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Season’s maiden success for Rahil Shetty
International rider Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) notched his third win in a row in the Pro-Stock 165cc class while Hyderabad’s Rahil Shetty (Sparks Racing) kept his nerves and wits to pull off a brilliant victory in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc category on the second day of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship Round 3 at the MMRT, here on Saturday.
Also scoring impressive wins on the day in the National Championship were Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty who led a podium sweep for Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing in the Pro-Stock 201-300cc category and Venkatesan who topped the Novice (Stock 165cc) race.
Sethu, who missed the first round due to international commitments, is in a catch-up mode in the championship stakes, and his hat-trick of wins took him to third on the leaderboard with 75 points behind TVS Racing’s Jagan Kumar (94) and team-mate Sarath Kumar (78) going into Sunday’s second race.
The trio was involved in a thrilling battle that went down to the wire with Sethu, having overcome a poor start from pole position, managed to get past seven-time National champion Jagan on the last lap for a well-deserved win while Sarath followed the TVS Racing ace home. Less than a second separated the three podium finishers.
Equally superb win was that of 21-year old Rahil Shetty who battled not just his rivals but also his own error-filled riding before squeezing past TVS Racing pair of Deepak Ravikumar and KY Ahamed in the last lap. Despite the second-place finish, Ravikumar continues to lead the championship in this category with 86 points, followed by Ahamed (73) while Shetty (35) is placed seventh.
Racing on the same grid as the 301-400cc bikes, Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty logged his second consecutive win with team-mates Abhishek Vasudev and Aravind Balakrishnan following him home. Saturday’s win took Anish’s tally to 65, well ahead of Mathan Kumar of Erula Racing (47) and Vasudev (45).
Earlier, in yet another close race, Venkatesan also registered his first win of the season in the Novice class after battling Mohan Babu (Rockers Racing) and Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing) over six laps. Lakshmipathy Balaji (Alpha Racing) missed out on the podium by a whisker as the four crossed the finish line covered by less than a second.