Motorsports World Cup Preview
Aishwarya Pissay at Motorsports World Cup Preview, India’s premier women’s motorcycle racer, talks on her injury recovery, her recent return to the FIM Bajas World Cup in Spain, the increased engagement of Indian women in motorsports, and her future goals.
Aishwarya Pissay, India’s premier motorcycle racer, was preparing to compete in the FIM Bajas World Cup in Jordan on March 19, last year on the Motorsports World Cup Preview. Pissay, the tournament’s 2019 winner, was excited to compete in the second round of the 2021 edition, but only 40 kilometers into her journey over the sandy sands of Wadi Rum, she was involved in an accident that resulted in a twin-wrist fracture at the Motorsports World Cup Preview. In the months that followed, the 26-year-old racer underwent treatment and therapy; undaunted by the disaster, she made a comeback by competing in one of India’s most grueling off-road terrains, the Rally of the Himalayas. For background, the race’s slogan is “it makes grown men weep.”
It may come as a surprise to us at the Motorsports World Cup Preview, but injuries have virtually become a way of life for racing racers. They often push themselves beyond their limits in order to outperform their peers. In fact, Pissay admits that the injury she sustained in Jordan was the “most mild collision” she had ever experienced.
“I burst my pancreas the first time I went to the Baja Aragon rally.” So it took a lot longer for me to recover from than the one last year,” Pissay says in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times. “As an athlete, my priority is to heal and return to motorcycle riding as soon as possible.” When I decided to return to the Himalayan rally, I had no reservations about going at the Motorsports World Cup Preview. I believe I finished third overall among the guys, so it was a wonderful race for me.”
Following her participation in the Himalayan rally, Pissay went on to defend her national rally championship title – her sixth consecutive victory in the event – and, on July 26, she returned to international competition for the first time since her accident in Jordan at the Motorsports World Cup Preview. The TVS racer finished the fourth round of the FIM World Cup in Aragon, Spain, on what Pissay described as her “favorite” terrain.
“I’m taking part in the Baja Aragon Rally for the third time.” In terms of how I felt about my performance and posture, I believe it was by far my finest finish. So, given it was my first overseas rally since my accident last year, it was a successful adventure. So far, my recovery has been robust, and my performances have been excellent,” she adds.
Participating in events like the FIM World Cup gives racers a lot of exposure, not only in terms of placing oneself on the map in motorsports, but also in terms of knowledge-sharing with other international racers. It is no different for the World Cup champion of 2019. “The motorcycle racing fraternity is so fantastic that I get to meet and learn so much from my fellow riders.” It might be anything as simple as learning the race’s details. When you approach them and ask them a question, they may be really helpful. Mica, an ex-Baja racer, is one of my training partners. I have the opportunity to study and train among the greatest. “I understand how they think and how they train to get there at the top,” Pissay adds.
Pissay’s incident in Jordan was primarily due to navigation mistake, and it wasn’t the first time it had impacted her Motorsports World Cup Preview aspirations. Pissay’s time suffered during the title-winning 2019 season after a similar navigational mishap delayed her finish by over 40-50 minutes in Qatar. The desert storms in such places frequently make navigating difficult for motorcyclists, but Pissay says that this is a common issue for all rally participants.
“Riding across the landscape is undoubtedly difficult since we don’t generally get desert storms the size of Dubai.” The desert storms are entirely different there. I prepare for it by going there a few days before the event, generally 15 days ahead, to prepare for the terrain and learn the motorbike. Every rider has difficulty comprehending the terrain, but the easiest way for us to adjust is to be able to go and train a few days before the event,” the Indian racer explains.
Indian Motorsports Women World Cup
Even if the gender ratio is ignored, it is clear to claim that racing in India has a distinct niche. It wasn’t even regarded a sport in India until 2015, when the government officially recognized FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs in India) as the country’s official organisation at the Motorsports World Cup Preview. “A lot of us are working really hard to put India on the map in the world of racing for Motorsports Women World Cup.” It all starts with the government officially recognizing it as a sport. It also helps the sport expand and produce more champions,” adds Pissay.
Add in the involvement of women, and we have a very different argument. Even after 9 championship crowns, Pissay, who practically single-handedly placed India on the map in terms of women’s motorcycle racing participation, says she still receives shocked responses when she talks about her career in public at the Women World Cup.
“To be honest, many are still amazed that there is a sport like racing and that I have a job in it and that I participate full-time in it.” “What else are you doing?” they inquire. It is not something you can do on the side! It’s the same as any other sport. It takes effort, and that’s pretty much what I tell them,” Pissay adds confidently.
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