It’s been a pretty good year thus far for Sri Lanka’s current top Motorcross rider Ishan Dassanayaka. Having won the SLADA Hans Ralph Rolling championship at the recently concluded Gajaba Supercross, he has dominated the circuit, being adjudged the best rider at Foxhill, Sigiriya Rally Supercross, Cavalry Supercross, Vijabah Motorcross & the popular Gunners Supercross this year.
MX Motorcross is a sport that combines speed, agility and the mental toughness of a rider and is a popular sport amongst thrill seeking racing enthusiasts. With gravity defying jumps to close corners, danger looms as the ability to control an automotive in a challenging track makes the MX Motorcross riders a class apart from the rest. In a sport where an opponent’s mistake can determine the outcome of the entire race, it’s a magnificent performance from Dassanayake to have dominated the circuit and maintained consistency given the conditions that can affect the result.
Having first got on a bike at the tender age of 4, Ishan participated in his first race in the year 1996. This young rider went on to win all the age group titles, the SLADA best U15 rider in 2007 & 2008 among the top prizes he received. As a youngster who always loved motorcycles, Ishan dreamt of becoming a motocross rider.
Hailing from the city of Kurunegala, Dassanayaka considers himself lucky to have grown up in a town where motor racing is very popular sport and has a vast following. He has achieved great heights to become a dominant force in the MX- Over 175cc up to 250cc (4T) & Over 100cc up to 125cc (2T) and in the MX Racing Over 100cc up to 125cc events .“I like motorcycles a lot, from young days my dream was to go forward as a motocross rider and my parents have been a real strength behind me and I wouldn’t have been able to get here without them” says Ishan about the support he has from his family.
The Island motocross series spans around the country where each track offers unique challenges to riders and drivers with limited time to get acclimatized to the track. Ishan tells us that his favorite track is the Vijayaba race track situated in Boyagane, his home track where he practices. “Boyagane track is my favorite track, I believe it’s the most technical and the most challenging track in the country. It’s a good track to test the stamina of a rider, you need to be in good shape to be able to complete Moto (ten laps) at the Boyagane track, I am lucky that I get to train on it.”
In a sport where there is very little or perhaps no margin for error as any tiny mistake could cost you the race and in an extreme situation could even be fatal. Injuries are plentiful in motor racing and Ishan is no exception. “I have missed a lot of races due to injury. I had a spinal fracture in 2009 and had to be out of racing for 3 years. I could only start racing again in 2012. Even this year I injured my collarbone, wrist and I had to undergo surgery for my ACL ligaments and I am happy I managed to take part in all the races and win them this year”
This victorious rider only requires a finish at the Walawe Supercross to become the national champion. Dassanayake, who has now conquered the motocross segment, revealed to us that he is eyeing the possibility of making his debut in the Supermotard race at the Katukurunda tarmac race. It will be interesting to see how competitive he can be against the seasoned campaigners in the tarmac.
As the country’s current number one Motorcross rider, we asked Ishan what plans he has in testing his talent in the international arena “I took part in the Asian motocross championship last year and managed to finish the event placed 13th overall, this year my target is to finish the race as a top ten rider”. An Asian top ten finish is yet to be achieved by a Sri Lankan rider and in fact the 13th place finish by Ishan in the previous year is the best finish a local rider has been able to achieve in Asian rankings.
Engaging in a demanding sport requires a great back up crew and a team that would support you to be in the best condition mentally, physically and also mechanically. Ishan shared this about his support system. “I represent team TVS , they have supported me immensely to come to this place and I am very thankful to them, I should also thank Sumedha sir, he supports me very much to win my races and my parents have been very supportive throughout, from the time I started racing. All these people are the reason for my success and I am very thankful to them for their support and the sacrifices they have made for my success”
This young rider is looking to ride his way to heights never achieved before and so far this season he has been on the right track to achieve glory. We at thePapare.com wish Ishan Dassanayake all the very best on his aspirations as we hope to bring you all the latest developments about his way to success.