Motorcycle nationals: Novice Alwin Sunder at pole; Ravikumar, Sethu top practice

Local collegian, Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports), grabbed the pole position in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category as the third round of the MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2021 commenced at the MMRT, here on Friday in fair weather conditions.

Alwin, only 19, and who heads the championship in the Novice category following a double in the first round in August, overcame a shaky start in the qualifying session when he went off the track on the out-lap, but gathered himself to post the fastest lap of two minutes, 08.098secs after deftly negotiating traffic.

Mumbai’s Kayan Zubin Patel (Sparks Racing) posted the second-best lap of 02:08.545 while team-mate Allwin Xavier (Thrissur) completed the front row clocking 02:08.772. In all, 38 riders out of 43 qualified to start Saturday’s race.

Meanwhile, TVS Racing’s Deepak Ravikumar (01:52.567) and Jagan Kumar (01:52.627) were among the quickest riders in the free practice session in the premier Pro stock 301-400cc category with championship leader Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power Racing) just behind the lead pair, clocking 01:52.647.

Later, Idemitsu Honda SK6′ Racing’s Rajiv Sethu set the pace in the Pro-stock 165cc category during the free practice session by topping the timesheets with a hot lap of 01:56.344, ahead of TVS Racing pair of defending champion Jagan Kumar (01:56.405) and KY Ahamed (01:57.070). The close competition between Honda and TVS riders has produced several nail-biting finishes and this’weekend’s double-header promises more of the same.

In the Girls’ (Novice, Stock 165cc) category, championship leader Ryhana Bee (RACR) from Chennai was the quickest in free practice followed by defending champion Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing) who is still to score a point this season.

In the qualifying sessions for the One-Make Championship organised by the MMSC’ Puducherry’s Navaneeth Kumar (TVS RR 310 Open), Rakshita Dave from Chennai (TVS Girls, RTR 200) and Prakash Kamat from Bokaro Steel City (Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup, Novice, CBR 150), qualified for pole positions in their respective categories.

The results (Qualifying – best laps):

National Championship – Novice (Stock 165cc): 1. Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports, Chennai) (02mins, 08.098secs); 2. Kayan Zubin Patel (Sparks Racing, Mumbai) (02:08.545); 3. Allwin Xavier (Sparks Racing, Thrissur) (02:08.772).

One-Make Championship organised by MMSC: TVS Open (RR 310): 1. Navaneeth Kumar (Puducherry) (01:56.178); 2. Aditya Rao (Bengaluru) (01:56.461); 3. Amarnath Menon (Calicut) (01:56.526). Girls (Apache RTR 200): 1. Rakshita Dave (Chennai) (02:14.505); 2.Adlin Seles (Chennai) (02:14.561); 3. Renuka Gajendran (Bengaluru) (02:15.094).

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – Novice (CBR 150): 1. Prakash Kamat (Bokaro Steel City) (02:09.673); 2. Ikshan Shanbhag (Satara) (02:09.920); 3. Vivek Gaurav (Patna) (02:11.478).