We will be starting a new series called “Meet the Racer’ and we will be dropping each interview once a week. This week is about knowing who Badblood is and what to expect from him in the 2018 season.
It was recently announced that BadBlood had signed on to race for Throttle Heads racing for a year, we caught up with the current first runner up in the 600cc category. He was team mates with Ahmed Al Pacino, the winner of the 600cc category for the past two seasons.
See the interview after the cut
NM: Can you introduce yourself to the folks that are not familiar with Badblood the racer.
Badblood: I am BadBlood, the freaky Son of a Gun. My Lovely Name is IKEMESIT meaning BraveHeart. I race Motorcycles
NM: It has been announced that you will be racing with Throttle Heads racing. Can you tell us a bit about them and why you decided to race for them.
BadBlood: Yeah! The announcement is like a Fresh cake offa the oven, isn’t it? Throttle Heads Racing is the name and I am excited to race for the brand. Throttle Heads Racing as the name implies is a Racing entity birth by Passion for Racing and Motorsport. It is an initiative by Jack ‘AirBenda’ Affara and Rodney ‘BUSA’ Jordan to promote Racing and Motorsports. Throttle Heads Racing are Professionals in every sense of the phrase. Throttle Heads Racing offer services like; Rider Academy, Rider/Driver Management, Racer Merchandise, Performance Tuning for both Motorcycles and Cars etc. Kindly visit www.throttleheadsracing.com for more information and even for Vacancies and Sponsorship
Our Team unveil of Racers, Bikes and Cars and Crew with 2018 livery is coming up in mid April. Like I said keep up with the team (Here) for updates and you can as well visit my personal website (Here)
NM: How many bike racers do they have across both the 600 and 1000 category.
BadBlood: At the moment we got just two Bikes, BikeGP Kawasaki ZX6R to compete in the 600 Super Sport class and AirBenda41Racing Suzuki GSX1000R for the Superbike 1000 class but the Superbike is yet to have a Rider.
NM: After your performance last year, what are the expectations of the team. What are your expectation at the end of the season.
BadBlood: I finished second fastest 600 Supersport, thus, a Vice Champion. This year, the aim is to go a step further. A well lived life is PROGRESSION, isn’t it?
NM: Can you tell us why you chose the number 28 as race number.
Badblood: In 2017 when I registered for the first time to compete in the Superbike Nigeria BT Championships, I was automatically assigned the Number 28 and immediately I reasoned, “So I am in the midst of Great Riders – So after Casey Stoner (#27) is Me before Andrea Iannone (#29). The 20s are reserved for Super Talented Racers – Maverick Viñales 25, Dani Pedrosa 26, Casey Stoner 27, BadBlood 28, Andrea Iannone 29. Also, I kept the Number because of the 8 in Memory of My All Time Favourite Rider MARCO SIMONCELLI. He Raced 58 – We have similarities with the 8. Had I supposed to have handpicked a race number, perhaps woulda been Marco’s 58.
Also, My Colours are Red And Yellow meaning the Blood And the Sun, a combination of the Colours of my three favourite Racers – Marco Simoncelli, Jorge Lorenzo (RED) and Valentino Rossi (YELLOW). I also Have SILVER amongst to signify that no matter what, I am GOD’s creation and I Give HIM Glory for Everything
NM: Is there a team mechanic or are racers their own mechanics? Who oversees the general technical direction of the team.
BadBlood: Most definitely, We got Team Engineers as Riders/Drivers cannot be put under such strenuous work. It is a lot of work like trying to blow dry paint on the wall with your mouth. At Throttle Heads Racing, we got a Complete and Functional Professional Race Team with personnel as in other National and International Championships like the BSB, ASBK, WorldSBK and MotoGP. We got a Full team and every Member from Administrative to Technical Team got delegated responsibilities. The Team Head is Jack Affara with Rodney Jordan as Technical Director and So on.
NM: Are you still racing with the Kawasaki or we are expecting a new bike.
BadBlood: Yes, the BikeGP Kawasaki ZX6R Ninja is the Primary Bike with a New BikeGP Yamaha YZF R6 as an alternate bike
NM: We had the first set of qualifiers in February, are you happy with where you are currently as a racer? What do you think you need to do to give you that competitive edge.
BadBlood: The February Qualifiers was a test for me because last Season, we suffered a lot with acceleration as the ZX6R wouldn’t run past 8,000RPM – Imagine that! Phhhhh!! Thus, We were there in February to try some new parts and different Set ups and strategies for the ZX6R and also test the performance of the R6. In the end, we found the Solution to the ZX6R and to us it was a big victory because we now have the pace to fight.
NM: Seeing as the qualifying format was revamped, are you happier with the current format or you prefer the older format.
Badblood: On Qualifying, it does not have any effect on me. I am a Racer and what I do is Race. In any form the Technical rules come, I Race. As long as there is the phrase “RACE”, I’m in.
NM: Would you say you are now familiar with the track, does it suit your riding style.
