Coimbatore: Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) and Sankar Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) survived a day of drama and crashes to post deserved wins in the Pro-Stock 301-400cc and Pro-Stock 165cc categories, respectively, as the first round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship sparked to life at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Saturday.
Starting sixth, Ravikumar, nursing injuries he suffered during last week’s testing, overcame pain and discomfort to score a merited win in the premium Pro-Stock 301-400cc race after pole-sitter Prabhu Arunagiri (Team Alisha Abdullah) and Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) came together in the second of the 10-lap race. While Arunagiri retired, Jagan Kumar, who had started second on the grid, got up and continued to finish eighth.
In second place behind Ravikumar was TVS Racing’s KY Ahamed, followed by Gusto Racing’s Satyanarayana Raju who was nursing a collar-bone fracture.
Earlier, the two outstanding riders in the Pro-Stock 165cc race were the eventual winner Sarath Kumar and third-placed Jagan Kumar. Sarath, 26, overcame a poor start that pushed him to sixth before he climbed his way to the front for a comfortable win by over five seconds.
Behind him, seven-times Super Sport National champion Jagan, starting from the pit-lane after the chain snapped during the formation lap, requiring quick repairs, rode like the wind as he cut through the field to finish third behind team-mate KY Ahamed who also did extremely well after starting eighth on the grid following this morning’s qualifying session.
Reflecting on his first win in three years, Sarath said: “It feels great to win a race after I think three years. I did not have a good start and was running sixth going into Turn-1, but I was confident of making up and by the second lap, I was ahead. Thereafter, it was fairly comfortable.
“It has been a frustrating three years during which I was part of the development programme. I also put on weight during that time, going up to 76 Kgs which is far too heavy for a 165cc bike. So, I reduced my weight to 66 Kgs, but still concede about 12 Kgs to Jagan. I had a strategy today, but unfortunately, he had a technical issue, so, I didn’t need to employ that strategy. Tomorrow, I know, he will be with me, but I am confident.”
Jagan, who was chaired to the garage after the post-race weigh-in by his team members, said: “The chain snapped and so I had to start from the pitlane after repairs. Otherwise, it was a good race and am happy to finish third considering the circumstances. Hopefully, I will have a better race tomorrow.”
The day started with Sparks Racing’s Vijay S taking the honours in the Stock 165cc (Novice) race that was red-flagged after just two laps following crashes.
Varoon (Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup, CBR 150), Anish Samson (TVS 200 RR, Novice), Lani Zena Fernandez (TVS 200 RR Girls) and Anand R (TVS 310RR Open) were the other winners of the day.
The results (Provisional):
National Championship – Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Race 1, 10 laps): 1. Deepak Ravi Kumar (TVS Racing) (11 mins, 40.315 secs); 2. KY Ahemed (TVS Racing) (11:41.960); 3. Satyanarayana Raju (Gusto Racing) (11:58.709).
Pro-Stock 165cc (Race 1, 10 laps): 1. Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:23.441); 2. Ahamed KY (TVS Racing) (12:26.672); 3. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) (12:27.061).
Stock 165cc (Race 1, 7 laps): 1. Vijay S (Sparks Racing) (09:29.877); 2. Manoj Y (Pvt) (09:31.371); 3. Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing) (09:36.358).
One-Make Championship – Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup (CBR 150) Race 1 (10 laps): 1. Varoon (13:31.952); 2. Lalrinuala Tlau (13:51.910); 3. Charan T (14:11.186).
TVS (Open, RR 310) Race 1 (10 laps): 1. Anand R (12:17.045); 2. Aravind Ganesh (12:18.822); 3. Soorya PM (12:18.865).
Novice (RR 200) Race 1 (4 laps): 1. Anish Samson (05:34.808); 2. Manoj Y (05:34.860); 3. Ullas Santruptnanda (05:36.011).
Girls (RR 200): 1. Lani Zena Fernandez (04:19.084); 2. Nivetha Jessica (04:19.766); 3. Shifa Shabir Ahmed (04:35.568).