Coimbatore, June 04: Rajiv Sethu, Mathana Kumar and Vignesh Goud notched a double apiece in their respective categories as the Rolon Round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2023 concluded at the Kari Motor Speedway.
Rajiv Sethu from RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate, determined to resurrect a sagging career, swept the honours in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open category while defending champion Mathana Kumar did much the same in the other top-end class, the Pro-Stock 165cc Open.
Hyderabad’s 19-year-old Vignesh Goud from Race’ists Motorcycle Club was equally commanding in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category as he won both the races this weekend while Puducherry’s Lani Fernandez from RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate took the honours in the Girls (Stock 165cc) class after starting from P5 on the grid.
Sethu, 24, who moved from Honda to Yamaha this season by joining multiple champion Rajini Krishnan’s RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate team, immediately made his mark on debut in the by winning both the races.
Rajiv Sethu shrugged off a bad start when he missed a gear in race1, as the lights went off for the 10-lap race, Sethu slipped to fourth from pole position due to the mistake but quickly recovered to more than hold his own in a quality field that included Pune teenager and debutant Sarthak Chavan from Petronas TVS Racing who came in second ahead of Hyderabad’s Rahil Pillarisetty from KTM Gusto Racing.
Commenting on his performance, Sethu said: “It was a tough race. I made a mistake at the start and missed a gear and was pushed down to fourth. But I managed to recover and hit the front. I had to keep an eye on young Sarthak Chavan who pushed me till the end.”
In fact, Sethu, who started from pole position, had more than enough straight-line pace as he again held off Pune’s upcoming teenager Sarthak Chavan who joined Petronas TVS Racing team this season, while Hyderabad’s Rahil Pillarisetty completed the podium for a repeat of yesterday’s Race-1.
“This double means a lot to me. I won just one race last season (in the Pro-Stock 165cc Open category). And now, I have started 2023 with two wins! In a way, this weekend could be a turning point in my career and I hope I will enjoy more success going forward,” said Sethu who has had an up-and-down career with forays at the Asian level fetching desired results. He went winless in the 2021 National championship season though finishing on podium in eight of the 10 races and scored just one win in 2020 that was in contrast to the six in 2019 when he ended second in the championship.
In the Pro-Stock 165cc Open:
Mathana Kumar and his team-mate Prabhu Arunagiri delivered a 1-2 for Pacer Yamaha while Bengaluru teenager Chiranth Vishwanath saved the blushes for Petronas TVS Racing team by finishing third, thus justifying his recruitment.
Mathana started from P5, a slot behind Arunagiri, but the duo hit the front after pole-sitter Jagan Kumar from Petronas TVS Racing crashed in the very first lap. The Yamaha pair eased past Sarthak Chavan, the second of the new Petronas TVS Racing recruit this season, and Chiranth. Later in the race, Sarthak crashed and eventually finished ninth while Jagan rode the wind to come in sixth behind his old rival Rajiv Sethu.
Race2, the Pacer Yamaha duo of Mathana and Prabhu Arunagiri, who had finished in that order in yesterday’s Race-1, looked poised for another 1-2 finish. However, Arunagiri packed up after nine of the 14 laps due to mechanical issue while Sarthak Chavan who was running second, also retired with clutch problem in the 11th. It left Mathana all on his own in the front as he finished a comfortable winner ahead of Bengaluru youngster Chiranth Vishwanath who did well to hold off his Petronas TVS Racing team-mate and the more experienced KY Ahamed.
Novice (Stock 165cc) category:
Race1, Vignesh Goud, the 19-year-old from Hyderabad, scored a commanding win in race1, starting from pole. Off to a good start, he built up a sizeable lead through initial five laps, leaving the 26-bike grid way behind, and then “chilled” for the remaining five for an easy maiden win.
“I pushed very hard in the first five laps and then, when I looked back, there was nobody in sight. So, I chilled thereafter,” said Vignesh after finishing ahead of Bengaluru’s Savion Sabu (Axor Sparks Racing) and Tasmai Cariappa (Pacer Yamaha) from Mysuru.
Race2, Vignesh Goud did as he pleased for another fine win for a double. He enjoyed a good start from pole position and quickly opened up a handsome lead that kept increasing as the race progressed. He eventually spared almost four seconds to Mysuru’s Tasmai Cariappa (Pacer Yamaha) who was followed home by Savion Sabu (Axor Sparks Racing) from Bengaluru.
Girls class: The fast-improving Puducherry rider Lani Fernandez rode a fine race to win quite handily after starting from P5 as she sliced through the top half of the field to hit the front and never looked back. Finishing second behind her was pole-sitter Ann Jennifer (Alpha Racing) and Jagathishree Kumaresan (One Racing) was third.
Petronas TVS One-Make Championship:
Day1,Bengaluru schoolgirl Nithila Das, among the youngest competitors, rode fearlessly to win the in the Girls category (Apache RTR 200) with Nadine Faith Balaji (Chennai) and Sarah Khan (Mumbai) finishing distant second and third, respectively.
Another Bengalurean, Copparam Hareesh Shreyas clinched a fine win in the Rookie category (Apache RTR 200) sparing nearly 20 seconds to Chennai’s Nandanan. Finishing third was Dev Agastya, also from Bengaluru.
