Racing drivers are qualitatively different from football, tennis, and rugby players who live and die by their athleticism. For the vast majority of athletes, losing a yard of pace in their mid-thirties spells the beginning of the end, and it is only those with exceptional natural ability – who can adapt their game to prolong the inevitable. However, motorsports simply isn’t like this.


You may start in your forties or even fifties but how far you will be able to spread your wings? That’s the only question that arises here.


Commenting on this, a 42- year-old once a driver now a rider, Khoo Chee Yen fondly known as CY Khoo of Mobilub Suzuki Racing Team believes being a good racing driver is a balance of being at the peak of your physical abilities and experience, but at the same time he aware of the limitations due to his age.


“My dream to become a racer started very early in my life, if not mistaken I remember I was around 5 or 6 years old. I liked both bikes and sports cars but it seems like bikes always drew my attention more. Unfortunately riding a bike was a big “ NO “ for my family, not to mention racing. So I shifted my interest more toward four wheels.


“My first sanctioned race was in 2003 in Merdeka 12 hours Endurance (MME) racing with Mitsubishi Mirage 1.6cc and completed the 12 hours race in 3rd position in the category. It was the beginning of my four-wheels journey, at the same time I also started racing in multiple go-kart series.


“At the age of 31, the urge and love for #bikegasm triggered me to give it a try. It has always been there in me, the love for two wheels, and I decided I shall give no more excuses. I slowly started learning how to ride a bike and owned my first sport bike. The following year, I took part in my first-ever Superbike race in MSBK as a wildcard entry before starting a full season the next year. And here I am at my 9th full season in MSBK.


“I know it’s pretty late for me to venture into this two-wheel scene, and there come the limitations taking my age into consideration but why not? As long as you are capable and enthusiastic enough to try it out, you should definitely go for it. If I am aiming for a world championship slot, then that is unrealistic, but if it’s more on self-satisfaction and urge to learn something new and exciting, no age is a barrier in motorsports.


“This year was my 9th full season in MSBK. Moving from 4-wheel racing to 2-wheel racing has never been an easy transition for me, jumping out from the cage (car) into hugging the fuel tank (bike) was the biggest challenge in my life. I had to start all over again, getting to know the culture, people, and the sport. It was very different compared to the 4-wheel world,” explained CY Khoo.


Somehow, the guy in his forties who relishes his full potential, who is also aware of his limitations but handles it with full grace, to make his dream come true, that’s something that needs to be respected.

“ Funding is always the biggest factor in Motorsport. Before every season starts, we have to convince sponsors to invest in us in order to continue racing. In my scenario, due to my age, I have a very limited opportunity to proceed further to a higher level of racing but in return, I always work closely with all my sponsors to help them develop, test, or even market their products. Not to forget “ Loyal to the Brand “ is also very. important to sponsors.


“So far, only 3 racing teams I have joined in my 9 years of bike racing: Sportsrider Racing Team (2014-2015), Team Hiap Aik Suzuki Racing (2016-2020), and Mobilub Suzuki Racing Team (2020 till date). I wouldn’t deny they have shown tremendous support throughout my journey at MSBK.


“I also would like to mention it wasn’t an easy ride. I had the fewest riding hours among the racers on the grid when I first started racing in MSBK. One of the most important key persons was my coach Mr.Lee Ching Hooi also known as Panjang Lee, who prepared and guided me every single step in the sport even till today. I’m truly grateful.”


Leave aside the season opener of MSBK, the second round comes with a new challenge for Khoo whereby he will be riding a new Suzuki GSXR1000R.


“Round 2 will be another challenge as I will be racing with my new machine. I will need some sessions to understand and get the best setup out of it. So far, I’m pretty pumped to race in category B. A few years back, I used to race in A. My performance dropped after the pandemic break which is why I’m in B now. Hopefully, someday I will be competitive enough to be back in A again.


“Those top riders in A are some of the best riders at the current Asia level. Riding together for sure we can learn and see the difference in terms of riding skills. But still, there is no a category that can define The Best National Level riders as currently, A is a mixture of Asia and National level. Hopefully, someday we will see another category in-between A & B which purely participants from top national riders.” said Khoo.


Khoo is all geared up with his new machine for the second round in Sepang International Circuit, this weekend.


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