Coimbatore, June 4
Rajiv Sethu, Mathana Kumar and Vignesh Goud bagged a double each in their respective categories as the Rolon Round of the fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2023 concluded at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Sunday.
Rajiv Sethu (RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate), determined to resurrect a sagging career, swept the honours in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open category while Mathana Kumar did much the same in the other top-end class, the Pro-Stock 165cc Open. Both had won Race-1 on Saturday quite comfortably and it was a virtual re-run in the second outing today.
Hyderabad's 19-year-old Vignesh Goud (Race'ists Motorcycle Club) was equally commanding in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category as he won both the races this weekend while Puducherry's Lani Fernandez (RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate) took the honours in the Girls' (Stock 165cc) Class after starting from the fifth spot (P5) on the grid.
Sethu, 24, who moved from Honda to Yamaha this season by joining multiple-time champion Rajini Krishnan's RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate team, immediately made his mark on debut in the 301-400cc category by winning both races.
In fact, Sethu, who started from the pole position, had more than enough straight-line pace as he again held off Pune's upcoming teenager Sarthak Chavan, who joined Petronas TVS Racing team this season, while Hyderabad's Rahil Pillarisetty (KTM Gusto Racing) completed the podium for a repeat of yesterday's Race-1.
"This double means a lot to me. I won just one race last season (in the Pro-Stock 165cc Open category). And now, I have started 2023 with two wins! In a way, this weekend could be a turning point in my career and I hope I will enjoy more success going forward," said Sethu who has had an up-and-down career with forays at the Asian level fetching desired results.
He went winless in the 2021 National Championship season though finishing on the podium in eight of the 10 races and scored just one win in 2020 which was in contrast to the six in 2019 when he ended second in the championship.
In the Pro-Stock 165cc Open race on Sunday, the Pacer Yamaha duo of Mathana and Prabhu Arunagiri, who had finished in that order in Saturday's Race-1, looked poised for another 1-2 finish.
However, Arunagiri packed up after nine of the 14 laps due to mechanical issues while Sarthak Chavan who was running second, also retired with a clutch problem in the 11th. It left Mathana all on his own in the front as he finished a comfortable winner ahead of Bengaluru youngster Chiranth Vishwanath who did well to hold off his Petronas TVS Racing team-mate and the more experienced KY Ahamed.
Earlier, Vignesh Goud raced to a comprehensive win in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category for a double. He enjoyed a good start from the pole position and quickly opened up a handsome lead that kept increasing as the race progressed. He eventually spared almost four seconds to Mysuru's Tasmai Cariappa (Pacer Yamaha) who was followed home by Savion Sabu (Axor Sparks Racing) from Bengaluru.
The fast-improving Puducherry rider Lani Fernandez rode a fine race to win quite handily after starting from P5 as she sliced through the top half of the field to hit the front and never looked back. Finishing second behind her was pole-sitter Ann Jennifer (Alpha Racing) and Jagathishree Kumaresan (One Racing) was third.
TVS One-Make Championship Alwin Sundar (Chennai) started the day's proceedings with a comfortable win in the 301-400cc Open (Apache RR310), starting from the pole position. Finishing second behind him was Manoj Yesuadiyan (Chennai) who made five spots while Senthil Kumar C (Coimbatore) was third. Alwin went on to win Race-2 to also score a double with Senthil Kumar coming in second and Yesuadiyan third.
Bengaluru schoolboy Copperam Hareesh Shreyas also achieved a splendid double in the Rookie category with another comfortable victory. Fellow-Bengalurean Savion Sabu finished second ahead of Nandanan (Chennai).
Honda India Talent Cup Chennai's Kavin Quintal, for the second time this weekend, destroyed the NSF 250 field to complete a double. Having won the first race yesterday with great ease, Kavin's dominance was even more pronounced in the second outing today over 14 laps. Finishing a distant second was Rakshith Dave (Chennai), while Prakash Kamath (Steel City) was third.
The results (Provisional)
National Championship - Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open (Race-2, 14 laps) 1. Rajiv Sethu (Chennai, RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate) (17mins, 10.905secs); 2. Sarthak Chavan (Pune, Petronas TVS Racing) (1715.035); 3. Rahil Pillarisetty (Hyderabad, KTM Gusto Racing) (1718.203).
Pro-Stock 165cc Open (Race-2, 14 laps) 1. Mathana Kumar S (Tiruchi, Pacer Yamaha) (1816.308); 2. Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru, Petronas TVS Racing) (1818.409); 3. KY Ahamed (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (1818.812).
Novice (Stock 165cc) (Race-2, 10 laps) 1. Vignesh Goud (Hyderabad, Race'ists Motorcycle Club) (1438.296); 2. Tasmai Cariappa PC (Mysuru, Pacer Yamaha) (1442.038); 3. Savion Sabu (Bengaluru, Axor Sparks Racing) (1445.305).
Girls' (Stock 165cc) (8 laps) 1. Lani Fernandez (Puducherry, RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate) (1149.553); 2. Ann Jennifer AS (Chennai, Alpha Racing) (1152.201); 3. Jagathishree Kumaresan (Chennai, One Racing) (1152.295).
Petronas TVS One-Make Championship - Open (Apache RR 310) (Race-1, 10 laps) 1. Alwin Sundar A (Chennai) (1251.163); 2. Manoj Yesuadiyan (Chennai) (1256.063); 3. Senthil Kumar C (Coimbatore) (1258.807). Race-2 (10 laps) 1. Alwin Sundar (1255.616); 2. Senthilkumar C (1256.035); 3. Manoj Yesuadiyan (1259.942).
Rookie (Apache RTR 200) (Race-2, 10 laps) 1. Copparam Hareesh Shreyas (Bengaluru) (1358.187); 2. Savion Sabu (Bengaluru) (1402.196); 3. Nandanan (Chennai) (1402.500).
Media (Apache RTR 200) (8 laps) 1. Deepak Vishnu D (Kochi) (1227.379); 2. Ananya Aswathi (Pune) (1227.462); 3. Alshin K Thomas (Pune) (1229.841).
Honda India Talent Cup (Open, NSF 250) (Race-2, 14 laps) 1. Kavin Quintal (Chennai) (1711.908); 2. Rakshith S Dave (Chennai) (1750.057); 3. Prakash Kamath (Steel City) (1751.107).