Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship: Jagan Kumar wins his fifth race of the season
Jagan Kumar of TVS Racing underlined his status as one of the best riders in the country as he chalked up his fifth win of the season despite starting last on the grid to seal the title in the top-end Group B (Open) class in the fifth and final round of the MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship at the MMRT track in Chennai on Saturday.
The stunning win took Jagan Kumar's tally to 137 points, well clear of his nearest rival and teammate Harry Sylvester (102) who finished third behind another TVS Racing rider, young K.Y. Ahamed who had started from pole position.
With one more race to be run on Sunday and a maximum of 25 points at stake, Jagan Kumar is assured of the title in his class.
Also taking a decisive step towards the title was Mathana Kumar of Ten10 Racing who took the honours in the Group C (Open) category that was run along with the faster Group B bikes.
Mathana also chalked up his fifth win of the season which boosted his points tally to 133 for a 14-point lead over his nearest rival Ananth Raj of Kingdom Racing India who finished a disappointing seventh.
Jagan, among the lightest of riders, came up with yet another eye-catching position after a battery failure in the qualifying session that forced him to start last on the grid. Yet, by the end of the first lap, he had cut through the field and stepped up the pace to win with much to spare.
Teenager Ahamed showcased his talent by taking the pole position but yielded ground during the race to his more experienced teammates Jagan and Sylvester to finish third.
Karnan Kannan, the championship leader in the Group D (165cc, Novice) class, finished second behind Kishore V.S. in the only other race of the day, but picked up crucial 18 points to remain at the top of the leaderboard with 120 points as against the other title contender Aravind Balakrishnan whose third place finish fetched him 15 points for a tally of 109.
Earlier, Sumit Lucas Toppo of Pro-lap Racing grabbed the pole position in the CBR 250 class of the Honda MMSC One-Make Championship while Kishore VS will start first on the grid for the CBR 150 race, ahead of joint title leaders Sivanesan Sethu and Aravind Balakrishnan, both of whom are tied on 141 points.
International rider Sarath Kumar of Ten10 Racing had already clinched the title in the CBR 250 class and opted to skip the race.
Meanwhile, a nine-rider, all-ladies grid took to the track for the qualifying session ahead of Sunday's double header with Pune's Pooja Dabhi taking the pole position. It is the first time ever that an exclusive race for women is being held in the history of Indian motorsport.