• Thai star Decha Kraisart scorches track for new record
  • Indian riders improve timings

Chennai: The high-pitched whine of the SuperSports 600cc bikes reverberated through the MMRT track with as many as nine riders ducking under the lap record here on Friday as the fifth round of the Asia Road Racing Championship, being hosted by the Madras Motor Sports Club, got off the blocks in style.

Veteran Thailand star Decha Kraisart (Yamaha) clocked a sizzling one minute, 41.305 seconds around the 3.717 Kms track in the third Free Practice session late in the afternoon, bettering the previous best of 01:42.785 set by Kawasaki rider from Malaysia Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman who is also the current championship leader.

The 600cc riders improved their timings through the three practice sessions before Kraisart led a bunch of nine who broke Kamaruzaman’s record (01:42.785) set in 2013 when the event was last run at this venue. Karmaruzaman (01:41.801) himself was third quickest in FP-3 behind compatriot Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (Honda, 01:41.501).

Trailing the front-runners was the lone Indian entrant in this class, Shankar Sarath Kumar who was about three seconds off the pace, but like other riders, improved his timings through the day.

The other Indian in the fray, 18-year old Rajiv Sethu, taking part in the Asia Production 250cc class, was also off the pace, but improved his timing by nearly seven seconds over three practice sessions.

Indian wild card entry in the Underbone 150cc class, Prabhu Arunagiri qualified 14th on the grid dominated by Malaysian riders.

The final round of the two MMSC One-Make Championships (Open class), Honda CBR 250 and TVS Apache 200, also got underway with one practice session apiece.

Ranchi’s Amit Richard Topno (Pro-Lap Racing), currently lying fifth in the championship, was quickest in the Honda CBR 250 category while leader Rajiv Sethu sat out the practice session while Prabhu V topped the TVS Apache class ahead of Sivanesan S who has already clinched the title, and was the third quickest behind Anand Kumar S.

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