- Race action [Copyright: Anand Philar]

Indian National Motorcycle: Summary of 2021 season's Round 3 at MMRT

All what happened in Round 3 of Indian National Motorcycle Championship.

Day 1:

Local collegian, Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports), grabbed the pole position in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2021 commenced at the MMRT, here on Friday in fair weather conditions.

Alwin, only 19, and who heads the championship in the Novice category following a double in the first round in August, overcame a shaky start in the qualifying session when he went off the track on the outlap, but gathered himself to post the fastest lap of two minutes, 08.098secs after deftly negotiating traffic.

Mumbai’s Kayan Zubin Patel (Sparks Racing) posted the second best lap of 02:08.545 while team-mate Allwin Xavier (Thrissur) completed the front row clocking 02:08.772. In all, 38 riders out of 43 qualified to start tomorrow’s race.

Meanwhile, TVS Racing’s Deepak Ravikumar (01:52.567) and Jagan Kumar (01:52.627) were among the quickest riders in the Free Practice session in the premier Prostock 301-400cc category with championship leader Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power Racing) just behind the lead pair, clocking 01:52.647.

Later, Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing’s Rajiv Sethu set the pace in the Prostock 165cc category during the free practice session by topping the time sheets with a hot lap of 01:56.344, ahead TVS Racing pair of defending champion Jagan Kumar (01:56.405) and KY Ahamed (01:57.070). The close competition between Honda and TVS riders has produced several nail-biting finishes and this weekend’s double-header promises more of the same.

In the Girls (Novice, Stock 165cc) category, championship leader Ryhana Bee (RACR) from Chennai was the quickest in Free Practice followed by defending champion Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing) who is still to score a point this season.

In the qualifying sessions for the One-Make Championship organised by the MMSC, Puducherry’s Navaneeth Kumar (TVS RR 310 Open), Rakshita Dave from Chennai (TVS Girls, RTR 200) and Prakash Kamat from Bokaro Steel City (Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup, Novice, CBR 150), qualified for pole positions in their respective categories.

The results (Qualifying – best laps):

National Championship – Novice (Stock 165cc): 1. Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports, Chennai) (02mins, 08.098secs); 2. Kayan Zubin Patel (Sparks Racing, Mumbai) (02:08.545); 3. Allwin Xavier (Sparks Racing, Thrissur) (02:08.772).

One-Make Championship organised by MMSC: TVS Open (RR 310): 1. Navaneeth Kumar (Puducherry) (01:56.178); 2. Aditya Rao (Bengaluru) (01:56.461); 3. Amarnath Menon (Calicut) (01:56.526). Girls (Apache RTR 200): 1. Rakshita Dave (Chennai) (02:14.505); 2.Adlin Seles (Chennai) (02:14.561); 3. Renuka Gajendran (Bengaluru) (02:15.094).

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – Novice (CBR 150): 1. Prakash Kamat (Bokaro Steel City) (02:09.673); 2. Ikshan Shanbhag (Satara) (02:09.920); 3. Vivek Gaurav (Patna) (02:11.478).

Day 2:

Hyderabad’s Rahil Shetty (Gusto Racing) and local ace KY Ahamed (TVS Racing) scored resounding victories in the two premier Prostock categories on an action-packed day in the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2021, at the MMRT, here on Saturday.

The 23-year old Rahil Shetty marked his comeback after a season’s absence with a superb win in the Prostock 301-400cc category ahead of veteran Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power Racing), the championship leader in this category, and TVS Racing’s Deepak Ravikumar.

Ahamed registered his first win of the season in this category as he finished in front of team-mates Deepak Ravikumar and defending champion Jagan Kumar for a podium sweep for TVS Racing.

Earlier, Rockstar Racing’s Anfal Akdhar from Thrissur, registered his second win of the season in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category that had a massive grid of 38 riders.

Rahil, who missed the 2020 season due to family business commitments, rode a near flawless race on a KTM 390 starting from his maiden pole position in this category to beat a high-quality field.

Except for running wide in the penultimate lap to drop to second, Rahil dictated the pace for much of the six-lap race. Rahil, who had held out promise as a teenager, made a decisive pass on Rajini Krishnan, who had started from P6, at Turn-9 on the last lap for a deserving win.

