Date posted on March 1, 2019
Michael Altamira is someone you can call a late bloomer in the world of motorsports. He first got his hands on a motorcycle at the young age of 16 and started racing competitively after only a year. Now 18, he’s already dicing it out with the country’s best.
In person, “Mike” is as down-to-earth as a racer should be. The second year IT student is not only one of the fastest on the racetrack (he currently leads the 115cc Super Stock of the UBK), he’s also one of the slickest in the badminton court. In fact, he’s already gone national and is currently preparing for the NCAA.
InsideRACING: How old were you when you learned how to ride a motorcycle?
Michael Altamira: 16 years old ako nang matutong mag-ride so two years na, pero yung first year, hindi naman talaga competitive. Nag-start lang yung competitive racing nung 17 na ako. Actually, late na yun pero nakaka-catch up naman.
IR: How do you prepare for a race?
MA: More on physical preparation dahil stock yung bike. Every race parang naging routine na yung two practices bago yung race day, either Friday or the day of the race itself, basta hindi kami nagpupunta sa race nang hindi prepared. Mahirap talaga, lalo na at may mga sponsors na umaasa kaya mahirap ‘pag hindi handa.
IR: Speaking of sponsors, how many years have you been with Motorstar?
MA: Last year lang nung IRGP. Before that, privateer ako pero may konting support na rin naman sa iba at nagpapasalamat ako sa mga tumutulong simula pa dati.
IR: What do you consider to be your biggest win?
MA: Last season ng PBB, nakuha ko yung 2008 Rider of the Year sa 100 Stock Expert. Yun talaga para sa akin ang most memorable.
IR: Your dad told us that you’re also a fine badminton player, that’s pretty cool.
MA: Yes, varsity player din ako ng Letran sa badminton. Actually, nag-champion na ako at lumalaban na rin ako sa nationals. Ngayon naman, nagpe-prepare ako for the NCAA. This coming second semester yun so mahirap talaga ang schedule.
IR: You mentioned schedule, how do you balance your racing career with school and other extra-curricular activities?
MA: Madalas talagang may conflict sa schedule, kagaya ngayon dahil midterms na. Pero nagagawan naman ng paraan at nakaka-catch up sa school. Syempre hindi natin pwedeng pabayaan ang studies. Sa badminton, Tuesdays and Thursdays ang practice. Sa race naman, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays kaya loaded talaga. Sa school, irregular na lang ako pero okay naman.
IR: Any advice for those who want to venture into racing?
MA: Para sa mga gustong kumarera, lagi nilang unahin yung mga safety equipment. Yung motor naman madali lang, pero yung safety talaga ang dapat pagtuunan ng pansin. Yun ang pinaka importante sa lahat.
IR: How about last words for our readers?
MA: Continue lang nila yung pag-support sa InsideRACING, and again, safety always. Gusto ko na rin pala magpasalamat sa mga sponsors ko: OZ Racing, YRS, KSR Performance, Roldan Cyclemate, Anchor Sprocket, Spyder, Vee Rubber, InsideRACING, at syempre sa
support ng parents ko.
*This article was published in InsideRACING’s Volume 7 Number 8 2009 issue.