- Hot action on cards in Round 4
- Crucial championship points up for grabs
Chennai, September 5: After dishing out heart-stopping finishes last month, India’s top two-wheeler racers and manufacturers – Honda, TVS, Yamaha and KTM – will return to action in the fourth and penultimate round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2019 commencing at the MMRT, here on Friday, September 6.
The 2019 season has been a roller-coaster with reputations taking a beating and it has thrown open the race for the titles in various categories wide open. Viewed in this context, this weekend’s races assume added significance as the contenders go wheel-to-wheel for precious championship points.
The Pro-Stock categories comprising the premium 301-400cc class besides 201-300cc and the 165cc, all run on MRF slick tyres, have witnessed thrilling battles through the season.
Thus, going into Round 4, Chennai-based TVS Racing pair of Deepak Ravikumar (101 points) and KY Ahamed (98), both with two wins apiece from six starts, head the 301-400cc class where defending champion Satyanarayana Raju (Gusto Racing) is placed sixth with 51 points with just one win. In contrast, Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) is comfortably placed with 90 points in the 201-300cc class following a hat-trick of victories, well ahead of team-mate and fellow-Bengalurean Abhishek Vasudev (63).
The popular Pro-Stock 165cc class has seen long-time rivals Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing and TVS Racing, locked in a fierce fight. Honda’s international rider Chennai’s Rajiv Sethu, after missing the first round due to his commitments in Japan, won four races in a row to lead the championship with 100 points, ahead of seven-times National champion Jagan Kumar of TVS Racing (94) who, in turn, enjoys a one-point lead over Honda’s Sarath Kumar. Both Jagan and Sarath have won one race apiece.
The Novice class (Stock 165cc), with its 40-bike grid and packed with talent, has Chennai’s I Venkatesan (Moto Maniacz Racing) in the lead with 98 points with Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing, 80) from Jind, Haryana, and Bengaluru’s Annish Samson (Speed Up Racing, 70) in tow.
Ryhana Bee (Sparks Racing), having won two consecutive races, is closing in on Girls title with a tally of 68 points, while defending champion and team-mate Ann Jennifer (40) is third behind private entrant Nivetha Jessica (42). Incidentally, all three are from Chennai.
The active involvement of the two-wheeler manufacturers in the championship has cast the net wider and snared a clutch of fresh talent.
The championship received a massive boost with Honda introducing FIM Moto3-spec NSF 250R bikes, the fastest in the championship and ridden by hungry-for-success teenagers, all part of the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup programme designed to unearth and nurture talent. The NSF 250R replaced the CBR 250 while the CBR 150 category, boasting of a big grid, has been retained.
TVS have showcased their Apache RR 310 in the Open class for experienced riders besides the RTR 200 (Novice and Girls) has attracted sizeable and highly competitive grids, while KTM and Yamaha have strong presence in the Pro-Stock, Novice and Girls categories of the National championship.