Chennai: Hyderabad based Rahil Shetty (Gusto Racing) and local favourite KY Ahamed (TVS Racing) recorded emphatic victories in the premier Prostock categories in the third round of the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 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 finishing ahead 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 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.