Harpal Singh Bedi
Chennai: Rajini Krishnan posted his third consecutive, in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc category while in the Novice class Sarvesh Balappa led a podium sweep for his team, Axor Sparks Racing, in the second round of the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship at the Madras International Circuit, here on Saturday.
Later, Deepak Ravikumar chalked out a grand recovery for Petronas TVS Racing with a fine win in the Pro-Stock 165cc category. The team had failed to pick up any points in the first-round last month, but Ravikumar, displaying top pace, brought some cheer to his team as he took a comfortable win from Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing’s Rajiv Sethu and Pacer Yamaha team’s Mathana Kumar, who had won both the races in the previous round.
Petronas TVS Racing missed a 1-2 finish as KY Ahamed, hot on Ravikumar’s heels, crashed on exiting the last corner on the last lap.
Veteran Rajini, a 10-time National champion, was in a league of his own through the six-lap Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open race. He started from pole position, and was hardly challenged especially after his closest rival, Petronas TVS Racing’s KY Ahamed crashed attempting an overtake at the Bridge Complex “S” section.
Ahamed, running a close second, made contact with Rajini’s Yamaha R3 and slid to the ground. It forced his team-mate, Deepak Ravikumar, immediately behind him, to run wide and Rajini disappeared into the distance for a comfortable victory. Ravikumar finished second ahead of Speed Up Racing’s Anand Rajendran.
Sarvesh Balappa kept his nerves to chalk up a hard-fought win while spearheading a 1-2-3 finish for Axor Sparks Racing. It was his third win in a row in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category, following the double in the first-round last month at Coimbatore.
Balappa, starting from pole position, dropped to third initially before the race was stopped following an on-track incident. He quickly regrouped and on restart, moved to the front and held off team-mate Kayan Zuhin Patel from Mumbai while Rohan R completed the podium.
Alpha Racing’s former champion Ann Jennifer made a strong start to her campaign by taking pole position in the Girls (Stock 165cc) category . She clocked a best lap of 02:10.654 during the qualifying session in the morning while defending champion Ryhana Bee (Pacer Yamaha) took P2, ahead of Hyderabad’s Deepika Reddy Badam, also of Alpha Racing.
Pune’s Sarthak Shrikant Chavan and Raheesh Mudassar Khatri from Mumbai won their third consecutive race apiece in the Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup’s NSF 250R and Novice (CBR 150) categories, respectively.
Also winning three out of three was Bengaluru schoolboy Chiranth Vishwanath in the Rookie category (Apache RTR 200) of the Petronas TVS One-Make Championship, while another Benglurean Aditi Krishnan took the honours for the second race in a row in the Girls section (Apache RTR 200).