Hubballi rider Sarvesh Balappa grabs pole position in Novice category

Chennai, July 8 (FN Agency) Riding high on confidence, Sarvesh Balappa (Axor Sparks Racing),an engineering student from Hubballi, took the pole position in the Novice (Stock 165cc)category as the second round of the MRF MMSC-FMSCI Indian National MotorcycleRacing Championship 2022 commenced at the Madras International Circuit, here onFriday.Balappa, who had scored a double in the first round last month in Coimbatore, clocked abest lap of 2 mins 07.613secs in the qualifying session to take P1 for the race tomorrow(Saturday) which will see a grid of 37 riders. Completing the front row were Hyderabad’sMd Samrul Zubair (Raceists Motorcycle Club, 02:08.202) and Kayan Zubin Patel fromMumbai (Axor Sparks Racing, 02:08.406).Earlier, veteran Rajini Krishnan, looking to build on the grand double he scored in theprevious round last month, set the pace in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc categoryduring the Free Practice session in the morning. The defending champion clocked abest lap of 01:53.569 to edge out Petronas TVS Racing’s KY Ahamed (01:53.845)and Deepak Ravikumar (01:54.190). Ravikumar, however, emerged the quickest in the Pro-Stock 165cc category in theafternoon with a time of 01:57.400, just ahead of Pacer Yamaha duo of PrabhuArunagiri (01:58.116) and first round winner Mathana Kumar (01:58.329).

Ravikumar will be carrying Petronas TVS Racing team’s hopes as their lead riderand defending champion Jagan Kumar is skipping this round due to a fracture onhis right wrist following a crash in the first round at Coimbatore last month.In the Girls (Stock 165cc) category, Puducherry’s Lani Zena Fernandez (RACRCastrol Ultimate1) headed the time sheets with a top lap of 02:10.686 duringthe practice session, pipping Round-1 winner Ann Jennifer of Alpha Racing(02:10.753) and last year’s champion Pacer Yamaha’s Ryhana Bee (02:12.116).Chennai’s Mohan Babu grabbed the pole position in the Open category(Apache RR310) of the Petronas TVS One-Make Championship with ahot lap of 01:56.054, ahead of local challenger K Kannan (01:56.333)and Hyderabad’s Rahil Pillarisetty (01:56.358).In the Girls section (Apache RTR 200), Bengaluru’s Aditi Krishnan (02:12.532)and Renuka Gajendran (02:14.525) qualified for P1 and P2, respectively, withAnanya Awasthi from Chennai (02:15.349) qualifying third.The Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup saw Kolhapur’s Siddesh Sawant takingthe pole position (02:07.859) in the Novice (CBR 150) category while last year’schampion Kavin Quintal, who missed the first round, marked his return byemerging the quickest (01:50.316) in the Free Practice session in the NSF 250Rcategory, ahead of first round winner and arch-rival Sarthak Shrikant Chavan(01:52.604).