National motorcycle racing: Rajini Krishnan snatches pole position; Deepak Ravikumar leads front-row sweep

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Veteran Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power) delivered a stunning lap to grab the pole position in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Open) category in the fourth round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2021 at the MMRT, here on Friday.

Astride a Yamaha, Rajini came up with a late burst to post the best lap of one minute, 50.612secs, to pip Thailand’s Vorapong Malahuan (01:50.703), a TVS Racing import who of course is not counted for the championship. Another TVS Racing star, Deepak Ravikumar (01:50.880) filled the front row of the grid.

The day witnessed hectic action as 21 sessions (practice, qualifying, and one race) were completed. In view of the total lockdown on Sunday announced by the State government, the schedule was revised to ensure that the fourth round concludes a day earlier, on Saturday. The number of races were also reduced from the original 18 to 14. The balance four races will be run during the fifth round in February.

Earlier, the TVS Racing team locked the front row in the Pro-Stock 165cc (Open) category with the Chennai trio of Deepak Ravikumar (01:55.577) clinching pole position while KY Ahamed (01:55.783) and defending champion Jagan Kumar (01:56.361) completed the top three. Their arch-rival, Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing) was the fourth quickest (01:57.207) after being forced to curtail his practice session in the morning due to a glitch in his bike.

Meanwhile, 19-year old local collegian Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports) qualified for pole position in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category with a top lap of two minutes, 08.621 seconds ahead of Sparks Racing pair of Sarvesh Balappa from Hubballi and Thrissur’s Allwin Xavier while championship leader Anfal Akdhar (Rockstar Racing), also from Thrissur, will start from P4.

Last year’s champion Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing), lying seventh in the championship, made a strong statement by taking the pole position in the Girls (Stock 165cc) category, clocking a best lap of 02 minutes, 10.427 seconds. Behind her were championship leader Ryhana Bee (RACR Castrol Power) and Lani Zena Fernandez (Speed Up Racing).

Elsewhere, Pune’s Sarthak Chavan snatched the pole position in the NSF 250 class of the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup while Prakash Kamath from Bokaro Steel City qualified for the top spot in the Novice (CBR 150) class.

In the TVS One-Make Championship, Navaneeth Kumar (Puducherry) and Jinendra Kiran Sangave (Kolhapur) topped their respective qualifying sessions in the Open (RR310) and Rookie (RTR 200) categories, respectively.

Later, in the only race of the day, Bengaluru’s Aditi Krishnan, starting from pole position, topped the Girls’ race in the TVS One-Make Championship, ahead of Adlin Seles (Chennai) and Deepika Reddy (Hyderabad).

The results (Provisional):Qualifying (Best laps­):

Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Open): 1. Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power, Chennai) (01min, 50.612secs); 2. Vorapong Malahuan (TVS Racing, Thailand) (01:50.703); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing, Chennai) (01:50.880).

Pro-Stock 165cc (Open): 1. Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing, Chennai) (01:55.577); 2. KY Ahamed (TVS Racing, Chennai) (01:55.783); 3. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing, Chennai) (01:56.361).

Novice (Stock 165cc): 1. Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports, Chennai) (02:08.621); 2. Sarvesh Balappa (Sparks Racing, Hubballi) (02:09.106); 3. Allwin Xavier (Sparks Racing, Thrissur) (02:10.185).

Girls (Stock 165cc): 1. Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing, Chennai) (02:10.427); 2. Ryhana Bee (RACR Castrol Power, Chennai) (02:10.581); 3. Lani Zena Fernandez (Speed Up Racing, Puducherry) (02:12.004).

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup – NSF 250: 1. Sarthak Chavan (Pune) (01:50.063); 2. Kavin Quintal (Chennai) (01:51.351); 3. Mohsin Paramban (Mallapuram) (01:51.526).

Novice (CBR 150): 1. Prakash Kamath (Bokaro Steel City) (02:08.830); 2. Vivek Gaurav (Patna) (02:08.935); 3. Raheesh Khatri (Mumbai) (02:09.384).

Hornet 2.0 (Support event): 1. Kevin Kannan (Chennai) (02:11.709); 2. Alwin Sundar (Thrissur) (02:11.912); 3. Ullas Santrupt Nanda (Bengaluru) (02:12.036).

TVS One-Make Championship – Open (RR 310): 1. Navaneeth Kumar (Puducherry) (01:56.008); 2. Ananthraj P (Chennai) (01:56.346); 3. Amarnath Menon (Kozhikode) (01:56.569).

Rookie (RTR 200): 1. Jinendra Kiran Sangave (Kolhapur) (02:07.478); 2. Shreyas Copparam Hareesh (Bengaluru) (02:08.471); 3. Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru) (02:08.870).

Girls Race (RTR 200) 5 laps: 1. Aditi Krishnan (Bengaluru) (11:22.919); 2. Adlin Seles (Chennai) (11:33.144); 3. Deepika Reddy (Hyderabad) (11:33.354).

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