- Mathana Kumar leads 1-2 finish for Pacer Yamaha
- Rajini Krishnan rides to imperious victory
- Hubballi’s Sarvesh Balappa notches maiden win
Coimbatore, June 11: On a day of stunning reversals in fortunes, Mathana Kumar and Prabhu Arunagiri delivered a 1-2 finish for Bengaluru-based Pacer Yamaha team in the Pro-Stock 165cc Open category while Hubballi’s Sarvesh Balappa (Axor Sparks Racing) was handed a victory in the Novice (Stock 165cc) race despite finishing third as the Rolon Round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2022 headed to a climax at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Saturday.
However, veteran Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power 1), riding his refurbished Yamaha R3 with a lighter frame and assorted modifications, restored normal service by comfortably winning the premium Pro-Stock 301-400cc category race as the expected fight from known rivals dissipated amidst crashes and penalties.
Similarly, Mathana and Arunagiri trumped the Pro-Stock 165cc Open field with some fine riding for a top-two sweep for Pacer Yamaha after a gap of 12 years, while the top guns in this class, Petronas TVS Racing’s Jagan Kumar and KY Ahamed, exited the contest due to mechanical issues with their bikes. As such, the Pacer Yamaha riders had little to contend with as the pair finished well ahead of Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda SKRacing 69).
The Novice category race witnessed a nail-biting finish. Md Samrul Zubair, starting from pole position, scripted a 1-2 finish for the Race’ist Motorcycle Club, Hyderabad, ahead of Vignesh Goud and Balappa after the race that was cut to seven laps from scheduled 10 following a red flag stoppage due to an incident in the very first lap. However, both Zubair and Goud were disqualified on “technical grounds” after the race. The revised results pushed Balappa to first place, followed by Bengaluru’s Chiranth V (Rookies Racing) and Aldrin Babu (RACR Castrol Power 1) from Chalakudy.
“It is my first win in the Championship. Last year, I finished fourth in the championship standings. I am thrilled with the victory. Back home, I used to simply ride the bike here and there, before I decided to race,” said Balappa, a mechanical engineering student, now in his third season of racing.
Meanwhile, racing at the Kari Motor Speedway for the first time since 2015, Rajini, who had qualified second behind Petronas TVS Racing’s KY Ahamed this morning, was in a league of his own after rocketing off to a flying start. Behind him, Ahamed, team-mate Voropong Malahuan and Rahil Pilarisetty (Gusto Racing) were locked in a tight battle until the last lap. Ahamed made an aggressive move that took him, Malahuan and Pilarisetty out while he copped a 30-second time penalty for causing the collision. Rajini, meanwhile, serenely cruised to victory ahead of Petronas TVS Racing’s Jagan Kumar and Anand R of Speed Up Racing.
“I opened up a good lead at the start and pushed hard over the first five laps before easing off a bit. The expected fight did not materialise, but I am very happy with the win. We made a lot of changes on my Yamaha R3 in the past few months with a lighter frame. Last year, the bike was a bit heavy. But I will know how much the bike has improved only when I race at the Madras International Circuit in the next round,” said Rajini.
The results (Provisional, all 10 laps unless mentioned):
National Championship – Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open (Race-1): 1. Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power 1, Chennai) (12mins, 26.700secs); 2. Jagan Kumar (Petronas TVS Racing, Chennai) (12:30.167); 3. Anand R (Speed Up Racing, Chennai) (12:41.745).
Pro-Stock 165cc Open (Race-1): 1. Mathana Kumar (Pacer Yamaha, Chennai) (13:07.483); 2. Prabhu Arunagiri (Pacer Yamaha, Chennai) (13:07.875); 3. Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing, Chennai) (13:16.228).
Novice (Stock 165cc, Race-1, 7 laps): 1. Sarvesh Balappa (Axor Sparks Racing, Hubballi) (10:12.279); 2. Chiranth V (Rookies Racing, Bengaluru) (10:13.555); 3. Aldrin Babu (RACR Castrol Power 1, Chalakudy) (10:23.920).
Support Race – Stock 301-400cc: 1. Mihir Vijay Sakpal (Apex Racing Academy) (13:52.706); 2. Ashwin R (Pvt, Bengaluru) (13:55.015); 3. Naresh Kaname (Pvt, Lakur) (13:57.088).
Petronas TVS One-Make Championship – Rookie (Apache RTR 200): 1. Chiranth V (Bengaluru) (13:53.153); 2. Shreyas Hareesh (Bengaluru) (13:57.560); 3. Tamizhinian KR (14:25.140).
Girls (Apache RTR 200, 8 laps): 1. Aditi Krishnan (Bengaluru) (11:58.451); 2. Renuka Gajendran (Bengaluru) (12:13.332); 3. Ananya Aswathi (Chennai) (12:35.006).
Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – NSF250 Open (Race-1): 1. Sarthak Shrikant Chavan (Pune) (12:24.394); 2. Shyam Sundar (Chennai) (12:40.808); 3. AS James (Bengaluru) (12:44.806).
CBR 150 (Race-1): 1. Raheesh Mudassar Khatri (Mumbai) (14:46.340); 2. Siddesh Sawant (Kolhapur) (14:46.408); 3. Shyam Babu (Chennai) (15:06.707).
Support Race (Hornet 2.0, Race-1): 1. Ullas Santrupt Nanda (Bengaluru) (15:03.230); 2. G Balaji (Chennai) (15:03.458); 3. Romario (Chennai) (15:05.368).