Bengaluru: Five minutes into the conversation, it becomes clear that 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 Friday, 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.
A measured response is what one gets when asked about the impending race.
“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,” he said.
Emmanuel said his day starts early.
“With a 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.
No, he does not miss doing things that most teenagers do. “I started training when I was 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 him.
“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,” said Emmanuel.
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,” said Emmanuel.
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.