All eyes were on 14-year old Mohamed Mikail from Chennai at the start of the first race for the day. The teenager went on to win the first race of the Honda India Talent Cup in the Novice 150cc category, astride the race spec CBR 150R. Mikail also created a new fastest lap record (2:11.805 minutes) at Madras Motor Race Track for 150cc class! It was a delight to watch the focused young teenager race his way to glory in his very first race. Even more spectacular was the lead he had taken – a stunning 17 second lead over Akshay Murali who came second. Anandhu KK finished third. The youngest racer on the grid was 13-year old Geoffrey Emmanuel, who finished fourth. The young racers who are making headlines today is a result of Honda’s talent hunt which recently concluded in Bengaluru, which will soon head to other cities as well. All these young racers were trained at Honda Ten10 Racing Academy. Rajiv Sethu, Sarath Kumar and Anish Shetty, the experienced racers who have also proved their mettle on international tracks are also involved in nurturing these young talents.
In the Honda Talent Cup Open 250cc class, Anish Shetty won the six-lap race, but the win was not an easy one, as Abhishek Vasudev was behind his tail all the time to grab the pole. It was another classic wheel-to-wheel racing but Anish kept his cool and rode flawlessly to win the race and Abhishek had to settle for second place after giving a tough fight. Amit Richard Toppo claimed the third position.
The drama started on the very first lap in the fifth race of the national championship 165cc class (Super Sport Indian and Pro-Stock), as there was a massive crash and near turn – 3, where one of the riders, 21-year old Prashanth Kumar (Sparks Racing) was run over by another rider resulting in multiple injuries. The race was red flagged, restarted and the grid was rearranged. The number of laps were reduced from six to four. Jagan Kumar started at pole position, but he made an error of going wide in a turn in the penultimate lap and Rajiv Sethu snatched the lead away from him to finish at the top. Teammate Sarath Kumar finished third. it was a close battle between defending champ Jagan Kumar from TVS racing and Rajiv Sethu representing Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing. KY Ahamed (TVS Racing) fell off near the bridge complex, but he finished the race. It was a wheel-to-wheel race, with some racing incidents at the end of which Rajiv Sethu emerged victorious.
In the Pro stock 165cc category, Anish Shetty was fighting his battle in the four-lap race, where the lead was constantly exchanged between the riders, which resulted in a close battle for the top three positions. Teammate Senthil Kumar had to settle for second position after giving a tough competition to Anish Shetty who finished first. Naresh Babu (RACR) took the third spot.
In the National Championship Girls Novice 165cc category, Ann Jenifer AS (Sparks Racing) had the lead from the very start of the race, with Alisha Abdulla more than two seconds behind her. Building up on the same momentum, it was an easy win for her. It was a close battle for second place between Alisha and Sruthi Nagarajan (Apex Racing), who was giving a tough time for Alisha. However, an aggressive Alisha held on her position to finish second and Sruthi grabbed the third spot.
In the open category (Apache RR 310) Amarnath Menon emerged victorious after the six-lap race, with Vivek Pillai behind his tail. But the battle was on for the second position, where Deepak Ravikumar was chasing Vivek Pillai. However, after a close fight, Vivek finished second, while Deepak grabbed rounded off the podium. The Novice 200cc category was a race that witnessed huge gap between the top three racers. Karthik Mateti was riding a lonely race, taking a spectacular lead of 11 seconds behind Anand R from Chennai, who finished second. The gap between second and third place was nearly five seconds, with Venkatesan rounding off the podium.
The last race of the day, race 8 for Girls 200cc category in TVS one make race series saw more drama, as RC Czimkhy suffered a massive crash and sustained injuries. Despite the crash, she finished the race in an impressive eighth position. This race was more of a battle between Ryhana Bee and Ann Jennifer. Ann was leading the race initially with Ryhana behind her trail. Both racers took a gigantic 34 second lead over the rest of the pack! But eventually Ryhana got the better of Ann to grab the top honours, while Ann had to settle for second. Priyanka Kochar (yes, @Bikewithgirl in Instagram) put a stellar performance, starting sixth on the grid, she took an early lead in the first lap itself and jumped one position. She was racing hard behind Supriya BS to snatch the lead from her and bag the third position.
As a bonus at the end of the day, a drag racing practice session was also held. Small, lightweight, 130cc two stroke motorcycles with skinny tyres thundered down the main straight. Check out the video in our Twitter handle to hear the exhaust note.
Here are the results:
Super Sport Indian (165cc, 4 laps) – Race 1: 1. Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda Ten 10 Racing) (07min, 51.210sec); 2. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) (07:53.966); 3. Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten 10 Racing) (07:54.735).
Pro-Stock (165cc, 4 laps) – Race 1: 1. Anish Shetty (Idemitsu Honda Ten 10 Racing) (08: 36.405); 2. Senthil Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten 10 Racing) (08:36.455); 3. Naresh Babu (RACR) (08:37.318).
Girls (Novice, 165cc, 5 laps): 1. Ann Jennifer AS (Sparks Racing) (11:35.960); 2. Alisha Abdullah (Team Alisha Abdullah) (11:38.525); 3. Sruthi Nagarajan (Apex Racing) (11:38.649).
Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup 2018 organised by MMSC – Open (CBR 250cc, 6 laps) Race 1: 1. Anish D Shetty (Hubbali) (12:39.833); 2. Abhishek Vasudev (Bengaluru) (12:39.963); 3. Amit Richard Toppo (Ranchi) (12:40.409).
Novice (CBR 150cc) Race 1: 1. Mohamed Mikail (Chennai) (13:10.085); 2. Akshay V Murali (Kerala) (13:27.386); 3. Anandhu KK (Chennai) (13:38.297).
TVS One-Make Championship – Open (Apache R310) Race 1: 1. Amarnath Menon (Calicut) (12:22.067); 2. Vivek Pillai (Chennai) (12:22.529); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai) (12: 22.811).
Novice (Apache 200) Race 1: 1. Karthik Mateti (Hyderabad) (13:41.697); 2. Anand R (Chennai) (13:52.409); 3. Venkatesan (Chennai) (13:58.514).
Girls (Apache 200, 5 laps): 1. Ryhana Bee (Chennai) (11:46.202); 2. Ann Jennifer (Chennai) (11:47.052); 3. Priyanka Kochar (Mumbai) (12:21.837).