- MIC set for Round 3 of 2W National Championship
- Focus on front-runners as battle for points hots up
Chennai, August 4: The MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2022 enters its crucial phase this weekend at the Madras International Circuit which will host Round-3 with the front-runners on the leaderboard keen to consolidate their positions by achieving a fine balance between outright aggression and smart riding.
The 20-race card will get rolling tomorrow (Friday) with Free Practice and qualifying sessions ahead of the races over the following two days which could see some exciting competition as was the case in the previous round last month.
While almost 200 entrants fight it out on the track, promoters Madras Motor Sports Club have thrown open the 600-seater grandstand along the main straight to the public and fans. Spectators can avail of refreshments and snacks besides watching the live streaming of the races on several 55-inch television monitors in the stands.
“The two rounds so far have witnessed some thrilling action and extremely close races, and this weekend, we are sure, it will be no different. We are hoping that the fans will turn out in good numbers to witness the action. We have opened the grandstand to the public for the first time since it was built in 2020, but could not be utilised due to the pandemic. A special award will be presented to a rider / team with the biggest cheering squad in the grandstand,” said MMSC vice-president Vicky Chandhok.
On the track, the National Championship will see double-headers in the two premier Pro-stock categories – 301-400cc Open and 165cc Open – besides the Novice (Stock 165cc) class, while one race is slated for the Girls (Stock 165cc) and the Stock 301-400cc, introduced as a support event this season.
The Petronas TVS One-Make Championship organised by MMSC – Open (Apache 310RR), and Rookie, Girls and Media (all Apache RTR200) – and the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – NSF 250R, Novice (CBR 150) and Hornet 2.0 (Support race) – make up rest of the weekend programme.
While veteran Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power1), bidding for his 11th National title, has dominated the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc category with four wins from as many starts, the situation in the popular Pro-Stock 165cc class is intriguing, though Pacer Yamaha’s Mathana Kumar enjoys a 35-point advantage. His arch-rivals, Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing), and the Petronas TVS Racing pair of Deepak Ravikumar and KY Ahamed, showed signs of resurgence in Round-2 last month after a washout in the season-opener at Coimbatore in June. Thus, the expectations are high of close battles this weekend.
Hubballi’s Sarvesh Balappa (Axor Sparks Racing), with four wins out of four, is comfortably placed in the Novice category (Stock 165cc) that attracts a grid of some 40 riders. In the Girls category (Stock 165cc), just 10 points separate the top four – Aditi Krishnan (Bengaluru, Winverve Apex Racing Academy), Ann Jennifer (Chennai, Axor Sparks Racing), Jagruti Penkar (Mumbai, Axor Sparks Racing) and last year’s champion Ryhana Bee (Chennai, Pacer Yamaha), in that order.
The Petronas TVS One-Make Championship has seen some hectic action. In the Open category, there have been four different winners, while Bengaluru schoolboy Chiranth Vishwanath has won all four races in the Rookie class and Aditi Krishnan remains unbeaten after two outings in the Girls category.
Pune teenager Sarthak Shrikant Chavan, with a clean sweep of all four races, heads the NSF 250R class in the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup as also Mumbai’s Raheesh Mudassar Khatri in the Novice (CBR 150) category.