In­dian mo­tor sport

The fi­nal round of the MRF MMSC In­dian Na­tional Motorcycle Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship (INMRC) was a week­end of ex­cite­ment, with the most sought-af­ter cham­pi­onship up for grabs till the last race

Bike India - - CONTENTS - RE­PORT: ANOSH KHUM­BATTA PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: SRINI­VASA KR­ISH­NAN

The fifth and fi­nal

round of the 2017 mrF mmsC In­dian na­tional motorcycle rac­ing Cham­pi­onship took place on the last week­end of septem­ber, and cul­mi­nated on sun­day, 1 oc­to­ber. with cham­pi­onship tro­phies up for grabs in all classes, the rid­ers and their teams were fo­cused on only one thing — vic­tory. Un­for­tu­nately, heavy rain on satur­day night and early on sun­day morn­ing al­most halted pro­ceed­ings, but the or­gan­is­ers did their best to clear the wa­ter­logged track so that rac­ing could com­mence. a few races on sun­day, where the cham­pi­onship had al­ready been de­cided on satur­day, were scrapped, while the rest of the races were held on the smaller 2.1-kilo­me­tre club cir­cuit loop. here is what tran­spired.

SS 300-400 Class

satur­day’s su­per sport 300-400 Class race was a bat­tle for the top step be­tween moto-rev’s Deepak raviku­mar on a Ktm rC 390 and team rock­ers rac­ing’s Vivek Pil­lai aboard a Yamaha YZF r3. Deepak, from Chen­nai, set the fastest lap of the race (1:55.131), and was just about able to keep Vivek at bay to take the vic­tory. In third place was shreyas san­nake from mi­raj, while the cham­pi­onship leader, Gusto rac­ing In­dia’s amar­nath menon, col­lected 12 points for his fourth-place fin­ish and wrapped up the cham­pi­onship with 167 points, a whole 26 points ahead of Deepak. Vivek Pil­lai’s 117 points saw him at third place in the cham­pi­onship. with the rider and team championships be­ing de­cided on satur­day, sun­day’s

race was can­celled due to the wet con­di­tions at the track.

at the end of the 2017 sea­son, it was team Gusto rac­ing In­dia who raised the team Cham­pi­onship tro­phy with an unas­sail­able 244 points, team moto-rev wrapped up the sea­son with 175 points for sec­ond place, and rock­ers rac­ing fin­ished the team cham­pi­onship in third place with 118 points.

the class was dom­i­nated all the year by Ktm, and the aus­trian con­struc­tor was awarded the man­u­fac­turer Cham­pi­onship tro­phy, with a stun­ning tally of 347 points.

Su­per Sport 165 Class

the one that ev­ery­one was wait­ing for, the hotly-con­tested su­per sport 165 Class kicked off with de­fend­ing cham­pion, tVs rac­ing’s Ja­gan Ku­mar, se­cur­ing pole po­si­tion ahead of honda ten10 rac­ing’s ra­jiv sethu, while tVs rac­ing’s K Y ahamed com­pleted the front row. Go­ing into satur­day’s race, five-time na­tional cham­pion Ja­gan trailed ra­jiv by just one point in the cham­pi­onship stand­ings, while their teams and man­u­fac­tur­ers were locked in a close bat­tle for points as well.

RACE ONE

satur­day’s six-lap race saw Ja­gan and ra­jiv pull away at the front as they swapped places con­stantly, try­ing to out-brake each other go­ing into the corners and get­ting the power down early hit­ting the straights. while they bat­tled at the front, there was an­other in­tense fight go­ing on be­hind them for sec­ond place; tVs rac­ing’s K Y ahamed and honda ten10 rac­ing’s math­ana Ku­mar were also trad­ing places, and close be­hind them vet­eran tVs rac­ing rider harry sylvester watched pa­tiently, ap­ply­ing pres­sure and wait­ing for math­ana to make a mis­take. Go­ing into the fourth lap math­ana went off the track and tum­bled into the grass, giv­ing ahamed and harry some breath­ing space, while at the front ra­jiv and Ja­gan were still trad­ing places ag­gres­sively, with the lead chang­ing hands at least twice ev­ery lap.

