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National Motorcycle Racing Championship: Prabhu Arunagiri, Sarvesh Balappa grab pole

Prabhu Arunagiri

Bengaluru, October 1: Chennai boy Prabhu Arunagiri (Pacer Yamaha) and Hubballi's Sarvesh Balappa (Axor Sparks Racing) clinched pole position in their respective categories to set the tone for the fifth and final round of the MRF Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) Federation of Mototr Sports Club of India (FMSCI) Indian national motorcycle racing championship 2022 which began at the Madras International Circuit (MIC) in Irungattukottai, near Chennai on Friday (September 30).

Arunagiri, lying third on the leaderboard in the Pro-Stock 165cc open category, clocked a best lap of 1min, 55.045sec, while completing the front row was the Petronas TVS Racing pair of KY Ahamed (01:55.556) and defending champion Jagan Kumar (01:55.757).

As per a media release received, championship leader Mathana Kumar (Pacer Yamaha) who leads the field by 17 points, qualified seventh for Race 1 to be held on Saturday (October 1).

National Motorcycle Racing Championship: Titles up for the grabs as the stage is set for final roundNational Motorcycle Racing Championship: Titles up for the grabs as the stage is set for final round

The results - Qualifying (best lap, top 3)

National Championship

Pro-Stock 165cc Open:

1. Prabhu Arunagiri (Chennai, Pacer Yamaha) (01min, 55.045sec)

2. KY Ahamed (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (01:55.556)

3. Jagan Kumar (Chennai, Petronas TVS Racing) (01:55.757).

Novice (Stock 165cc):

1. Sarvesh Balappa (Hubballi, Axor Sparks Racing) (02:06.072)

2. Varun Nanjundegowda (Mysuru, Axor Sparks Racing) (02:06.188)

3. Rohan Ramesh (Coimbatore, Axor Sparks Racing) (02:07.219).

Support race

Stock 301-400cc (Novice):

1. Ashwin R (Race Abilities) (02:03.979)

2. Naresh Shobha Kaname (Pvt) (02:04.052)

3. Mohammed Junaid Akhtar (Race Abilities) (02:04.945).

Petronas TVS One-Make Championship: Open (RR 310):

1. Manoj Yesudiyan (Chennai) (01:54.318)

2. Jagadeesh N (Bengaluru) (01:56.185)

3. Alwin Sundar A (Chennai) (01:56.207).

Girls (Apache RTR 200):

1. Aditi Krishnan (Bengaluru) (02:10.282)

2. Nithila Das (Bengaluru) (02:10.435)

3. Ananya Awasthi (Chennai) (02:11.759).

Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup: Novice (CBR 150):

1. Raheesh Mudassar Khatri (Mumbai) (02:07.651)

2. Siddesh Sawant (Kolhapur) (02:08.757)

3. Shyam Babu (Chennai) (02:09.414).

Playing it safe

Playing it safe

Stressed out after his bike's battery burst due to overheating about 20 minutes before the qualifying session, Mathana played it safe and clocked a best lap of 01:56.423 to slot himself into seventh position on the grid.

Balappa, who has virtually clinched the championship in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category with five wins from eight starts for an unassailable 58-point lead, kept his cool during the qualifying session when he got stuck in traffic to clock a best lap of two minutes, 06.072sec to spearhead a front row sweep for Axor Sparks Racing.

Seasoned pro

Seasoned pro

Mysuru's Varun Nanjundegowda (02:06.188) and Rohan Ramesh from Coimbatore (02:07.219) were placed second and third, respectively.

Earlier, seasoned pro Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power1), who is chasing his 11th national career title, warmed for this weekend's double-header in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open category with a flying lap of 01:51.639 ahead of Petronas TVS Racing pair of Deepak Ravikumar (01:52.159) and Jagan Kumar (01:52.494).

Exciting season

Exciting season

The promoters MMSC -- celebrating their 70th anniversary -- have put together a 20-race card for the weekend.

"It has been an exciting season thus far with India's top riders and two-wheeler manufacturers, Honda, TVS, Yamaha and KTM, battling for honours, with our sponsors, MRF Tyres, providing invaluable support. The final weekend should see a continuation of the trend of close races that has kept everyone on the edge of the seat," said MMSC President Ajit Thomas.

Growing in stature

Growing in stature

Since its humble beginnings in 1953, the MMSC has grown in stature as the hub of motorsport activity in India.

Having moved its racing activities from Sholavaram to its present location, the MIC (earlier MMRT), in Sriperumbudur in 1979, MMSC has kept pace with changing times by upgrading facilities.

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Story first published: Saturday, October 1, 2022, 11:04 [IST]
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