• Crucial round for title aspirants
  • Strong response again for Novice categories

Chennai: The MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2018 enters its crucial phase when the focus shifts from just performance to scoring points as the fourth and penultimate round gets underway at the MMRT circuit, here tomorrow (Friday, Sept 21).

The final rounds of MMSC Indian National Drag Racing Championship 2018 for both four and two wheelers will also be held post-lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

With the two-wheeler racing championship titles in all categories still wide open and no rider within a sniffing distance of it, this weekend is expected to be more about strategy and tactics in a bid to gain maximum points possible.

A unique feature of the racing championship is the participation of India’s top motorcycle manufacturers in various categories, dishing out thrilling contests involving not just the country’s leading riders, but also the Novice whose numbers is on the upswing with each round.

Further, title sponsors of the championship, MRF, have also upped the ante by providing slick tyres to three categories – the premier Super Sport Indian 165cc, Pro-Stock (301-400cc) and Pro-Stock 165cc – leading to faster lap timings. The riders in these categories are unanimous in their appreciation of MRF’s gesture that has taken racing a couple of notches higher.

While the top guns have benefitted greatly using the MRF slick tyres, MMSC’s continued efforts to spread the sport among Novice riders has borne rich dividends if the growing number of entries is any indication.

Likewise, the Yamaha MMSC One-Make Championship in the Novice category has attracted about 60 entries with 40 being the cut-off to make the multiple qualifying rounds which, in turn, decide the final 20 riders for the two points-scoring races.

If the competition among Novice (Stock 165cc) riders is razor-sharp with just three points separating Sparks Racing team-mates Karthik Mateti (61) and Aditya Rao Immaneni (58), so is the case in the Super Sport Indian 165cc where TVS Racing and Honda Racing riders are locked in a bitter fight for supremacy. TVS riders are sitting pretty at the top with defending champion Jagan Kumar (112 points) and KY Ahamed (91) comfortably ahead of their Honda rivals Rajiv Sethu (70), Sarath Kumar (70) and Mathana Kumar (67). Also, TVS have another of their rider, Deepak Ravikumar (74), as a buffer to the top two.

The Pro-Stock 301-400cc category is developing into a straight fight between Gusto Racing team-mates Amarnath Menon (108) from Kozhikode and Hyderabad’s Satyanarayana Raju (101) while in the Pro-Stock 165cc class, Bengaluru-based techie Anish Shetty (101) has a healthy lead over local challenger Kevin Kannan (85) of Rockers Racing.

In the Girls category, it is extremely tight at the top with Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing) leading Shruthi Nagarajan (Apex Racing Academy) by 50 points to 48. Jennifer, after winning two races on the trot, crashed in the third which Shruthi won to stay in contention.

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