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
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.
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.
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.
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