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Johnny Pranata : Si Kucing Dari Lombok

Siapa yang tak kenal dengan lelaki satu ini. Namanya kian berkibar dalam karir balap motokros baik di tanah air maupun manca negara.

Adalah Johnny Pranata, pria asal lombok ini memulai karir dalam ajang balap motor penggaruk tanah sejak berusia 18 tahun. Sejak saat itu pula, dirinya kian tak tertahankan oleh rival-rival nya. Begitu banyak prestasi dan gelar juara yang pernah dikantonginya.

“Nyali,” sebut Johnny Pranata saat ditanyai kunci kesuksesannya selama ini di dunia balap motokros. Tentunya tak sekadar nyali semata karena Johnny yang juga kepala sekolah IMI akademi racing ini memiliki segudang talenta dan skill.

Berbekal nyali alias kenekatan itu pula, Johnny memilih hijrah dari kampung halamannya di Lombok untuk pindah ke Surabaya. “Saya membawa badan saja ke sana, orang tua di Lombok sebenarnya tak setuju saya balapan,” kenangnya. Ia diboyong oleh tim Yamaha Pit Corner untuk menjadi salah satu pembalap mereka.

Ketertarikannya dengan motor penggaruk tanah seperti halnya para remaja pada umumnya. Johnny di kala muda gemar ngebut di jalanan utama kota Lombok. “Tipikal kenakalan remaja pada saat itulah, nggak pernah bisa diam di rumah,” jelasnya.

Beruntung, penawar racun kenakalan tersebut ditemukan. Temannya dari Bali meminjamkannya sebuah motor trail. Ia pun tertarik untuk pindah medan laga dari jalanan ke trek tanah. “Kebetulan pada saat itu perlombaan motokros lagi hangat-hangatnya di berbagai daerah, terutama pulau Jawa,” ujarnya.

Sekali-sekalinya ia ikut lomba balapan motokross lokal di Nusa Tenggara Barat, gelar runner up sukses digondolnya pada tahun 1981. Salah satu pemandu bakat dari Surabaya kepincut dengan hasil yang diraihnya. Akhirnya tim balap Yamaha Pit Corner menjadi tim pertama yang meminangnya.

Melihat, bertanya, dan belajar sendiri, adalah tiga hal yang dilakukan Johnny pada awal karirnya sebagai pembalap hijau. Merasa tak puas, ia putuskan untuk belajar dengan pembalap motokros jaman dulu, Bandung Sunggoro. Sejak itu ia menikmati kiprah di berbagai tim besar motocross tanah air dan bisa melalang buana menjajal tanah negeri Paman Sam.

Bagi Johnny yang punya julukan ‘Si Kucing’, memandang motokros adalah olah raga keras. Saat-saat awal karirnya, Johnny selalu ngotot mengeluarkan segala kemampuannya ketika berlatih. Terkadang ia melewati batas kemampuannya hingga harus mencicipi aneka cedera. “Tapi kalau tidak begitu tak akan bisa memahami tantangan olahraga ini,” ujarnya.

Apapun bakal dilakukan Johnny agar bisa hidup dari motokros. Termasuk menjadi montir di bengkel tim Yamaha Pit Corner yang menjadi tim balapnya. Di luar balapan, Johnny menghabiskan waktunya mengoprek motor-motor trail di bengkel. Selepas berlatih, mengutak-atik setingan mesin motor trail tim balapnya nejadi rutinitas yang ia jalani.

Berbekal ilmu yang didapat dari pekerjaan sambilannya menjadi montir motor trail di tim balapnya, ia menjadi lebih mengerti setingan motor trail untuk balapan. Ketika para pembalap lainnya harus berkonsultasi kepada tim mekanik saat terjadi keanehan pada motor trail, Johnny langsung tahu apa yang harus dilakukan kepada motornya. “seorang pembalap sangat wajib menjadi pacar luar dalam dengan mesin motornya,” jelasnya.

Berkat keuletannya, ia menjadi pembalap bersinar di berbagai kejuaraan nasional dan seri balapan di tanah air. Mulai tahun 1988 sampai 1990, semua seri balapan, termasuk Indonesia Motocross Championship di sirkuit Sentul memperebutkan tropi Menpora selalu didominasinya. “Hampir semua gelar ketika itu saya rebut,” ujarnya malu-malu.

Era akhir 1980-an hingga pertengahan 1990-an merupakan era keemasan Johnny dalam berbagai balapan motocross di tanah air dan Asean.

Bersama manajer balapan John Laksana, ia juga berhasil mengetes kemampuan di negeri Paman Sam, Amerika Serikat, bersama puluhan kroser dunia. Hadir sebagai juara kandang di Indonesia, Johnny merasakan betapa kerasnya olahraga motocross kelas dunia. Hebatnya, ia bisa merangsek finis ke enam dari seluruh peserta di stadium Colloseum, Los Angeles, tahun 1991.

Pada awal 1990-an, Johnny lebih banyak menderita cedera panjang. Namun pada tahun 1993 hingga 1995, si Kucing mendominasi di hampir seluruh seri balapan kejuaraan nasional motokros saat itu. Pada tahun 1997 dan 1998, performa Johnny mulai menurun dan akhirnya memutuskan pensiun dari trek balap.

Menjadi Kepala Sekolah

Pensiun tak berarti Johnny meninggalkan trek balap selamanya. Ia beralih menjadi manajer di tim balap dari Balikpapan hingga menangani tim Pertamina milik Helmy Sungkar. Saat ini ia telah menjadi kepala sekolah dari IMI Racing Academy yang menggembleng para kroser muda dari seluruh tanah air.

Ia harus mendidik para kroser muda mulai dari usia 7 tahun hingga belasan tahun. Ada sekitar 32 kroser muda menimba ilmu di akademi yang berpusat di sirkuit Pondok Cabe. Ia harus cerdik memahami tabiat para kroser muda untuk memompa semangat agar giat berlatih. Johnny membangun kebersamaan dengan para muridnya seperti seorang ayah dan anak.

Karakter murid-muridnya diharapkan Johnny bisa menjadi kartu truf kala bertanding. “Etos bertanding dan berlatih harus secara total,” jelasnya. Sehebat apapun motor trail sang pembalap, tak akan bisa menjamin sebuah kesuksesan.

“Motor sekadarnya pun bisa juara jika pembalap bertalenta dan memiliki usaha dan kerja keras,” tambahnya lagi. Siapapun menurut Johnny bisa menggapai mimpi menjadi pembalap motokros sukses seperti dirinya. “Jangan sekali-kali berdiam diri. Jika tak punya motor trail bisa meminjam untuk berlatih. Ingat, keberhasilan akan datang jika ada kemauan keras,” pesan sang legenda motokros ini.

79 COMMENTS

  1. kmbali ke lombok dong bang……..anak2 lombok membutuh kan abang …….untuk mengajarinya…….

  2. Johnny pranata adalah idolaku sejak gue msh make yamaha rx-king 1990-1993. Klu lagi lomba dikota medan.pasti gua hadirr.sampai pernah dua x kaca spionku hilang ditempat parkiran. 20:32Wib. Sabtu. 12/11/2011 (ol pertama di warkop pangkal titi simpang young panah hijau belawan-sumatera utara)

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  4. saya pernah nonton aksi mas johny pranata di sirkuit tanjung mas semarang…. woww.. say dulu saat masih smp betul-betul… terbuai dengan raungan usra SE….. sehat bung….

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  7. klw sy paling faforit kanda jony dari msh SD sampai sekarang di tunggu di palu acara motor cross
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    palu sul-teng,,

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