Al Sulaiti grooming young riders for the future
The Qatari rider has turned mentor for young riders and is readying them for the challenges of international competition.
Saeed Al Sulaiti has been the lone flagbearer for Qatar in the Superbike and Supersport World Championships in the last few years. And he is well aware of the challenges that prevail for a rider and his team. The long season, fierce competition and travel throw up trying and tricky situations.
No wonder, Al Sulaiti lays stress on thorough preparation for anyone wishing to compete at the top level.
“I don’t really advise anyone to go to the World Championship just to participate,” he said.
“It’s extremely tough. Every rider is chasing the best times in the world from the moment they open their eyes in the morning. If you’re going to take part, you need to be ready,” he added.
Given the intimidating prospect the Superbike and Supersport circuits present and his own experience on the circuit, Al Sulaiti has been asked by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) to focus on grooming a bunch of young riders for the future.
“We took part in the Spanish Championships last year and midway through the season I was asked to manage our team. I was not racing after that but helped with data, the setups and other information the team needed,” he said.
Al Sulaiti gave a thumbs-up to the QMMF’s approach towards achieving their final objective of fielding Qatar riders at the World Championships.
“The Spanish Championships is the toughest in Europe. That’s why we’re starting from there. Once our riders get a feel of the competition and can move up to competing with the top riders there, they can progress to a higher level and then the World Championships. The transition should be gradual and not sudden. We’re on the right path,” he said.
Al Sulaiti was optimistic there could be Qatari representation at the highest level of motorbike racing in the next few years.
“We’ve talented riders who’re extremely hardworking and they did well at the Spanish Championships. I’m hopeful that this year too they’ll show good results. In about three years, we should’ve some skillful riders ready to take part in the World Championships,” said the 34-year-old.