Rajini Krishnan bounces back for fifth win

Md Samrul Zubair (centre), winner of Novice (Stock 165cc) race flanked by second-placed Kayan Patel (left) and third-placed Chiranth Vishwanath (Aug 7)
  • Rajini Krishnan bounces back for fifth win
  • Jagan Kumar notches maiden win of season
  • Ann Jennifer, Md Samrul Zubair score

Chennai, August 7: Veterans Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power1) and Jagan Kumar (Petronas TVS Racing) bounced back in style with superb victories to provide a fitting climax to the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2022 at the Madras International Circuit, here on Sunday.

Also notching impressive wins on the day were Hyderabad’s Md Samrul Zubair (Race’ists Motorcycle Club) in the Novice (Stock 165) category after starting 21st on the grid and local rider, Ann Jennifer (Alpha Racing), the former champion, in the Girls (Stock 165cc) class.

Rajini, chasing his 11th National title, shrugged off a third place finish yesterday to win handily in the next outing today in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open category to stretch his championship lead to 51 points.

Rajini Krishnan (No.67), winner of the Pro-Stock 301-400cc category race (Aug 7)

Rajini’s two decades of racing experience was very much in evidence as he paced himself brilliantly and bided his time starting from P3 before making his move while keeping in mind the track condition which initially was damp following spots of light drizzle before the start. He also dealt with close attention from the Petronas TVS Racing pair of Deepak Ravikumar and Race-1 winner KY Ahamed with panache to notch his fifth win in sixth starts. “I did not really push because of the track conditions, and later eased off just a bit,” said Rajini who now leads Ravikumar by 51 points in the championship standings.

In contrast, last year’s champion Jagan Kumar, who missed the previous round owing to a wrist injury he suffered in the Rolon Round at Coimbatore in June, and still nursing a painful right wrist, recorded his first win of the season in the other premier category, the Pro-Stock 165cc Open, to end a drought that stretched to 10 months and 12 races.

Jagan made the best of the situation that saw front-running and yesterday’s winner Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing) crashing early in the eight-lap race and later, new leader Deepak Ravikumar, also of Petronas TVS Racing, retiring in the second-half of the race. Needing no second invitation, Jagan blasted past team-mate KY Ahamed and Pacer Yamaha’s Prabhu Arunagiri to victory. Arunagiri, who led briefly after Sethu’s exit, finished second ahead of Ahamed. Championship leader Mathana Kumar (Pacer Yamaha) came in fifth and enjoys a 28-point cushion over Sethu.

Jagan Kumar (No.3), winner of Pro-Stock 165cc Open category race (Aug 7)

Earlier, Md Samrul Zubair came up with a brilliant performance to win the Novice (Stock 165cc) category race which he started from P21. The race also ended a five-win streak of Hubballi’s Sarvesh Balappa (Axor Sparks Racing) who finished ninth. However, Balappa remains at the top of the championship standings in this category with a 36-point lead over Bengaluru teenager Chiranth Vishwanath (Rookies Racing) who finished third behind Mumbai’s Kayan Zubin Patel (Axor Sparks Racing) in today’s race.

Ann Jennifer, winner of the Girls (Stdock 165cc) race (Aug 7)

Meanwhile, Ann Jennifer scored her second win of the season after the two front-runners, Ryhana Bee (Pacer Yamaha) and Lani Zena Fernandez (RACR Castrol Power1) crashed in consecutive laps at the same spot exiting the last corner. For much of the five-lap race, the battle raged in front between Ryhana and Lani, with Ann lying in third. However, with the two in front crashing but subsequently recovering to finish the race, it was a comfortable win for Ann who thus moved to the top of the championship standings in this category with 60 points.

Others who maintained their unbeaten run were:

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – Sarthak Shrikant Chavan from Pune (NSF 250, 6 wins); Raheesh Mudassar Khatri from Mumbai (CBR 150, 6 wins).

Petronas TVS One-Make Championship – Chiranth Vishwanath from Bengaluru (Rookie, 6 wins); Aditi Krishnan from Bengaluru (Girls, RTR200, 3 wins).

The results (Provisional – all 6 laps unless mentioned):

National Championship – Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open (Race-2, 8 laps): 1. Rajini Krishnan (Chennai, RACR Castrol Power1) (15mins, 09.788secs); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (15:10.049); 3. KY Ahamed (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (15:11.842).

Pro-Stock 165cc Open (Race-2, 8 laps): 1. Jagan Kumar (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (15:50.649); 2. Prabhu Arunagiri (Chennai, Pacer Yamaha) (15:50.794); 3. KY Ahamed (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (15:51.092).

Novice (Stock 165cc, Race-2, 6 laps): 1. Md Samrul Zubair (Hyderabad, Race’ists Motorcycle Club) (13:06.841); 2. Kayan Zubin Patel (Mumbai, Axor Sparks Racing) (13:07.254); 3. Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru, Rookies Racing) (13:08.310).

Girls (Stock 165cc, 5 laps): 1. Ann Jennifer (Chennai, Alpha Racing) (11:00.636); 2. Jagathishree (Chennai, Pacer Yamaha) (11:02.138); 3. Jagruti Penkar (Mumbai, Axor Sparks Racing) (11:09.459).

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – NSF 250 Open (Race-2, 10 laps): 1. Sarthak Shrikant Chavan (Pune) (18:19.395); 2. Kavin Quintal (Chennai) (18:41.408); 3. Shyam Sundar (Chennai) (18:45.910).

Novice (CBR 150, Race-2): 1. Raheesh Mudassar Khatri (Mumbai) (12:49.567); 2. Rajender Beedani (Jangaon) (12:49.849); 3. Harshith V Bogar (Bengaluru) (13:01.044).

Support Race – Hornet 2.0 (Race-2): 1. Allwin Xavier (Chennai) (13:23.706); 2. Sudheer Sudhakar (New Delhi) (13:25.265); 3. G Balaji (Chennai) (13:25.293).

Petronas TVS One-Make Championship – Open (Apache RR310, Race-1): 1. Alwin Sundar (Chennai) (11:45.653); 2. Rahil Pillarisetty (Hyderabad) (11:45.659); 3. P Anantharaj (Chennai) (11:47.459). Race-2: 1. Rahil Pillarisetty (Hyderabad) (11:40.643); 2. Jagadeesh N (Bengaluru) (11:40.661); 3. P Ananthraj (Chennai) (11:42.608).

Rookie (Apache RTR 200, Race-2): 1. Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru) (12:30.498); 2. Shreyas Hareesh (Bengaluru) (12:40.139); 3. Abdul Basim RS (Chennai) (12:40.250).

Media (Apache RTR 200, 5 laps): 1. Karan Singh (Delhi) (11:53.563); 2. Ishan Lee (Pune) (11:54.038); 3. Mandar Sheela Sawant (Pune) (11:57.498).

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