In my childhood, I vividly remember watching riders almost gliding their fancy bikes from one of the many ‘mini-mountains’ that had been built on the ground behind our house. It had become my morning chore on the weekends to witness the daring acts unleash before my eyes.
Once the rider’s had called it a day, I would straightaway rush to my rusty bicycle and try to imitate the same tricks on the ‘mountains’. Although it’s a different story that I never succeeded in getting even close to the bikers’ high leaps in the air, it was clear to me that the stuff wasn’t as easy as it looked. Riding up the inclination is a massive task in itself.
You have to correctly estimate your velocity because once up in the air nothing can change. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way, tumbling heavily a couple of time.
Yuvraj Deshmukh: The Rise of a Motocross Biker
It was thus, both refreshing and a bit shocking, to hear that a 9-year-old decided to take up the dangerous sport of Motor Crossing. “I was three and a half years old when my parents saw my talent. My father is a rider. I used to do stunts and I grasped Motocross racing really fast. As I started learning, my skills enhanced further,” says a now 13-year-old Yuvraj Konde Deshmukh, the youngster in question.
Having performed breathtaking stunts in an age when kids usually play with bike toys, the Pune-based sports rider made his professional motocross racing journey debut at the age of nine. Yuvraj began his at the age of nine and has never looked back. However, this would not have been easy without his parent’s support.
“My parents found out that I had the potential. My dad used to ride 30 years ago,” he explains, “That time in India, there was no national championship, there were demo races. This was a demo class. Rustom sir saw me and told Atul sir about me. The rest is history!”
Without a doubt it is!
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Making India Proud, Globally
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As Yuvraj commenced his professional dirt track career, he shattered many records and stereotypes in the process. He went on to win 15 podium finishes in his inaugural year in the domestic events. Moreover, the blazing youngster also set the international circuit on fire with his incredible performances.
“It was an international event so I was a bit nervous. I was riding with rougher and faster riders. So, it was a little nerve-wracking. But when Rustom sir and my father saw me riding, they had tears in their eyes,” recalls Yuvraj.
The first experience is always special, and Yuvraj certainly doesn’t differ on that front. “I was very proud. I was surprised to see that there was Motocross in India. It’s mostly a European or American sport,” he says. He won two international podium finishes in 2014, his international debut year.
Now known as India’s fastest kid on the block, Yuvraj has made it big on the global motocross map. The dirt biker has earned a podium finishes on eight occasions between 2014 and 2017. Moreover, he has gone on to become the first and the youngest Indian participate at the World Motocross Championship Juniors, Australia in the 85cc category of FIM MX Juniors.
Quip him about his experience of achieving the feat and he replies instantly, “I was super proud. I realized my potential at that moment and my confidence exciting. That I can win even international races. I was determined to achieve bigger goals,” elucidates Yuvraj.
High Goals, And the Price
Speaking about goals, Yuvraj does have some of the most ambitious ones in store for himself. The 13-year-old wants to become the youngest Indian to unfurl the tricolours in the senior Global Motocross Circuits. However, whatever Yuvraj has achieved at a tender age hasn’t come cheap.
On his way to glory, he has had to endure a string of injuries. And not only him, but his parents, especially his Mom, also suffered with him. Nonetheless, knowing the risks of the trade, his father has been his constant supporter.
He is youngest Yuvraj Konde Deshmukh will become the youngest Indian to participate at the World Motocross Championship Juniors
Yuvrajsinh Kondedeshmukh@motocross_ktm.offical https://t.co/UoiRm5HLPX
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“I’ve had quite a few severe injuries. When my collar bone broke, my mother insisted me to stop. But my father always asked me to keep going.” Yuvraj recollects. However, things came to a head when Yuvraj suffered a serious injury in 2016.
“In 2016, I broke my femur bone. That time, even my dad became mentally weak and asked me to stop,” he says. But, whatever the obstacles may be on his way to glory, Yuvraj is not going to stop.
“I told my parents that if I’ve come so far, I want to achieve my goals,” he says proudly, “I won’t give up. I never wanted to quit.”
Ask him about the persons who inspire him the most, and Yuvraj replies almost instantly, “My inspiration is Antonio Cairoli and Ken Roczen. What I like about Antonio is that he’s consistent and can give even young racers a tough competition. What I like about Ken is that he always comes back on track despite the circumstances.”
Dirt track racing at an age when others could only dream of must be interesting I guess. But Yuvraj Konde Deshmukh has to balance both his academic responsibilities along with the practicing obligations.
[Tweet “Nevertheless, the youngster takes every task with equal sporting spirit.“It’s fun to work hard. Motocross is a difficult sport and it’s very risky. I want to be different from others. Everybody wants to be a footballer and cricketer. But, I want to be different. I want to be a Motocross racer,””] he says, proudly.
Lastly, the very talented and immensely talented Yuvraj Konde Deshmukh signs off with some words of inspiration that belies his age.“Never lose faith in yourself. Confidence is what keeps you going.”