A grand success

THE third round of the MRF National motocross championship at Coimbatore will go into history as one of the well-organised events in the country. A 20,000-strong crowd gathered to witness the proceedings.

Team TVS Racing's G. Prasad (right) and Dyanesh Barguje in action. Prasad won the first moto in the 81 to 150 cc Group B category.-SCORP NEWS

This was the first time that motocross was conducted in the city where most of the motorsport personalities live.

Around 600 metres of dirt track laid out at the VOC Park Ground challenged the speedsters with four jumps, four table tops, one double jump, and a series of whoop-de-doos. Two motos (races) per category for the five classes was the agenda for the race day, each of them racing for different number of laps - the Foreign bikes (12 lap races), the Experts (eight lap races), the Novice and the 4-stroke (six lap races), and the Locals (five lap races).

The first moto of the day was the 12-lapper for the imported solo motorcycles Group A up to 250 cc. Ten of the best Indian riders participated but it was the newcomer Vikas Wayal who took the hole-shot perfectly to lead the pack with Dyanesh and Rustom trailing him. It was rather unfortunate that Nippy's (Nipendar) RM Suzuki engine failed twice early in the first lap. The Delhiite was unperturbed as he passed eight bikers in the 12 laps, but had to be content with third place behind leader Vikas and runner-up Dyanesh.

Vikas, who rode a CR Honda, was competing on a foreign motorcycle in only the second race of his career and said, "My bike was my advantage." The 24-year-old, who rode a Yamaha in the Novice Class, runs a two-wheeler mechanic workshop in Nanapeth, Pune.

Twentythree local entrants lined up for the next event which was a 5-lap race. It was a record number for this class in the championship. This class that brings the fresh local talent, saw Abraham Jacob take the hole-shot and soar into the lead. There was no looking back and he led from gate to flag to win the race comfortably.

Eleven Indian bikes took part in the 81 to 150 cc Group B category with Team TVS Racing fielding as many as five riders. The five seconds board replaced the 15 seconds board. The 1999 Group D National Rally champion from Bangalore, G. Prasad, on a pepped up Shaolin, took the hole-shot. Behind him was team-mate R. H. Vikram, twice overall National Rally runner-up, and Dyanesh from TVS. Roopesh,who was running low at fourth position, planned his strategy and moved up by the fifth lap. He made his move in the final lap and overtook both Vikram and Dyanesh to finish second. Abraham Joseph, the winner of the Local Class was going well in the first two laps at fourth position, but pulled out when a stray banner cloth got stuck and entangled in his rear wheel.

The Novice Class for Indian stock bikes up to 150 cc, saw a swelling line-up of 25 riders, which again, was a record. The Coimbatore rider C. Vijaya Kumar took the hole-shot in this six-lapper. With hardly any challenge he won the moto comfortably.

The six-lapper for the 4-stroke Indian Bikes 81 to 175 cc was the next race with six out of the 10 riders from Team TVS Racing on Fiero motorcycles. T. K. Viswanath from Bangalore, racing for TVS, who took the hole-shot, went into the lead and never looked back before taking the chequered flag. Viswanath, who has been racing at the Sriperumbudur circuit, shot into fame during the All-India motor race meet a couple of years ago.

Nipendar Jassy, winner of the Group A foreign bikes up to 250 cc event.-SCORP NEWS

The races were conducted as per schedule and at the end of every moto, there was a dance performance on centrestage followed by the medal presentation for the winners. Rajaram, an ex-rallyist from Coimbatore, gave commentary in English and Tamil, and provided the spectators with all details on the riders, the dignitaries and the spot.

The second set of motos for the various classes started with the Experts Class eight-lap race. G. Prasad of TVS Racing, who won the first moto in this class, took the hole-shot and was speeding well in front, with team-mate B. C. Roopesh hot on his heels. This went on until the last lap when Roopesh lunged forward at the last hump and just managed to cross the finish line ahead of Prasad. B. C. Roopesh is in the lead with 114 points followed by Dyanesh with 94, and G. Prasad with 87, all from Team TVS Racing.

The second moto for the Novice Class saw C. D. Jinan lead from gate to the end of the fourth lap. But luck eluded him as his back tyre suffered a puncture and he had to concede the top position to C. Vijayakumar of Bangalore (who won the first moto) on a platter. Team TVS Racing's Shiv Kumar still leads the championship for this class with 103 points, followed by Rustom Patel with 98, and T. K. Viswanath with 90 points.

The five-lap second moto was next in the schedule for the local riders. C. D. Jinan took his revenge on Abraham, the winner of the earlier moto and the other riders, as he led comfortably from gate to flag, much to the relief of the local crowd.

The last event of the meet was the moto for the solo foreign motorcycles. National champion Nipendar was in the lead all the way through the 12 laps, and registered yet another win in his career. He was followed by Dyanesh and Roopesh. Dyanesh of TVS leads the championship in this class with 102 points, followed by Roopesh (TVS) with 85, Rustom with 77 and Vikas Wayal with 76.

Points are awarded to the first 15 finishers in each moto and the points thus gained are added after every round to decide the National champion.

The results: Leaders (both motos combined):

Foreign Bikes up to 250 cc (Group A): 1. Nipendar Jassy (Team TVS Racing) 35 points; 2. Dyanesh Barguje (Team TVS Racing) 34; 3. Vikas Wayal (Team Pune) 30; 4. B. C. Roopesh (Team TVS Racing) 28; 5. Rustom Patel (Team TVS Racing) 24.

Experts Class Indian Bikes 81 to 150 cc Group B: 1. B. C. Roopesh (Team TVS Racing) 37 points; 2. G. Prasad (Team TVS Racing) 37; 3. Dyanesh Barguje (Team TVS Racing) 28; 4. R. H. Vikram (Team TVS Racing) 28.

Four Stroke Class Indian Bikes 81 to 175 cc Group D: 1. T. K. Vishwanath (Team TVS Racing) 40 points; 2. Rustom Patel (Team TVS Racing) 32; 3. Shiv Kumar (Team TVS Racing) 28; 4. G. Prasad (Team TVS Racing) 26; 5. R. Srinivas (Team TVS Racing) 26.

Novice Indian Bikes up to 150 cc (Group B): 1. C. Vijaya Kumar 40 points; 2. Yogesh Barguje 34; 3. Sunil Mohite 30.

Local Class (Group D Bikes): 1. Abraham Jacob; 2. Satish Babu; 3. N. Ramajayam; 4. N. Rajeshwaran; 5. Shiv Kumar.

- Scorp News