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Ahamed tops Pro-stock 400cc race in Round 1 of INMRC



KY Ahamed (33), en route to his Pro-Stock 301-400cc race win in Round 1 of the INMRC, in Coimbatore, on Sunday.

New Delhi: An inspired KY Ahamed won the premium Pro-Stock 301-400cc race in Round 1 of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (INMRC) that concluded at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore on Sunday, a media release said. Ahamed’s teammate and seven-time national champion Japan Kumar had something to cheer during the wretched weekend by clinching the Pro-stock 165cc race.

After leading in both the Pro-stock races, Japan finished third in the 165cc class and sixth in the 301-400cc race in the practice round on Friday. A snapped chain and a collision with another rider cost him definite victories.

On Sunday, he suffered engine problems in the second 301-400cc race when he looked set for victory to finish fourth. However, he ignored these incidents to post a superb win in the second 165cc race, which was reduced to three laps from the scheduled 12 due to crashes leading to red-flag.

“Yes, it is a big relief to finally win a race this weekend. Things haven’t gone my way and so, I was determined to come good. I opened up a good lead at the start and again on restart after the red flag stoppage,” said Jagan.

Ahamed, who admires Jagan, paced himself well to win the 301-400cc race ahead of teammate Deepak Ravi Kumar and Satyanarayana Raju (Gusto Racing). Both Ravi Kumar and Ahamed, who finished the first race in that order were subsequently disqualified, as their bike failed the post-race scrutiny on technical violence. Consequently, Raju was declared a winner.

Ann Jennifer, winner of the INMRC girls race

Earlier, in the last year’s championship in girl’s category, Ann Jennifer led a 1-2 finish for Sparks Racing along with Ryhana Bee despite a poor start. Jennifer was the last to leave from the grid when the lights went out with her bike stuck in neutral gear. However, she recovered quickly and eased her way to the front to carve out a fine win with Bee.

While, Bengaluru’s Annish Samson (Team Speed Up Racing) won in the Stock 165cc class (Race 2) for Novice riders after a tough fight. Private entrant Manoj Y came in second ahead of Saturday’s Race 1 winner Vijay S (Sparks Racing). Meanwhile, Lal Nunsanga overcame stiff challenge from Varoon to claim the IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup (CBR 150cc).

Bike Rally

Hero MotoSports sign 2013 Cross Country champ Goncalves as its fourth rider



Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves will join Hero MotoSports team for the Silkway Rally in July.

New Delhi: In their pursuit for excellence, Hero MotoSports Team Rally have signed Portuguese champion Paulo Goncalves as its fourth rider, a statement said. The motorsport team is part of the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer—Hero MotoCorp Ltd.

Goncalves brings with him over 12 years of rally-racing experience, including a series of remarkable performances at the world’s most prestigious rallies. He was crowned 2013 FIM Cross Country Rally World Champion. He also clinched the runners-up position at the world’s toughest off-road challenge, the Dakar Rally in 2015.

Hero MotoSports Team Rally recently achieved an impressive podium finish at the 2019 Merzouga Rally in Morocco. Paulo’s entry will add further impetus to Hero MotoSports’ campaign as the team looks to improve on its already impressive results over the previous three years.

The multi-faceted rider, Paulo will compete alongside the Team’s ace pilots—the most experienced Indian Dakar participant, C.S. Santosh, Portuguese star Joaquim Rodrigues, and Spanish sensation, Oriol Mena. He will make his debut for the team at the Silkway Rally (Russia-Mongolia-China) in the month of July this year.

Hero MotoCorp forayed into international motorsports with the formation of its rally racing team, Hero MotoSports Team Rally in 2016.

Commenting on the development, Goncalves said: “First of all I want to express my thanks to Hero MotoSports for showing their trust in me by letting me be a part of this amazing rally project. I am very happy and excited to start this new journey with the team and I hope to contribute to the team’s aim of improving our performance in the rally sport. From my side, I promise to give my everything to be ready and fit to be able to fight for the top positions for my team. Hero MotoSports has been doing a really good job in the last couple of seasons and this young team has shown, that it has the potential to win big. I would like to play my part in bringing these wins to the team.

Dr. Markus Braunsperger, CTO—Hero MotoCorp, said: “First of all, let me extend a very warm welcome to Paulo Goncalves to the Hero MotoSports family and also to the larger Hero family. In a short span of three years, the Team has delivered some impressive results, and now with Paulo’s wealth of experience, there are no doubts that we will be able to lift our performance in every aspect of the rally sport. Paulo’s move also provides acknowledgment to the fact that we have been able to establish ourselves as a sought after team for the top talent in the sport.”

Mr. Wolfgang Fischer, Head—Hero MotoSports, said: “We are very motivated by the entry of Paulo Goncalves into our young set-up. To attract one of the most decorated and respected top rally athletes is a big boost for our team and an endorsement that we are being looked upon as one of the top teams in rally sport.  His experience of numerous race victories and Dakar participation into our line-up will enable us to achieve the next level of competitiveness.”

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