Jagan wins sixth straight National Motorcycle Racing Championship
Chennai: TVS Racings mascot Jagan Kumar notched his sixth straight title in the premier Super Sport Indian (165cc) class on a rain-affected day to bring down the curtain on the MRF Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2017 at the MMRT track here on Sunday.
The day’s original programme of seven races looked to be in jeopardy following a massive downpour in the early hours of today.
However, the Madras Motor Sports Club officials came up with a herculean effort to get the club circuit (short loop, 2.1 km) ready for racing with the full circuit (3.7 km) not available due to water-logging.
Thus, three of the seven races were cancelled since the championships in those categories were already decided.
The changes had little impact on Jagan. Going into Sunday’s race, he enjoyed a six-point lead over Honda Ten10 Racing’s Rajiv Sethu, but the expected challenge did not materialize as the latter crashed at Turn-2 in the very first lap.
Thereafter, Jagan was on a cruise mode and seemed content to finish second behind Sethu’s team-mate Mathana Kumar who eased past in the last lap. Harry Sylvester (TVS Racing) came in third.
It was a splendid comeback by Jagan who, at one point in the season, trailed Sethu by 33 points but three back-to-back wins, including one yesterday, put the TVS Racing rider’s campaign back on track as he clinched the title in this class, previously known as “Group B”, for the sixth year in a row by a comfortable 24-point margin.
Aravind Balakrishnan (Honda Ten10 Racing) took the title in the Pro-Stock class though he finished a distant eighth in the race won by his team-mate Anish Shetty. Balakrishnan thus finished with 138 points, 13 ahead of Aravind Ganesh (Moto-Rev).
The National champions: Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing , Super Sport Indian 165cc), Aravind Balakrishnan (Honda Ten10 Racing, Pro-Stock), Amarnath Menon (Gusto Racing, Super Sport Indian 300-400cc), Sai Rahil Pillarishetty (Sparks Racing, Novice 165cc), Aishwarya Pissay (Apex Racing, Girls 165cc).
Team championship: Gusto Racing (Super Sport Indian 300-400cc); TVS Racing (Super Sport Indian 165cc); Honda Ten10 Racing (Pro-Stock); Sparks Racing (Novice, 165cc); Apex Racing (Girls, 165cc).
MMSC One-Make Championship winners: Rajiv Sethu (Honda CBR 250), Satyanarayana Raju (Sparks Racing, Honda CBR 150), S Sivanesan (TVS Apache RTR 200 Open), Anup Kumar (TVS Novice) and Nitish Kumar (Yamaha R15 Novice).