap records round after round despite tough competition which includes the TVS factory racing team among other private outfits.
“I’m extremely happy with this agreement with Ten10 Racing,” said Loris Castellucci, WTR Team Principal. “It’s the start of a very important project which will give us the opportunity to compete in the World Championship with a talented young Indian rider- which will be a first. There will also be a well-known young Italian rider too, who will be announced in due course. This has been made possible thanks to Ten10 Racing and I thank them for believing in us, and for the passion and commitment they bring to this project.”
Ten10 Racing Team Principal, Ramji Govindarajan, said, “I’m extremely excited by the opportunity we have been afforded through the WTR Team. We’ll be the first Indian team with an Indian rider to participate in the World Championship. This will be a great learning experience and this WTR-Ten10 Racing Team project is a very important milestone in the history of Indian sport. We would like to thank Mr Castellucci and his team for approaching a team from India, and I am confident that this partnership will be competitive and produce a lot of new talent from India and Italy.”
This collaboration can be yet another positive step in the direction of India making its foray into the MotoGP scene, with Mahindra & Mahindra also confirming their plans of competing in the 125 class as well. Combined with a provisional Indian MotoGP round slated for 2012 at the Jaypee circuit in Greater Noida, this will hopefully mark India’s entry into the premier motorcycle racing championship after having made a considerable impact in Formula 1 from multiple perspectives including team (Force India), driver (Karun Chandhok) and a confirmed race (2011 Indian GP), which is something for every Indian to be proud of.