- Ahamed leads 1-2 finish for Petronas TVS Racing
- Rajiv Sethu lands spoils for Idemitsu Honda
- Sarvesh Balappa races to fifth consecutive win
Chennai, August 6: KY Ahamed led a 1-2 finish for Petronas TVS Racing while Rajiv Sethu finally chalked up his first win of the season and Sarvesh Balappa his fifth in a row in their respective categories as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2022 sparked to life at the Madras International Circuit, here on Saturday.
Ahamed scored a merited win in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open category with team-mate Deepak Ravikumar in tow even as the unbeaten run of champion Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power1) who had won the previous four races over two rounds, ended as he went off the track when in the lead due to mechanical issues, but managed to finish third.
Ahamed, starting from P2 behind pole-sitter Ravikumar, made a decisive move in the last lap to get ahead for a deserving maiden victory of the season in this category. The results notwithstanding, Rajini Krishnan continues to lead the championship table following his four-in-a-row winning sequence over the previous two rounds, with a healthy 44-point advantage over Ravikumar with Ahamed a further 10 points behind, going into Race-2 on Sunday.
Later, in a heart-stopper Pro-Stock 165cc race, Rajiv Sethu fought and won a tense battle that kept the final outcome in suspense until the very finish where the lead Honda star held off Petronas TVS Racing pair of Deepak Ravikumar and KY Ahamed even as leader and pole-sitter Prabhu Arunagiri (Pacer Yamaha) crashed in the dying moments of the six-lap race.
Earlier, Sarvesh Balappa, a 23-year old mechanical student from Hubballi, and a late bloomer as a racer, chalked up his fifth win in a row in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category in a race that was reduced to four laps from scheduled six following multiple crashes in the very first lap. All riders in the crashes escaped with minor injuries.
Balappa, starting from P4 on the 33-rider grid, kept his wits amidst the chaotic first lap. On restart, the Hubballi rider made his way up the field and seized the lead which he defended with aplomb, even looking behind as he approached the finish line to take the chequered flag. Following him home in close formation were Bengaluru teenager Chiranth Vishwanath (Rookies Racing) and Aldrin Babu (RACR Castrol Power1) from Chalakudy while Mumbai’s Kayan Zubin Patel (Axor Sparks Racing), starting from pole, finished a distant sixth after suffering an off-track excursion and clutch issues.
Meanwhile, former champion and Round-1 winner, Ann Jennifer (Alpha Racing) qualified for pole position for Sunday’s race in the Girls (Stock 165cc) category, clocking a best lap of 02:09.11. Puducherry’s Lani Zena Fernandez (RACR Castrol Power1) was second best in 02:09.297, followed by defending champion and Round-2 winner Ryhana Bee of Pacer Yamaha (02:10.031).
The results (Provisional – all 6 laps unless mentioned):
National Championship – Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open (Race-1): 1. KY Ahamed (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (11mins, 18.989secs); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (11:19.095); 3. Rajini Krishnan (Chennai, RACR Castrol Power1) (11:28.348).
Pro-Stock 165cc Open (Race-1): 1. Rajiv Sethu (Chennai, Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing) (11:48.625); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (11:48.900); 3. KY Ahamed (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (11:49.128).
Novice (Stock 165cc, Race-1, 4 laps): 1. Sarvesh Balappa (Hubballi, Axor Sparks Racing) (08:48.175); 2. Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru, Rookies Racing) (08:48.414); 3. Aldrin Babu (Chalakudy, RACR Castrol Power1) (08:52.063).
Support Race – Stock 301-400cc (Novice): 1. Jayanth Prathipati (Pvt, Hyderabad) (12:30.951); 2. Shazan Khan (Race Abilities, Bengaluru) (12:33.847); 3. Vivek M (Bengaluru) (Race Abilities, Bengaluru) (12:34.581).
Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – NSF 250 Open (Race-1): 1. Sarthak Shrikant Chavan (Pune) (11:06.145); 2. Kavin Qunital (Chennai) (11:15.856); 3. Shyam Sundar (Chennai) (11:18.495).
Novice (CBR 150, Race-1): 1. Raheesh Mudassar Khatri (Mumbai) (12:58.915); 2. Shyam Babu (Chennai) (13:02.234); 3. Siddesh Sawant (Kolhapur) (13:02.345).
Support Race – Hornet 2.0 (Race-1): 1. Allwin Xavier (Chennai) (13:27.649); 2. G Balaji (Chennai) (13:28.030); 3. Romario John (Chennai) (13:30.665).
Girls (Stock 165cc): 1. Ann Jennifer (Chennai, Alpha Racing) (02:09.111); 2. Lani Zena Fernandez (Puducherry, RACR Castrol Power1) (02:09.297); 3. Ryhana Bee (Chennai, Pacer Yamaha) (02:10.031).
Petronas TVS One-Make Championship – Rookie (Apache RTR 200, Race-1): 1. Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru) (12:26.838); 2. Abdul Basim RS (Chennai) (12:48.315); 3. Tamizhinian KR (Chennai) (12:48.431).
Girls (Apache RTR200) (5 laps): 1. Aditi Krishnan (Bengaluru) (11:10.496); 2. Ananya Awasthi (Chennai) (11:20.938); 3. Nishitha (Chennai) (11:29.921).