Chennai, Feb 6 (IANS) Chennai two-wheeler racer Shankar Sarath Kumar will be participating in the 2013 Spanish Moto3 championship wearing the colours of Monlau Competicion, it was announced here Wednesday.
Sarath, 21, will be backed by well-known south Indian actor R Sarath Kumar through his sports management company, the SK-Sarath69 Sports Pvt Ltd that was also launched here on the occasion.
Sarath, who in 2011 became the first Indian to compete in the 125cc class of MotoGp, also participated in the Italian championship the following year, marked by a podium finish in Monza.
The Spanish Moto3 Championship has been the stepping stone for many current MotoGP riders, including World champion Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez.
The backing from SK-Sarath69 could not have come at a more opportune moment for Sarath who had struggled to make ends meet and even drove a taxi for a living, but never gave up on his MotoGp dream.
Sarath said: "First of all, I would like to thank R Sarath Kumar for making all this possible. He is committed to helping youngsters and is playing an active role in helping me succeed.
"It is a dream come true to race in the Spanish Moto3 championship, considering the great riders who have participated in the same.
"Monlau Competicion is a winning team and I hope I can help them continue their winning ways. The more experience I get the more confident I feel and the faster I go. This is a huge opportunity for me so I hope I can make my country proud."
In 2012, Monlau Competicion won the Spanish Moto3 Championship with Alex Marquez, younger brother of MotoGP rider Marc Marquez.
Sarath will be riding the Suter-Honda Moto3, which is a 250cc 4-stroke prototype race bike developed for the Moto3 world championship.
Starting with the 2012 season, the Moto3-class replaced the 125-cc 2-stroke bike in FIM premier championship of motorcycle road racing.
Jaime Serrano, Executive Director, Monlau Competicion, said: "India is definitely becoming a hot destination for motorsports and we are pleased to announce our partnership with SK-Sarath69 and their young rider Sarath Kumar.
"From what we have seen of him, we are highly impressed and believe he has what it takes to go all the way. We will work closely in all areas to ensure he improves as a rider and is in a position to fight for victories."
Chairman of SK-Sarath69, R Sarath Kumar said: "India, as a sporting nation is at a very nascent stage, and the youth will play an integral role in taking it to the next level."
"While there is no dearth of talent in India, it is important that these young sportsmen are developed and groomed the right way. Our goal is to prepare young sportspersons to compete on an international scale, with the right training, financial backing and guidance.
"We are proud to announce young rider Sarath Kumar as our first signing and even more excited to confirm his participation in the Spanish Moto3 Championship with Monlau Competicion.