Alwin Sundar (Chennai) started the day’s proceedings with a comfortable win in the 301-400cc Open (Apache RR310), starting from pole position. Finishing second behind him was Manoj Yesuadiyan (Chennai) who made five spots while Senthil Kumar C (Coimbatore) was third. Alwin went on to win Race-2 to also score a double with Senthil Kumar coming in second and Yesuadiyan third.
Bengaluru schoolboy Copperam Hareesh Shreyas also achieved a splendid double in the Rookie category with another comfortable victory. Fellow-Bengalurean Savion Sabu finished second ahead of Nandanan (Chennai).
Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup:
Day1, The ever-improving Chennai youngster, Kavin Quintal, dominated the NSF 250 race from start to finish to yet again demonstrate his talent that has seen him participate in the Asia Road Racing Championship this season as part of the Honda team. In P2 was Mallapuram’s Mohsin Peramban while Rakshith Dave (Chennai) came in third.
Day2, Chennai’s Kavin Quintal, for the second time this weekend, destroyed the NSF 250 field to complete a double. Having won the first race yesterday with great ease, Kavin’s dominance was even more pronounced in the second outing today over 14 laps. Finishing a distant second was Rakshith Dave (Chennai), while Prakash Kamath (Steel City) was third.
The results (Provisional):
Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open:
(Race-1): 1. Rajiv Sethu (Chennai, RACR Catrol Power 1 Ultimate) (12:19.559); 2. Sarthak Chavan (Pune, Petronas TVS Racing) (12:22.325); 3. Rahil Pillarisetty (Hyderabad, KTM Gusto Racing) (12:26.047).
(Race-2, 14 laps): 1. Rajiv Sethu (Chennai, RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate) (17mins, 10.905secs); 2. Sarthak Chavan (Pune, Petronas TVS Racing) (17:15.035); 3. Rahil Pillarisetty (Hyderabad, KTM Gusto Racing) (17:18.203).
Pro-Stock 165cc Open:
(Race-1): 1. Mathana Kumar S (Trichy, Pacer Yamaha) (13:05.237); 2. Prabhu Arunagiri (Chennai, Pacer Yamaha) (13:06.150); 3. Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru, Petronas TVS Racing) (13:10.145).
(Race-2, 14 laps): 1. Mathana Kumar S (Tiruchi, Pacer Yamaha) (18:16.308); 2. Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru, Petronas TVS Racing) (18:18.409); 3. KY Ahamed (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (18:18.812).
Novice (Stock 165cc):
(Race-1): 1. Vignesh Goud (Hyderabad, Race’ists Motorcycle Club) (14:43.414); 2. Savion Sabu (Bengaluru, Axor Sparks Racing) (14:47.233); 3. Tasmai Cariappa PC (Mysuru, Pacer Yamaha) (14:47.536).
(Race-2, 10 laps): 1. Vignesh Goud (Hyderabad, Race’ists Motorcycle Club) (14:38.296); 2. Tasmai Cariappa PC (Mysuru, Pacer Yamaha) (14:42.038); 3. Savion Sabu (Bengaluru, Axor Sparks Racing) (14:45.305).
Girls (Stock 165cc) (8 laps): 1. Lani Fernandez (Puducherry, RACR Castrol Power 1 Ultimate) (11:49.553); 2. Ann Jennifer AS (Chennai, Alpha Racing) (11:52.201); 3. Jagathishree Kumaresan (Chennai, One Racing) (11:52.295).
Petronas TVS One-Make Championship –
Open (Apache RR 310)
(Race-1, 10 laps): 1. Alwin Sundar A (Chennai) (12:51.163); 2. Manoj Yesuadiyan (Chennai) (12:56.063); 3. Senthil Kumar C (Coimbatore) (12:58.807). Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Alwin Sundar (12:55.616); 2. Senthilkumar C (12:56.035); 3. Manoj Yesuadiyan (12:59.942).
Rookie (Apache RTR 200):
Race-1): 1. Copparam Hareesh Shreyas (Bengaluru) (13:56.152); 2. Nandanan (Chennai) (14:17.112); 3. Dev Agastya (Bengaluru) (14:45.185).
(Race-2, 10 laps): 1. Copparam Hareesh Shreyas (Bengaluru) (13:58.187); 2. Savion Sabu (Bengaluru) (14:02.196); 3. Nandanan (Chennai) (14:02.500).
Girls (Apache RTR 200, 8 laps): 1. Nithila Das (Bengaluru) (11:56.833); 2. Nadine Faith Balaji (Chennai) (12:09.343); 3. Sarah Khan (Mumbai) (12:18.509).
Media (Apache RTR 200) (8 laps): 1. Deepak Vishnu D (Kochi) (12:27.379); 2. Ananya Aswathi (Pune) (12:27.462); 3. Alshin K Thomas (Pune) (12:29.841).
Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup:
(Open, NSF 250)
Race-1): 1. Kavin Quintal (Chennai) (12:24.983); 2. Mohsin Peramban (Mallapuram) (12:36.156); 3. Rakshith S Dave (Chennai) (12:38.831).
(Race-2, 14 laps): 1. Kavin Quintal (Chennai) (17:11.908); 2. Rakshith S Dave (Chennai) (17:50.057); 3. Prakash Kamath (Steel City) (17:51.107).