Later, Ahamed, who had lost the championship to Jagan Kumar last season by just one point, survived a contact with pole-sitter Deepak Ravikumar on the very first lap, but staged a remarkable recovery to move to the front of the pack. Thereafter, Ahamed held off Ravikumar and Jagan for a fine win.

Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing’s Rajiv Sethu, starting from P3 following this morning’s qualifying session, yielded ground and lost a close battle to Jagan to finish fourth.

Earlier, in a battle between two riders from Thrissur in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category, Anfal Akdhar snatched a thrilling, last gasp win over Allwin Xavier (Sparks Racing) with just 500th of a second separating the two on the finish line after trailing the leader for much of the six-lapper. Finishing some four seconds behind the pair was Hubballi’s Sarvesh Balappa (Sparks Racing).

Starting from P4 on the 38-bike grid, Akdhar cut his way through to tuck in behind pole-sitter Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports) before moving to the front. On the last lap, the two made contact and Sundar slammed into the tyre barrier while Akdhar carried on, but his bike lost the drive. Xavier then gave a hot chase to Akdhar who held his nerve to win the race.

The results (Provisional – 6 laps unless mentioned):

National Championship – Prostock 301-400cc Open (Race-1): 1. Rahil Shetty (Gusto Racing, Hyderabad) (11mins, 18.000secs); 2. Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power Racing, Chennai) (11:18.246); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) (11:18.340).

Prostock 165cc Open (Race-1): 1. Ahmed KY (TVS Racing, Chennai) (11:44.563); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing, Chennai) (11:44.697); 3. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing, Chennai) (11:45.057).

Novice (Stock 165cc) Race-1: 1. Anfal Akdhar (Rockstar Racing, Thrissur) (13:03.524); 2. Allwin Xavier (Sparks Racing, Thrissur) (13:03.577); 3. Sarvesh Balappa (Sparks Racing, Hubballi) (13:07.658).

One-Make Championship organised by MMSC:

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – NSF 250R (Race-1): 1. Sarthak Chavan (Pune) (11:10.598); 2. Kevin Quintal (Chennai) (11:10.751); 3. Mohsin Peramban (Malappuram) (11:12.621).

Honda Novice (CBR 150): 1. Ikshan Shanbhag (Satara) (13:10.362); 2. Prakash Kamat (Bokaro Steel City) (13:10.401); 3. Theopaul Leander (Chennai) (13:19.412).

Honda Hornet 2.0 (Race-1): 1. Kevin Kannan (Chennai) (13:24.412); 2. Alwin Sundar (Chennai) (13:25.148); 3. Ullas Santrupt Nanda (Chennai) (13:25.661).

TVS Rookie (Apache RTR 200) Race-1: 1. Shreyas Hareesh (Bengaluru) (12:50.036); 2. Vignesh Goud (Hyderabad) (12:50.143); 3. Jinendra Kiran Sangave (Kolhapur) (12:50.220).

TVS Girls (Apache RTR 200, 5 laps): 1. Rakshita Dave (Chennai) (11:21.032); 2. Adlin Seles (Chennai) (11:21.720); 3. Aditi Krishnan (Bengaluru) (11:22.140).

Day 3:

Ace rider Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power Racing) came into his own to script a fine win while TVS Racing’s KY Ahamed completed a double as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2021 concluded at the MMRT, here on Sunday.Rajini Krishnan, 41, diced with yesterday’s Race-1 winner Hyderabad’s Rahil Shetty (Gusto Racing) and Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) before winning the thrilling battle in the premier Prostock 301-400cc category with less than a second covering the trio.

The win, his fourth of the season from six starts, helped Rajini (118 points) to maintain his top position in the championship table with Rahil 17 points adrift.Later, local challenger Ahamed kept his nerves to record his second win of the weekend with team-mate and defending champion Jagan Kumar delivering a 1-2 finish for TVS Racing while Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing) was third.

The result could have been different as early leader, Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) crashed heavily exiting the last corner in the fifth lap. The result notwithstanding, Jagan continues to head the points table with 126 points, followed by Ravikumar (85), Sethu (83) and Ahamed (77).One of the top rides of the day, however, was from Chennai collegian Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports), who started P34 and won the Novice (Stock 165cc) race, his third of the season, as did Ryhana Bee (RACR Castrol Power Racing) in the Girls (Stock 165cc) category.

