John Abraham unveiled as MotoGP brand ambassador, talks about grassroots development and favorite riders

Abraham spoke at length about his connection with the sport and how he feels that it could be expanded in India.

John Abraham at the Eurosport press conference on Thursday. (Image: Eurosport)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Aug 6, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Bollywood actor and motorsport enthusiast John Abraham has been announced as the new Indian brand ambassador for MotoGP on Thursday. In a press conference organised by Eurosport India, the announcement was made. MotoGP is undoubtedly the biggest sport in the world involving motorbikes. Donned in a red biker’s jacket, Abraham spoke at length about his connection with the sport and how he feels that it could be expanded in India. There were also a few light-hearted moments as the actor reminisced about his youth, the first bike that he ever bought, and his favorite MotoGP rider. The announcement of Abraham’s role as MotoGP brand ambassador seems to be a step in the right direction. As a veteran actor, he is certain to have a sizable fan base and his passion for the sport is surely something that will be useful in its development in India.


When asked about what could be done to push motorsport in India, especially in terms of participants, the NorthEast United FC owner said that much like football, the development of the sport should be started at the grassroots level. “You need to have young riders coming out of the grassroots academies into situation races, then international races. That is the only way it is going to work,” Abraham said.

The veteran actor also revealed that one of his dreams was to start a motorcycle academy for children. “One of my dreams in my life is to start a motorcycle academy for kids from the age of maybe four, five, or six, and build them up to a point where they can start competing internationally and that is the only way we are going to get eyeballs on the sport,” he added.


When asked whether he coming on board as the brand ambassador for MotoGP in India would improve viewership in the country, Abraham answered in the affirmative. “I think it would definitely make a change,” he said. “The amount and effect of change that it would take is very difficult to quantify but yes, there will be some amount of awareness,” he added. However, he also mentioned that it might take years. “MotoGP is a purist sport. It takes time to follow races, follow teams, follow riders and it’s built over years. It doesn’t happen in one shot,” he added.


Abraham said that the new MotoE race, featuring electric vehicles, is gaining traction but it would be a while before it gets the center stage. However, he did admit that it was the future of the sport. “Obviously a lot of us are petrol heads. We like hearing the sound of an internal combustion engine. We kind of decipher the sound of a Ducati from a Honda or from a Yamaha. So we’re not really used to seeing a silent bike whirring round and round but it is going to be the future and that’s why we have a MotoE race that’s gaining prominence,” he said.


As the focus shifted from the development of the sport in India to the actual sport, Abraham spoke about the current MotoGP season. Speaking about his personal favorite riders at the moment, he said that Fabio Quartararo is the most in-form rider at the moment, but Maverick Vinales might be the fastest.

“I think the in-form rider is Quartararo at this point in time. He is fantastic, but if you ask me who is the fastest rider, on a good day it’s Maverick Vinales. He is having problems and a few issues right now, and he’s moving to Aprilia next year from Yamaha. Miguel Oliveira is fantastic on the KTM, so there are a bunch of five or six riders that I really rate up there at that level,” he said.


Speaking about his favorite MotoGP riders of all time, Abraham put Italian legend Valentino Rossi at the top of the list. The actor also said that he was a massive fan of Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read and also spoke about his favorite rivalries in MotoGP. Unsurprisingly, all of them had one common element, and that is Valentino Rossi. The actor said that the Rossi-Sete Gibernau and Rossi-Jorge Lorenzo-Marc Marquez rivalries were among his favorites.