Chennai, Aug 5 (IANS) Defending champion Jagan Kumar of TVS Racing put in a command performance to score a crucial win in the third round of the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship at the MMRT track here on Saturday.
Jagan, who has moved up two spots to third on the leaderboard with 62 points, had to fight hard for only his second win of the season that put him behind the front-running Honda Ten10 riders leader Rajiv Sethu (90) who barely nursed his bike to third-place finish and Mathana Kumar (66) in the championship stakes.
Saturday’s race was cut to a four-lap sprint following a red-flag stoppage due to an oil spill on the start-finish straight and was re-started.
Jagan, starting from pole position, slipped to third due to a poor start as Sethu and Mathana Kumar passed him on the very first lap. However, the red flag stoppage provided Jagan a second chance while Sethu’s bike bled speed and Mathana retired due to an electrical problem.
It set Jagan free and he was followed home by team-mate Harry Sylvester and Sethu.
Also scoring an impressive win was Bengaluru’s Aishwarya Pissay (Apex Racing) in the girls’ (stock up to 165cc) category to further consolidate her position at the top of the leaderboard with 65 points.
The race witnessed a bit of elbowing among riders at the front before Aishwarya overcame a poor start to clinch a dominating win ahead of Indore’s Kalyani Potekar (51 points).
Potekar was docked a 10-second penalty for causing a collision that took out Alisha Abdullah on the start straight and was placed third behind local girl Shruthi Nagarajan (Honda Ten10 Racing).
Aravind Balakrishnan, courtesy a fine victory in the Pro-Stock (up to 165cc) category, caught up with leader and his Honda Ten10 Racing team-mate Mithun Kumar who finished a distant fifth. Both are on 83 points with the second race of the round to be run on Sunday.