Rajiv Sethu led a Honda assault on TVS Racing’s supremacy to score a brilliant victory over defending champion Jagan Kumar in the premier Super Sport Indian 165cc class in the fourth round of the MRF-MMSC-FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (INMRC) at the MMRT here on Sunday.
“At Turn-3 in the first lap, the gears tended to slip and I had to firmly put my foot down on the pedal to avoid any more slippage. Jagan went past me, but later, I managed to pass him on the straight. Thereafter, it was a close fight and I had a scary moment in the penultimate lap when I almost lost balance in the Bridge Complex, but managed to hold it together for the win,” said Sethu.
The victory notwithstanding, Jagan, the TVS Racing team’s spearhead, garnered a crucial 18 points for his second-place finish to consolidate his position at the top of the table with a tally of 148 ahead of teammate K.Y. Ahamed (128).
The other highlight of the day was the grand double by Prabhu Arunagiri (Team Alisha Abdullah) in the Pro-Stock 301-400cc category which is set for a grandstand finish in the final round in December.
Only five points separate the top three — Satyanarayana Raju of Gusto Racing (119), teammate Amarnath Menon (118), and Arunagiri (114).
Hyderabad’s 19-year-old college student Karthik Mateti (Sparks Racing) registered a dominant win in the Novice (Stock 165cc) race to take a 16-point lead in the championship.
Another rider from Hyderabad, the 20-year-old Rahil Pillari Shetty, also from Sparks Racing, followed suit with the season’s maiden win in the highly competitive Pro-Stock 165cc category.
The results (provisional):
Super Sport Indian 165cc (Race 2, 8 laps): 1. Rajiv Sethu (Honda Ten10 Racing) 15:32.320s; 2. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) 15:32.450; 3. S. Mathana Kumar (Honda Ten10 Racing) 15:37.725.
Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Race-2, 8 laps): 1. Prabhu Arunagiri (Team Alisha Abdulla) 15:24.129; 2. Satyanarayana Raju (Gusto Racing) 15:24.706; 3. Rahil Pillari Shetty (Sparks Racing) 15:34.637.
Pro-Stock 165cc (Race-2, 8 laps): 1. Rahil Pillari Shetty (Sparks Racing) 16:09.127; 2. Anish Shetty (Honda Ten10 Racing) 16:14.615; 3. Senthil Kumar (Honda Ten10 Racing) 16:14.851.
Novice (Stock 165cc, 6 laps): 1. Karthik Mateti (Sparks Racing) 13:00.950; 2. Varun Sobhan (Speed Up Racing) 13:03.720; 3. I. Venkatesan I (Chennai) 13:05.622.