Rajiv Sethu scores thrilling win over Jagan Kumar
Chennai: Deepak Ravikumar led a 1-2 finish for TVS Racing in the premium Pro-Stock 301-400cc class, while Rajiv Sethu, fresh from an international outing in Japan, scored a thrilling win in the Pro-Stock 165cc category to bring some cheer for Honda in the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (INMRC) at the MMRT, here on Saturday.
Starting from pole position, Ravikumar held off teammate KY Ahamed for a commanding win, while Sethu, who missed the first round in Coimbatore last month, fought tooth and nail to beat favourite and pole-sitter Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing), sealing the win in the last lap.
Mathan Kumar (Erula Racing) also chalked up a last-gasp win over Aravind Balakrishnan (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) in the Pro-Stock 200-300cc class that was run on a combined grid with the 301-400cc category while Bengaluru’s Abhimanyu Gautam, starting from third on the 39-rider grid, topped the Stock 165cc (Novice) race which went down to the wire.
Earlier, 14-year old from Chennai, Md Mikail underlined his potential by comfortably winning the inaugural race in the newly-introduced Honda NSF 250R category of the Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup One-Make championship. Varun Sadasivam, also from Chennai, came in second ahead of another 14-year old local schoolboy Kavin Samaar Quintal.
Ravikumar, starting from pole, gradually increased his lead over Ahamed and had plenty to spare at the finish. Amarnath Menon, who too sat out the first round last month, finished third in his debut race for Team Alisha Abdullah.
The win was some consolation for Ravikumar who lost a third place battle in the Pro-Stock 165cc race to Bengaluru’s Yashas RL (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) behind Sethu and Jagan after some of the front-runners lost track position due to issues with their bikes.
Reflecting on his win, Sethu said: “I had problems with the grip levels, and I thought I might go off. But I used my experience to stay behind Jagan and eventually passed him on the penultimate lap at the Bridge Complex left-hander. It was a tough race and I had to fight all the way to win.”
Jagan, a seven-times National champion in the erstwhile Super Sport 165cc class, said: “I did my very best today and was on the limit, but just couldn’t hold back Rajiv. The bike was fine and there were no issues. Today, this was the best I could do.”
Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Race 1): 1. Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) (11mins, 41.479secs); 2. KY Ahamed (TVS Racing) (11:47.446); 3. Amarnath Menon (Team Alisha Abdullah) (11:48.814).
Pro-Stock 200-300cc (Race 1): 1. Mathan Kumar (Erula Racing) (12:11.742); 2. Aravind Balakrishnan (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:11.774); 3. Anish Shetty (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:34.687).
Pro-Stock 165cc (Race 1): 1. Rajiv Sethi (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (11:59.724); 2. K Jagan (TVS Racing) (11:59.820); 3. Yashas RL (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:11.089).
Novice – Stock 165cc (Race 1): 1. Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing) (13:08.136); 2. Venkatesan I (Team Motomania) (13:08.647); 3. Lokesh V (Team Speedup Racing) (13:09.568).
Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup – Honda NSF 250R (Race 1): 1. Md Mikail (Chennai) (11:14.583); 2. Varoon Sadasivam (Chennai) (11:16.963); 3. Kavin Samaar Quintal (Chennai) (11:18.128). Honda CBR 150 (Race 1): 1. Samuel Martin (Bengaluru) (13:18.183); 2. Lalrinzuala Tlau (Aizwal) (13:18.604); 3. Lal Nunsanga (Aizwal) (13:18.754).
TVS Open (Apache RTR 310, Race 1): 1. Vivek Pillai (Chennai) (11:58.964); 2. Sivanesan Sethu (Chennai) (12:10.737); 3. Arun Muthukrishnan (Chennai) (12:13.757). Novice (Apache RTR 200, Race 1): 1. Venkatesan (Chennai) (13:16.007); 2. Manoj Y (Chennai) (13:16.163); 3. Annish Samson (Bengaluru) (13:24.783). Girls (Apache RTR 200) (5 laps): 1. Nivetha Jessica (Chennai) (11:27.421); 2. Lakiya Lee (Chennai) (12:02.771); 3. Sayali Pawar (Mumbai) (12:10.872).