Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) showed why he is arguably India’s top racing rider at the moment by scrambling to a heart-stopping win, his fourth in a row in the Pro-Stock 165cc class, as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship concluded at the MMRT, here .
KY Ahamed brought some cheer for TVS Racing on a day dominated by Honda as he topped the premier 301-400cc class by a comfortable margin to move within three points of his team-mate Deepak Ravikumar (101 points) on the leaderboard. Ravikumar finished third today behind yesterday’s Race-1 winner, Rahil Shetty (Sparks Racing).
Also hogging the limelight were Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) and Chennai’s Venkatesan I (Moto Maniacz Racing) who both achieved a double this weekend in the Pro-Stock 201-300cc and Novice (Stock 165cc) categories, respectively, while Ryhana Bee (Sparks Racing), also from Chennai, took the honours in the Girls race.
Sethu, who is growing in stature with each outing and scored a double win in the previous round, held off a late-charging KY Ahamed (TVS Racing) despite a bad start and issues with his bike as the duo crossed the finish line in close formation within one-hundredth of a second between them. Sethu’s team-mate and fellow-international, Sarath Kumar, completed the podium. The victory took Sethu to the top of the leaderboard with 100 points, ahead of Jagan Kumar of TVS Racing (94) and Sarath Kumar (93).
The Honda ace, who again failed to capitalise on a pole-position start, yielded ground to seven-times National champion Jagan Kumar who was quick off the grid from third position and built up a commanding lead. However, in the third of the eight-lap race, Jagan retired due to engine issues and Sethu forged to the front with Ahamed hot on his heels. The pair fought tooth and nail and were almost inseparable at the finish line.
Anish Shetty, in notching his third win in a row, cemented his position at the top of the championship in his category with 90 points. Shetty again led a 1-2-3 finish for his team like yesterday with Abhishek Vasudev and Aravind Balakrishnan in tow in that order.
Chennai’s Ryhana Bee, with the win today, her second in three rounds, took a sizeable lead in the championship with 68 points. Defending champion and team-mate Ann Jennifer crashed in the last of the five laps after Ryhana overtook her. Alisha Abdullah (Alishaa Racing) was second followed by private entrant Nivetha Jessica who is now second on the leaderboard with 42 points ahead of Ann Jennifer (40) with two more rounds to be run in the coming weeks.
Later, Md Mikail, the 15-year old from Chennai, won his second race of the weekend riding the FIM Moto3-spec NSF 250R in the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup, putting in a hot lap of 01:47.974, in the process.