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18-year-old Chennai boy 1st Indian in FIM World JuniorGP Championship

Geoffrey Emmanuel is no ordinary teenager. Not only does he know what he wants, but also what he must do to get there – lead a disciplined life, with focus only on training.

Geoffrey Emmanuel

Geoffrey Emmanuel (IANS) 



Updated: 4 May 2023 10:39 AM GMT

Five minutes into the conversation, it becomes clear Geoffrey Emmanuel is no ordinary teenager. Not only does he know what he wants, but also what he must do to get there – lead a disciplined life, with focus only on training.

It is not really a surprise that come tomorrow, this 18-year-old Chennai boy will become the first Indian to participate in the FIM World JuniorGP World Championship, the opening round of the Moto3 feeder series, organised by Dorna Sports, is scheduled for May 5-7.

FIM JuniorGP World Championship, comprising seven rounds, is a junior class race event that runs under FIM Moto3 regulations and acts as a Moto3 World Championship feeder class. It is considered to be among the most competitive junior championships in the world.

A measured response, "I have been improving a lot. I am not sure of my chances, too early to say. But I think it may not be too bad', is what one gets when asked about the impending race.

Emmanuel said his day starts early.

"With long bicycle ride that helps me improve my balance. I go on to do some physical and mental training. When I can, I also ride the motorbike with other teammates," he said.

He said he started training at the age of 13.

"Perhaps it is because I watched my father, Emmanuel Jebaraj, winner of seven national titles, do it, or because I had the company of my brother, it became quite natural for me to focus on training.”

Incidentally, his brother, 17-year-old Johann Reeves Emmanuel, is taking part in the FIM JuniorGP European Talent Cup, slated for the same weekend as the World JuniorGP.

"My brother is the more outgoing type. I have always been reticent. Occasional movies and cricket matches were enough for me to chill out. I love listening to rap before I get into the track. It pumps me up,” added Emmanuel.

Things fell into place, said Emmanuel, when he was picked by Cuna De Campeones, which has produced the likes of 2020 World champion Joan Mir, Jorge Martin, Pedro Acosta and many top-notch riders, to represent them.

"I moved to Valencia in Spain for training a year ago. My father or my mother came to help me occasionally, but mostly, I managed on my own. From this year, my brother will be joining me, so it will not be that lonely," he said.

Apart from rigorous training, moving to Europe also meant Emmanuel had access to a mental coach.

"Mental strength is very important for racing. Ideally, there should be absolutely no fear of crashing, but we are humans and it is only natural that we should be nervous about it. The first two laps, when the riders are at close proximity, are very dangerous. This is why coaching is essential. Basically, I will be training my mind with the help of the coach to remain calm and unagitated. If I am nervous, I am likely to make deadly mistakes. When my mindset improved, my riding improved too," the racer added.

It has been a long journey and not easy.

"We had to find our own path. But here I am. All my life I have not had many friends, only big dreams. It was worth holding onto them. Now we – my brother and I -- will be the ice-breakers. Those who desire to ride in India, can learn from our mistakes and achievements," he added.

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