Sundar is currently placed second in the championship in the Novice class with 103 points to leader Anfal Akdhar’s 113. Ryhana heads the Girls table with 75 points, well clear of Mumbai’s Jagruti Penkar of Sparks Racing (45).Riding a Yamaha R3, Rajini Krishnan brought into play his vast experience to win a tight battle with Rahil Shetty, astride a KTM 390, as the two swapped leads over eight laps with third-placed Ravikumar in the mix.

The contest, at times, turned physical with Rajini and Rahil coming into contact, but both escaped any mishap. “It was a tough race. Rahil is extremely fast, like he was yesterday. I also had an eye on the championship points and didn’t want to make any mistakes like in the previous round when I crashed,” said Rajini.

The Prostock 165cc Open race was full of suspense as to the eventual outcome, though TVS Racing appeared heading towards another podium sweep like on Saturday. The quartet of Ravikumar, Ahamed, Jagan Kumar and Rajiv Sethu was bunched tight at the front with the TVS trio leading by turns.However, Ravikumar tragically crashed when the front tyre washed away and he was fortunate to fall outside the track on the grass allowing Ahamed, Jagan and Sethu, besides rest of the field to zip through.

The results (Provisional):

National Championship – Prostock 301-400cc Open (Race-2, 8 laps): 1. Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power, Chennnai,) (15mins, 04.136secs); 2. Rahil Shetty (Gusto Racing, Hyderabad) (15:04.561); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing, Chennai) (15:04.719).

Prostock 165cc Open (Race-2, 8 laps): 1. KY Ahamed (TVS Racing) (15:40.885); 2. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) (15:41.020); 3. Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing) (15:41.146).

Novice (Stock 165cc) Race-2 (6 laps): 1. Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports, Chennai) (13:05.747); 2. Sarvesh Balappa (Sparks Racing, Hubballi) (13:06.309); 3. Allwin Xavier (Sparks Racing, Thrissur) (13:06.342).

Girls (Stock 165cc, 5 laps): 1. Ryhana Bee (RACR Castrol Power Racing, Chennai) (10:53.801); 2. Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing, Chennai) (11:07.230); 3. Jagruti Penkar (Sparks Racing, Mumbai) (11:09.601).

One-Make Championship organised by MMSC:

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – NSF 250R (Race-2, 8 laps): 1. Sarthak Chavan (Pune) (14:46.889); 2. Kavin Quintal (Chennai) (14:53.056); 3. Mohsin Paramban (Malappuram) (15:02.291).

Honda Novice (CBR 150) Race-2 (6 laps): 1. Prakash Kamat (Bokar Steel City) (13:10.827); 2. Ikshan Shanbhag (Satara) (13:13.736); 3. Theopaul Leander (Chennai) (13:26.125).

Honda Hornet 2.0 (Race-2, 6 laps): 1. Ullas Santrupt Nanda (Chennai) (13:20.440); 2. Alwin Sundar (Chennai) (13:20.867); 3. Prabhu V (Chennai) (13:21.107).

TVS Open (Apache RR 310) Race-1 (6 laps): 1. Jagadeesh N (Bengaluru) (11:47.095); 2. Aditya Rao I (Bengaluru) (11:48.755); 3. Navaneeth Kumar S (Puducherry) (11:50.591).

Race-2: 1. Jagadeesh N (11:46.122); 2. Venkat Prabhu (Chennai) (11:49.456); 3. Yashas RL (Bengauru) (11:49.969).

TVS Rookie (Apache RTR 200) Race-2 (6 laps): 1. Shreyas Hareesh (Bengaluru) (12:53.089); 2. Jinendra Kiran Sangave (Kolhapur) (12:53.628); 3. Vignesh Goud (Hyderabad) (12:53.660).

TVS Media (Apache RTR 200) (5 laps): 1. Soham Thakur (Mumbai) (11:37.219); 2. Manaal Mahatme (Mumbai) (11:47.104); 3. Ajinkya Lad (Mumbai) (12:04.009).

[Image courtesy: Anand Philar] [Note: The above is as per release with no edits made]

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