‘My best is not good enough’ – Interview with Rookies Cup selection candidate Aditi Krishnan

© All photos (including featured cover) are provided by the Krishnan family

The Red Bull Rookies Cup selection event for 2020 season took place at Guadix between Oct. 15 and Oct 17. After three days of selection event, 11 young riders were selected and welcomed to 2020 Rookies Cup. Among the 109 riders being considered at Guadix, three are girls – Raquel Ananda Nogueira Vaz from Brazil, Valentina Martinez Trujillo from Colombia, and Aditi Krishnan from India. Unfortunately, none of the three girls ended up among the 11 selected riders. But what do you expect when the odds of being selected is 10 to 1 and you start with only 3% of the field being women. We were lucky enough to be able to catch up with Aditi on the Friday after the selection. She was with her family on a mini vacation in Spain piggy-backing off of the selection. We learned a bit more about how she got into racing and her experience so far.

Aditi at Guadix for Red Bull Rookies Cup selection

Aditi was born in India in 2005. Her dad Ananth is multiple Indian National SBK Championship podium finisher and an instructor at Apex Racing Academy. At 13 years of age, she saw her dad racing and fell in love with the sport. “I went to the race track to see one of my dad’s races, and I think it’s super cool. So I asked my dad to teach me how to ride a bike. Since I was only 13 and I don’t have a license to ride on the road, my dad decided to take me to a track day. We started doing track days with Apex Racing Academy. Later we learned there is a selection event – Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup, which is going to be held in India. We thought it was a good idea. We would get more track time and a little more exposure. So we decided to do it. I had no idea I would get selected (to go to Rookies Cup selection). I didn’t expect it at all!”

Aditi and Ikshan Shanbag, championship leader in Road to Rookies Cup

As Aditi didn’t have too much experience in racing, we asked her whether she had the opportunity to train with the same model of bike used in Rookies Cup selection (KTM PreMoto3 250cc) before she got to Guadix. “I was actually training on a Yamaha (at Apex), the bike they used in Road to Rookies Cup in India was a Suzuki Gixxer, and they were completely different from what we used in the selection here. That KTM bike is not available in India. I’ve never ridden a bike like that before.”

Aditi training during track day at Apex Racing Academy

Even though Aditi didn’t get selected for Rookies Cup this year, it was an eye-opening experience, “I learned the level of competition there is much higher. The gap between me and the rider who placed first or the riders who got selected is a lot. So I still need to work harder, much harder, to get there.”

Aditi (orange bib) among her group of riders during Rookies Cup selection

During the Rookies Cup Selection, all three girls were in the second day groups. Aditi got to meet both Raquel and Valentina, but was slightly surprised of the low number of girls among the 100 riders being considered. “I did expect more girls. Although I think if girls are interested in this, they will come. There may not be much you can do to get them there.”

Track walk before the selection event

Since it was her dad who inspired her to start in motorsport, it is only natural that her family has been very supportive. “My family has been very supportive throughout this. Apex Racing Academy has also been completely supportive, they have an amazing track. We also already have some sponsors, and we are looking for a couple more.”

Aditi and dad Ananth

On Aditi’s Road to Rookies Cup profile, it says her professional aim is to become veterinarian. So obviously she hasn’t dropped out of school for a professional racing career yet. “There is a lot of training I do at home, swimming and cycling. I also practice horse riding. All these combined, help me with bike riding. I do my training on the side while going to school. I took some holidays from school for the selection. My dad hired a teacher to teach me on the road for things I’m missing out in school. I still need to do homework!” After the selection, Aditi and her family are traveling in Spain for a few days, but when asked about whether they have plans to move to Europe for racing, she said they currently have no plans yet. “There is no plans yet, but hopefully, maybe.”

As someone aspired to be in MotoGP, we asked Aditi whether there is a circuit on the calendar she particularly interested in racing on, “I think all of them. I want everything, just get it all in.” She answered with a chuckle.

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