On a day of drama, marked by crashes leading to unexpected turnarounds, Bengaluru’s Anish Damodara Shetty and local girl Ann Jennifer emerged champions in the Pro-Stock 165cc and Girls (Stock 165cc) categories, respectively, as the fifth and final round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship dished out edge-of-the-seat excitement at the MMRT, here on Saturday.

The penultimate day of the 2018 racing season saw Deepak Ravikumar of TVS Racing, running third in the last of the six laps, clinching his maiden win in the premier Super Sport 165cc class after championship leaders and his team-mates, Jagan Kumar and Ahamed Arif crashed out after coming together at Turn-1 on the third lap. Earlier in the race, pole-sitter Rajiv Sethu (Honda Ten10 Racing) lost ground when the “clip-on” on the handlebar gave away in the second lap, but he still managed to finish third while team-mate Mathana Kumar got up from a fall, following contact with Sarath Kumar, also of Honda Ten10 Racing, two corners before the finish to come in second behind Ravikumar.

Despite the crash, Jagan, eyeing his seventh consecutive National title, continues to lead the championship with 148 points with Ahamed second (128), followed by Sethu (120) and Mathana Kumar (115) with the second and last race to be run tomorrow (Sunday).

Amidst all this action, Ann Jennifer was pushed to the limits by her Sparks Racing team-mate Ryhana Bee who even briefly led before yielding ground in the last lap. Jennifer thus clinched her fourth win in five races to seal the championship in her category.

Meanwhile, Anish Shetty, a techie and part-time gym trainer from Bengaluru, showed remarkable patience to win the Pro-Stock 165cc race by overtaking three front-runners on the last lap. It was 23-year old Shetty’s fourth win and took his tally to 156, way ahead of second-placed Kevin Kannan (Rockers Racing) who remained on 115 after crashing out in the race. Shetty, thus, pouched the championship in this category, with one more race to be run tomorrow.

Later, Hyderabad’s Satyanarayana Raju (Gusto Racing) won a tight race in the Pro-Stock 301-400cc category to take a 14-point lead over team-mate Amarnath Menon in the championship stakes. Raju leads with 144 points to Menon’s 130 while Prabhu Arunagiri (Team Alisha Abdullah), who finished third in the race today despite starting from pole position, is on 129 going into Sunday’s race of the double-header. Another Hyderabad rider, Rahil Pillarishetty (Sparks Racing) came in second behind Raju in a close finish.

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

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – Super Sport 165cc (Race-1): 1. Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) (11mins, 54.648secs); 2. Mathana Kumar (Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:39.132); 3. Rajiv Sethu (Honda Ten10 Racing) (13:07.859).

Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Race-1): 1. Sathyanarayana Raju (Gusto Racing India) (11:32.361); 2.Rahil PIllarishetty (Sparks Racing) (11:32.647); 3. Prabhu Arunagiri (Team Alisha Abdullah) (11:32.741).

Pro-Stock 165cc (Race-1): 1. Anish Damodara Shetty (Bengaluru) (12:13.060); 2. Anup Kumar (Team Alisha Abdullah) (12:14.279); 3. Kannan Subramaniam (TVS Racing) (12:14.662).

Girls (Stock 165cc, 5 laps): 1. Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing) (11:19.207); 2. Ryhana Bee (Sparks Racing) (11:19.362); 3. Nivetha Kumar (Pvt) (11:38.435).

Stock 165cc (Heat-1, 5 laps): 1. Varun Sobhan (Speed Up Racing) (10:55.058); 2. Anand Rajendran (Pvt) (10:55.086); 3. Venkatesan I (Pvt) (10:55.270).

ONE-MAKE CHAMPIONSHIP – TVS Apache RR 310 (Race-1): 1. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai) (11:44.741); 2. Peddu Sriharsha (Hyderabad) (11:46.800); 3. Amarnath Menon (Kozhikode) (11:46.961).

TVS 200 (Novice, Race-1): 1. Karthik Mateti (Hyderabad) (13:54.912); 2. Anand Rajendran (Chennai) (13:56.833); 3. Alexander AS (Chennai) (13:57.024). Race-2: 1.Anand Rajendran (Chennai) 13:56.527; 2. Alexander AS (Chennai) (14:07.923); 3.Anish Samson (Bengaluru) (14:11.845).

TVS Girls (Race-1): 1. Ann Jenifer AS (Chennai) (11:55.791); 2. Ryhana Bee (Chennai) (12:01.809); 3. Elakiya R (Chennai) (12:25.938).

Honda Talent Cup – CBR 250 (Race-1, 6 laps): 1. Abhishek Vasudev (Bengaluru) (12:22.261); 2. Anish Damodara Shetty (Hubballi) (12:22.641); 3. Aravind Balakrishnan (Chennai) (12:29.805). CBR 150 (Novice, Race-1): 1. Mohamed Mikail (Chennai) (13:06.889); 2. Kritik Vasant Habib (Gadag) (13:14.110); 3. Anandhu KK (Chennai) (13:15.080).

Support Event – Alisha Abdullah Inter-College Star Race (Race-1): 1. David Ryan (Chennai) (12:41.492); 2. R Vijay Shekar (Chennai) (12:52.715); 3. Mervin Kiran (Trichy) (13:14.555). Race-2: 1. David Ryan (Chennai) (12:23.077); 2. R Vijay Shekar (Chennai) (12:23.678); 3. R Shiyam (Chennai) (12:54.380).

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