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National 2-wheeler C'ship: All eyes on Mathana Kumar, Prabhu Arunagiri, Rajani Krishnan

Chennai, July 7 (IANS) Focus will be on top racers Mathana Kumar, Prabhu Arunagiri and Rajani Krishnan as the MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2022 moves to the recently rebranded Madras International Circuit, Sriperumbudur, near here, for the second round from July 8-10.

After an action-packed season-opener in Coimbatore last month, the proceedings this weekend are expected to witness more of the high-octane action with some 200 entries in the fray. The results in the first round have injected heightened expectations of stirring duels over the coming weekend.

The first round dished out some surprise results, notably a double 1-2 finish by Pacer Yamaha riders in the Pro-Stock 165cc category with Trichy’s Mathana Kumar winning both the races ahead of Prabhu Arunagiri (Chennai). The pair virtually overshadowed established and hitherto dominant Petronas TVS Racing and arch-rivals Honda SK69 Racing teams.

In contrast, veteran Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power1), who notched his 10th National title last season, looked imperious in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc category, winning both races on a Yamaha R3. He looks set to further distance himself from the pack in the Championship standings, the organisers informed in a release on Thursday.

The girls’ category (Stock 165cc) race will witness its share of twists and turns with former champion Ann Jennifer (Sparks Racing) securing a win after race-winner Lani Zena Fernandez (Speed Up Racing) was disqualified for a technical infringement. Defending champion Ryhana Bee (Pacer Yamaha), who won all five races last season, managed just one point with a 10th place finish, but will be keen to make up this weekend.

In the Novice category (Stock 165cc), which has always attracted over 40 entries, Hubballi’s Sarvesh Balappa had a bright start, winning both the races, to lead the points table in this class.

The 19-race programme this weekend also includes two One-Make Championships organised by the promoters Madras Motor Sports Club, celebrating their 70th anniversary — the Petronas TVS One-Make Championship (Open, Rookie and Girls) and the Honda India Talent Cup (NSF 250R and CBR 150, besides Hornet 2.0 as a support race).

Both these One-Make Championships are bubbling with young, talented riders, hailing from all parts of India, who have been provided a platform to showcase their skills.

Rains that are forecast for the weekend, could add some spice and drama to the proceedings, putting a premium on experience.

MMSC president Ajit Thomas, welcoming the stakeholders to the second round, said: “We are happy that the new season got off to a flier in Coimbatore with the Rolon Round last month and which also reflected the unpredictable nature of the sport.”

–IANS

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