Bengaluru Super Bike rider Rushab Shah created ripples in Dubai capturing six consecutive podiums at the tough Dubai National Sportsbike Super Series at the Dubai Autodrome to become the first Indian to excel in the Waleed Alshemais Dubai National Championship season 2022-23.
Except in one race where he had a high side, the Indian clinched seven podiums with two wins and five-second places, from the 8 races in that he took part in his class.
Astride a humble Yamaha R6 in the Rookie category, the talented rider punched above his weight gaining many top-5 finishes in the higher Super Stock Experts class which boasts many experienced riders with highly-engineered bikes. The 27-year self-funded privateer made his stunning international debut, after three seasons in the Indian National Racing championship.
A former athlete and golfer at the National level, Rushab, missed the first round of the season due to an injury he suffered at one of the Indian rounds but participated in all four remaining rounds in the Waleed Alshemais Dubai National Championship in the Super Stock 600cc Rookie class. Taking part in eight of the 10 races without much seat-time on the rented bike, he managed to get on to the podium seven times in his class from Round 2 in November 2022 till Round 5 in March 2023.
"From single cylinder to four, and 40 BHP to 120 is a major shift and despite all the challenges, I managed to get into the top three consistently and fought for positions in the higher category too," said the instructor of ISBK Racing Academy in Bengaluru, where Rushab gives back to the sport by training youngsters.
Rushab, despite being born into a motorsports family, took up other sports after being initiated into karting at a young age. "My mom was reluctant initially and so I took up athletics seriously and was able to bring laurels to my State consistently. But athletics taught me discipline and the importance of fitness which helps me greatly in motorsports," added Rushab.
Rushab crashed in the first race of the last round where he was fighting for third place in the Expert class before he suffered high-side fighting with his championship rival. Later, he braved an injury in the second race, on the same day, to finish a creditable fourth overall after starting from P13, and he bulldozed his way to clinch a fine victory in his class. The winning hurrah has 'created hunger' in him and he is looking to return to Dubai again this year. In the 8-lap final race, the rookie clocked a best lap of 2min, 13.383sec on the 5.39Km Grand Prix track, just less than 2-sec off the pace of the fastest Super Stock Expert bike.
"The Autodrome is a hive of activity at the weekend where racers can push themselves and their motors to the limit. Supercar culture is common in Dubai, but a group of motor enthusiasts are choosing two wheels instead of four," Kyle Kumm, GM, Furiosa Racing, the organizer of National Sportsbike Super Series, who roped in Waleed Alshemais to sponsor the highly-rated event, told a local reporter recently. (ANI)