Go­ing into the fifth lap ra­jiv sud­denly seemed to lose pace, and Ja­gan started pulling away at the front. It was later learned that ra­jiv’s bike was suf­fer­ing from a gear-shifter prob­lem, and he was un­able to shift down into the lower gears. this mis­for­tune saw ra­jiv slip back, al­low­ing Ja­gan to take an easy vic­tory and the lead in the cham­pi­onship stand­ings, with one race to go. ra­jiv was still able to fin­ish in sec­ond place, just ahead of ahamed in third and harry in fourth.

RACE TWO

Bad weather and a flooded track al­most forced the or­gan­is­ers to can­cel rac­ing on sun­day, but with the cham­pi­onship hang­ing in the bal­ance, the ded­i­cated mmsC staff man­aged the herculean task of dry­ing out the shorter club loop sec­tion of the track so that rac­ing could con­tinue as planned. sun­day’s race was a 10-lap­per on this shorter 2.1-kilo­me­tre cir­cuit, and ten­sion was high as the rac­ers lined up on the start line. with only six points sep­a­rat­ing Ja­gan and ra­jiv, who­ever fin­ished ahead would be crowned the 2017 cham­pion. the lights went out and we were pre­pared to see a bat­tle un­fold; un­for­tu­nately, how­ever, ra­jiv got tan­gled up with ahamed on the sec­ond cor­ner of the first lap and went down, his cham­pi­onship com­ing to an un­ex­pected end. at the front Ja­gan stretched out his lead with some su­perb rid­ing and set the best lap of the race (1:09.001). It seemed he would cruise to vic­tory, but this was not to be. on the ninth lap Ja­gan seemed to lose pace and was soon passed by math­ana who took the vic­tory, while harry fin­ished in third, just be­hind Ja­gan. It was later learned that Ja­gan’s bike was fac­ing a tech­ni­cal is­sue, and he opted to go easy in the clos­ing stages of the race rather than risk not com­plet­ing at all. none of this seemed to mat­ter to the tVs rac­ing team as Ja­gan rolled into the pits to be crowned na­tional cham­pion for the sixth time, with a tally of 165 points. ra­jiv was crowned run­ner-up with 141 points and math­ana earned the sec­ond run­ner-up tro­phy with 134 points, 10 points ahead of harry.

In the team Cham­pi­onship stand­ings it was tVs rac­ing at the top with 336 points, honda ten 10 rac­ing in sec­ond place with 319 points, fol­lowed by In­dus en­gi­neer­ing with 106 points. we look for­ward to an even closer bat­tle next year.

Pro-Stock Class RACE ONE

In satur­day’s in­ter­me­di­ate class race we saw Chen­nai’s naresh Babu, rid­ing for raCr, start from pole, but he was soon passed by s sivane­san who went on to take the vic­tory for team alisha ab­dul­lah. naresh had to be con­tent with sec­ond place, while Kan­nan Kar­nan of team rock­ers rac­ing se­cured the last step of the podium. Cham­pi­onship leader aravind Balakr­ish­nan of honda ten10 rac­ing was off the pace and fin­ished in sixth place, but was still able to hold on to his lead with a tally of 134 points, while his clos­est chal­lenger, aravind Ganesh, fin­ished fourth, clos­ing the gap with a points to­tal of 117.

RACE TWO

sun­day’s race was run on the short club cir­cuit as most of the track was wa­ter­logged, and anish shetty rushed ahead off the line to lead most of the 10-lap race and claim a vic­tory for the honda ten10 rac­ing team, set­ting the fastest lap of the race (1:12.189) in the process. right be­hind him naresh Babu took sec­ond place, while s sivane­san fin­ished third. all eyes were on the cham­pi­onship lead­ers, though, who were some­what off the pace all week­end; aravind Balakr­ish­nan earned four points for his eighth-place fin­ish and bagged the cham­pi­onship with 138 points, while aravind Ganesh earned eight points for his sixth place, end­ing his 2017 sea­son in sec­ond place with 125 points. anish shetty rounded off the top three in the Pro-stock Cham­pi­onship with 104 points.

Deepak Raviku­mar on his way to vic­tory in the SS 300-400 cc race

Ja­gan cel­e­brates his sixth cham­pi­onship ti­tle on Sun­day

Math­ana Ku­mar won Sun­day’s SS 165 race

Anish Shetty won Sun­day’s Pro-Stock race and se­cured third place in the cham­pi­onship

Sivane­san (9) leads from Kan­nan (7) on Satur­day

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