Master of the Throttle

That Omran Mohammed Al Sayed loves bikes is obvious from the fact that he’s got one parked right in his bedroom – just next to his double-poster bed.



By Anshuman Joshi

Published: Sun 24 Jan 2010, 8:45 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:37 PM

MAN AND HIS MACHINE: Omran Mohammed Al Sayed poses with his Kawasaki in his bedroom.—KT photo by M. Sajjad

The room too, done in red and white, the colours of his beloved Desmosedici, currently undergoing repairs after a high-speed crash on the treacherous Kalba twisties, wears just the kind of feel that suits his growing reputation as one of the fastest men in the country.

There is a whole string of biker suits hanging from the rack, each that bears the scars of some daredevil exploit gone wrong in the past, lines of biker shoes, gleaming silver trophies arranged on shelves and miniature figurines — just the sort of armoury that Omran retires to, dreaming of the possible glories that await him in the days ahead.

Right now however, the pride of place belongs to his Kawasaki, the mechanized beast with a powerful heart encased within its green carbon-fibre frame that has taken Omran to a slew of victories in the 2008-2009 season, enthroning him firmly as the king of the track, the man to beat.

“The reason it’s so close to me,” he explains defining the proximity of the machine to the man “is because it has been tuned to my requirements by my sponsors. So I have to take great care of it, besides which I absolutely adore it. I feel great when I am on it.” So great that when the engine whines and roars and his knee-sliders graze the tarmac at the Dubai Autodrome, not too many could lay claim to passing him, leave alone joust with him to the finish line. That’s probably why he won the Sprint Challenge in the last season and ended up on the winner’s podium in the National Day races. But surprisingly, for someone who seems to have come up aces in his speed duels with compatriots and rivals, Omran started riding motorcycles only two years back.

“All these years, I was never into bikes, in fact I think besides for a couple of stray occasions, I had never even mounted one. I was more into cars and they were more than enough to quench my need for speed.”

He in fact, at one point of time, owned no less than four Nissan Skylines, those popular tuner cars that sated his desire to burn some serious rubber. However, at National Plant, his workplace, his seniors and colleagues were firmly into motorcycles.

“I never did understand their passion, but when one of them asked me to ride his new KTM Super Duke from the showroom to his garage, I was almost immediately hooked.”

Luckily for him, with not more than 13 kilometers on the gauge, that bike was his, thanks to the man who he now refers to as his mentor. “I went crazy. I spent my whole life on the bike.”

Two KTMs and a few crashes later, it was time to work up the pace with the Yamaha R6 and then came his flaming red Desmosedici, the motorcycle designed by Ducati to compete in the MotoGP series.

By this time, Omran was a regular at track days, participating in any race that he could, soaking up tips from other racing veterans.

“With his potential firmly established, a custom-made machine and sponsors Liberty Kawasaki in place, he was taking on the best in the business and winning. But now he wants to stretch his boundaries beyond the circuits in Dubai, Bahrain and Qatar, but he needs more sponsors to get him there. “I would love to race at the Ascari, but that needs loads of money.”

His need for speed, however seems to have tempered with experience, and he spends more time on the track than he does on the roads now.

“It gets too dangerous at times,” he admits. In addition, that one crash in Kalba that sent him and his Desmosedici careening out of control and split the skin on his wrist right to the bone seems to have made him a little more cautious.

“It was the first of my serious crashes. The others were smaller, but this one still has me going for my physiotherapy sessions.” ‘With his speed demons still needing to be exorcised, he is happier being on the track, where he knows further glories await him.

anshuman@khaleejtimes.com


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