Barely two months before the Urhonigbe Showdown as the Nigeria Superbike Road Racing Beckons, BIKEGP sat in an interview with Okao ‘Moto’Oduagbon, the President of the Motorcycle Sports Club of Nigeria (MSCN)(Can you give a brief introduction of yourself and say What led to your love for motorcycle and racing?)
MOTO: My name is Okao Oduagbon, “Moto” for short and am the guy that wants guys that can to pump RED! My interest in cars started at a very young age as most normal kids that got a toy car. By natural progression there from to speeding cars LOL. Then by still by natural progression to motorcycles. I mean who don’t love themselves a motorcycle? They may not ride but you got to love those shiny metallic horses on two wheels! My interest in starting the Motorcyle Sports Club is to bring to reality the dream of every Nigerian youth that wants to engage in some form of motorsport. But personally, I also wanted a motorcycle culture that I could be proud of, and how I thought of achieving that was to introduce motorcycle sport to the Nigeria. We believe Bikers (as we’re called) should be taken seriously, we also believe that in order to be taken seriously we also have to do some serious things. And nothing is more serious that Motorcyle sports. We’ve had support from so many people (bikers and non-bikers) too numerous to mention, including the Government of Edo state that fully supports our activities. We started Motocross racing in from 2012-2013 before we graduated to Superbike Racing that we’ve been holding every year (last Saturday of November) since 2013. The 2016 edition will be the fourth one in the series.(From our conversation, you are the originator. How many of these events have you participated competitively aside organising?)
MOTO: I’ve not participated competitively in any of the events. Am most concerned during the event with ensuring the safety of all involved. Safety in any motorsport particularly motorcycle related events is of over-riding importance. The success of the events is having everybody returning to their love ones in one piece.
(So come this year will you be competing, or are you still doing your normal organising?)
MOTO: One of the reason I don’t take part in the races is to ensure that the races are safely organised. If there’s a way I can compete without compromising the organisation, efficiency and safety of everyone involved, of course I would like to compete. In fact, I would be competing hard not just to make up the number.
(If at all you are suppose to be competing in the BT this year, which bike would we expect to see you on?)
MOTO: You would more likely see me on on my ZX600R.
(So on the car racing, because I think we are introducing Motorcars to the BT for the first. What do you have to say in respect to that?)
MOTO: Motorsport is basically bike and car races. I think our friends in the four wheel division don’t like to be left out of the fun, so they appealed to us to see if they can join in the fun. So this year we want to give it a test run to see how it works. You know even in professional bike racing, there’s usually a safety car that goes around the track before the bike racing start so we’re looking at the cars doing “safety cars” before the start of BT. Only they will be racing. LOL. We want to make the event more rounded, to bring more crowd, enthusiasts and participants. So that’s the concept we’re trying to nurture
(So how many racers are expecting to line up the grid this year?)
MOTO: Cars will be between 3 and 5. We have about 30 registered racers from the general biking community, then we have a special group of racers (Pro-Series Racers), they should be about 10 this year. We’re looking at 40 racers and a total race interval of 80 minutes, but if the track is going to cover the 15 minutes maximum, then that’s 95 minutes right? So, start to finish of the whole race event is about 1 hour 35 minutes of actual racing. The race day is a whole day event. It will take us about 2 hours to get to race start positions, about 1 hour to check everything is in place, about 1 hour for the opening ceremony. So at about 1pm we should start our racing, end it about 3pm, do our podium ceremony before 4pm, return to Benin by 5pm, then we have our after race party in the night before we depart the following day.
(Can You talk more about the practise, You know, the days, time and more?)
MOTO: Yes, the racers are expected to arrive Benin on November 23rd which will be Wednesday, the late ones are expected to arrive before 12noon on Thursday which is when we’ll begin to inspect and accredit the bikes and racers. We have to check whether your bike is fit for racing and that the racer is also fit and prepared to race. Thursday evening is when we’ll have our 1st safety meeting that start at about 7pm, where we’ll discuss all safety and technical issues. Friday morning we’ll have a practise session at the BT track from 7am. That practise session will not end until everybody has had a good grasp of the things in place and consider themselves fully acquainted to the twist and turns and straight of the BT track. We’ll return to Benin and in the night of Friday and discuss the safety concerns, these safety concerns will be taken care of on Saturday morning before the races commence. So to simplify, Wednesday: arrival, Thursday: racers and bikes accreditation, Friday: practice, Saturday: race day, Sunday: departure.
stay onto BikeGP for further updates on The BT 2016.