Mumbai: Mahindra Racing has roped in rider Sarath Kumar, first Indian to participate in the MotoGP World Championships, to represent the team in the next season of the Italian Motor Racing Championship in the 125cc category.
The 19-year-old will be partnered by Italian Riccardo Moretti, a champion in the 125cc category in 2009, for the eight-race event to be held between March 25-October 14.
Chennai-based Sarath had made his debut in MotoGP in the just-concluded season for the WTR-Ten10 Racing Team.
"We are proud to announce our entry into the Italian Motor Racing Championship with Sarath Kumar. Our eventual objective was to have an Indian rider like Sarath in the MotoGP World Championships. But we are not going to throw him there before he is ready. It is a step by step measure," Mahindra Racing Team Principal Muffadal Choonia said at a press conference here today.
"We met him at Qatar where he was racing for another team. We were in touch with him. We felt if he had the backing of a team like us, he could explode on the world scene."
Asked about the agreement with Sarath, he said it was a deal for the current season only. "Given how he develops we want to keep our options open."
Sarath said he had kept a track of the performance of Mahindra Racing, which finished third in its debut MotoGP season in the Constructors Championships.
"I have seen their every race, I followed what they were doing and how they were improving. I also met their two riders Danny Webb and Marcel Schrotter, who taught me a few things," he said.
"This being my first season with them I want to adapt to the Mahindra`s bikes," he added.