BadBlood: The Track is interesting, Always fun racing there and the grip is better now when compared to last Year. I got more understanding of the corners and feel very confident racing them. So, yes, I am more familiar with the track now. On my riding style, I enjoy a lot when the bike is on the sides. I am more than comfortable leaning than sitting upright. But you know as a racer you got to adapt to different tracks and their characteristics to stay competitive. The track is a balanced of Straights and corners and I am still learning how to be more confident on the straights.
NM: Other racers are very comfortable on the straights, you on the other hand are not, any reason why.
Badblood: I am not a fan of the Straight. It’s dangerous, isn’t it? (Giggles). I AM NEVER really COMFORTABLE whenever the Bike is upright. Never. I feel INVINCIBLE and in Control whenever the Bike is on the Sides. I like to feel close to the Ground because it is a Motorcycle. To be in the air or in an upright position is a thing of Bicycles and Aircrafts, definitely not Motorcycles.
Nonetheless, when I started riding Motorbikes in 2012, part of the Lessons I learnt from Ride Smart Superbike School and California Superbike School was that, “if you go fast around the corners, you will go fast everywhere”.
NM: Which of the professional riders would you say you have a similar riding style to, MotoGP or SBK series.
Badblood: It is just My riding style. I have followed Grand Prix racing for a VERY Long time and I have never heard any rider mentioning not liking the Straights. Regardless, I got Racers that I admire their Riding Style and Personality. Like Jorge Lorenzo, He is the Cornering god. Go back to 2013 and watch his battles with Marquez – Silverstone, Mugello, and even in Jerez where Marquez played back the Valentino Rossi/Sete Gibernau 2005 last Corner Pass. Watch Valencia last Race of 2013 just to mention a few. He does his Business even under attack he stays calm and smooth through the corners. He is a True Spartan – I like his “not caring about anybody” attitude – You could say it to be Proud and Arrogant but that’s your business or in Lorenzo’s words “that’s your opinion”.He is Good and Does the Job, especially in his Yamaha days. I still believe alot in him aboard the Desmosedici. I also admire alot, Marco Simoncelli – very aggressive and would try anything on the Corners. A very Fun guy. Valentino Rossi, We all know him. The G.O.A.T. The Racer by whose standard every Racer is judged and classified.
In Africa, I admire Ahmed Alpacino a lot. I got a lot of RESPECT for Him. He has it. I have learnt a lot from Him. He is my present help in time of need as far as motorcycling is concerned. We speak all the Times on phone and chat and whenever I am in Abuja, no matter My Schedule, I will try and see him. We discuss a lot – about Racing and Motorcycles in General. He is A worthy Champion.
Also, Jack AirBenda Affara, My Hero. I got a whole pack full of RESPECT for Him. Just like Valentino Rossi he’s got Charm and Character as well as the Will and Determination like no other.
NM: Do you see anyone in the 600cc category closing the gap on Ahmed.
BadBlood: Is why we are here – To push. You need to be optimistic as well as brave and intelligent to try things out of your limits. So every rider behind him will push to get a glimpse of his tail. It is racing, it is what we do, look for improvements and limits altogether and figure out a way to have it all under control.
NM: How do you prepare physically for race weekends.
Badblood: Yeeaah! Last season, I did alot of Runnings and Bicycle Riding and it really paid off in killing fatigue. This season I got lazy and did nothing, showed up for the February Qualifiers and I SUFFERED alot with fatigue and body pains especially on the Left side of My Body – Arms, Back and Legs. You know the Track has more left handers. You hang off the Bike for three straight left corners (Turns 2, 3, 4) with Alot of Acceleration through and out of them yet again to the “deep” (Turn 6) and Hang off again for almost 50metres radius under heavy braking and Acceleration through Turns 8 and 9 – Man! Is alot if you ask Me. So, for Me to have had the Lap Time I did in February whatever it was, Only GOD Pulled Me through. So, for May, I will be more prepared, Running and Riding Bicycles because it worked once for Me and it sure is also Fun, you know
NM: What can the fans expect from you and the team this year.
BadBlood: The Fans should expect professionalism from me, BadBlood and Throttle Heads Racing as well as the BT Championship. We will give everyone a great show come every given race weekend
NM: Is there a fan club? Are there plans for merchandising.
BadBlood: Yes, there is a Fan Club already and all communications are via my official website Here as well as my Instagram Page @BaadBlood28. This season We will ensure we appreciate fans and give back to the Community by ensuring Official BadBlood merchandise gets to them all and FREE – T-Shirts, Gears, Hand Flags, Flash Drives and So on. Throttle Heads Racing are also working on a Big Appreciation for the Fans. So, stay glued to the websites
NM: Thank you for taking time out to talk to us. See you at the track and like we tell all the racers, may the better racer win.
There you have it folks, Badblood hoping to go one further and stand on the top step come November 24, 2018. If you want to support him and the team, please visit their websites for more info.