Harpal Singh Bedi
Chennai: Sarvesh Balappa (Axor Sparks Racing), an engineering student from Hubballi, took the pole position in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category as the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship commenced at the Madras International Circuit, here on Friday 8 July 2022.
Balappa, who had scored a double in the first-round last month in Coimbatore, clocked a best lap of 02mins, 07.613secs, in the qualifying session to take P1 for the race tomorrow (Saturday) which will see a grid of 37 riders.
Completing the front row were Hyderabad’s Md Samrul Zubair (Raceists Motorcycle Club, 02:08.202) and Kayan Zubin Patel from Mumbai (Axor Sparks Racing, 02:08.406).
Earlier, veteran Rajini Krishnan, looking to build on the grand double he scored in the previous round last month, set the pace in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc category during the Free Practice session in the morning. The defending champion clocked a best lap of 01:53.569 to edge out Petronas TVS Racing’s KY Ahamed (01:53.845) and Deepak Ravikumar (01:54.190).
Ravikumar, however, emerged the quickest in the Pro-Stock 165cc category in the afternoon with a time of 01:57.400, just ahead of Pacer Yamaha duo of Prabhu Arunagiri (01:58.116) and first round winner Mathana Kumar (01:58.329).
Ravikumar will be carrying Petronas TVS Racing team’s hopes as their lead rider and defending champion Jagan Kumar is skipping this round due to a fracture on his right wrist following a crash in the first round at Coimbatore last month.
In the Girls (Stock 165cc) category, Puducherry’s Lani Zena Fernandez (RACR Castrol Ultimate1) headed the time sheets with a top lap of 02:10.686 during the practice session, pipping Round-1 winner Ann Jennifer of Alpha Racing (02:10.753) and last year’s champion, Pacer Yamaha’s Ryhana Bee (02:12.116).
Chennai’s Mohan Babu grabbed the pole position in the Open category (Apache RR310) of the Petronas TVS One-Make Championship with a hot lap of 01:56.054, ahead of local challenger K Kannan (01:56.333) and Hyderabad’s Rahil Pillarisetty (01:56.358).
In the Girls section (Apache RTR 200), Bengaluru’s Aditi Krishnan (02:12.532) and Renuka Gajendran (02:14.525) qualified for P1 and P2, respectively, with Ananya Awasthi from Chennai (02:15.349) qualifying third.
The Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup saw Kolhapur’s Siddesh Sawant taking the pole position (02:07.859) in the Novice (CBR 150) category while last year’s champion Kavin Quintal, who missed the first round, marked his return by emerging the quickest (01:50.316) in the Free Practice session in the NSF 250R category, ahead of first round winner and arch-rival Sarthak Shrikant Chavan (01:52.604).