Harpal Singh Bedi
Chennai: Seasoned campaigner Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power) produced an awesome lap to clinch the pole position in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Open) category in the fourth round of the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2021 at the MMRT, here on Friday.
Astride a Yamaha, Rajini came up with a late burst to post a best lap of one minute, 50.612secs, to pip Thailand’s Vorapong Malahuan (01:50.703), a TVS Racing import who of course is not counted for the championship.
Another TVS Racing star, Deepak Ravikumar (01:50.880) filled the front row of the grid.
TVS Racing team locked the front row in the Pro-Stock 165cc (Open) category with Chennai trio of Deepak Ravikumar (01:55.577) clinching pole position while KY Ahamed (01:55.783) and defending champion Jagan Kumar (01:56.361) completed the top three.
Their arch-rival, Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing) was fourth quickest (01:57.207) after being forced to curtail his practice session in the morning due to a glitch in his bike.
Meanwhile, 19-year old local collegian Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports) qualified for pole position in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category with a top lap of two minutes, 08.621 seconds ahead of Sparks Racing pair of Sarvesh Balappa from Hubballi and Thrissur’s Allwin Xavier while championship leader Anfal Akdhar (Rockstar Racing), also from Thrissur, will start from P4.
Last year’s champion Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing), lying seventh in the championship, made a strong statement by taking the pole position in the Girls (Stock 165cc) category, clocking a best lap of 02 minutes, 10.427 seconds. Behind her were championship leader Ryhana Bee (RACR Castrol Power) and Lani Zena Fernandez (Speed Up Racing).
Pune’s Sarthak Chavan snatched the pole position in the NSF 250 class of the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup while Prakash Kamath from Bokaro Steel City qualified for the top spot in the Novice (CBR 150) class.
In the TVS One-Make Championship, Navaneeth Kumar (Puducherry) and Jinendra Kiran Sangave (Kolhapur) topped their respective qualifying sessions in the Open (RR310) and Rookie (RTR 200) categories, respectively.
Later, Bengaluru’s Aditi Krishnan, starting from pole position, topped the Girls race in the TVS One-Make Championship, ahead of Adlin Seles (Chennai) and Deepika Reddy (Hyderabad).
The day witnessed hectic action as 21 sessions (practice, qualifying and one race) were completed. In view of the total lockdown on Sunday announced by the government, the schedule was revised to ensure that the fourth round concludes a day earlier, on Saturday.
The number of races were also reduced from original 18 to 14. The balance four races will be run during the fifth round in February.