A strong start to the Indian National Motorcycle Championship for the Honda Racing India team

Coimbatore: The IDEMITSU Honda SK69 Racing team began its points tally on Saturday with a podium finish in the first Pro-Stock 165cc race of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (INMRC) at Kari Motor Speedway, here.

IDEMITSU Honda SK 69 Racing’s Rajiv Sethu led Honda’s charge. Championship class PS165 cc. While morning qualifying had placed Rajiv Sethu 5th on the race grid, the afternoon race saw him return to the track fully loaded to earn valuable points for the team.

Starting the race fearlessly, he gave tough competition to the other riders and kept his performance consistent until the last lap. Making the most of a drama-filled race, Rajiv came home in 3rd, earning 15 points for the team. While his teammate Senthil Kumar managed to finish 8th despite the technical problem of the machine.

Speaking at the inaugural round of the 2022 season, Prabhu Nagaraj – Director of Operations, Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd said: “We have started the 2022 season with good spirits. Today, we saw strong performances from our youngsters as well as experienced riders.Despite the slow start to qualifying, Rajiv brought us a podium finish in the 165cc Pro-Stock class of the national championship.Our young riders in the IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup gave us impressed with their outstanding performances. Sarthak with his international exposure showed his racing prowess and won the NSF250R race.”

“On the other side, Raheesh Khatri and Siddesh Sawant battled it out at full power in the CBR150R. Our new platform, Honda Hornet 2.0 One Make Race further gave racing enthusiasts the opportunity and saw moments exciting experiences from our customers while enjoying and learning new skills and techniques. As all the riders are equipped and motivated, we are ready for better results tomorrow.”

On Saturday, eleven millennial riders from the IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup NSF250R showed the utmost confidence and rode confidently around the circuit. With previous experience riding the Moto3 NSF250R machine on domestic and international circuits, Sarthak Chavan recorded the fastest ever lap of 1:12.785 at Kari Motor Speedway.

Motivated by his morning performance, the boy from Pune led Race 1 from start to finish. Total time of 12:24.392. He was followed home by Shyam Babu from Chennai at 12:40.808. In third place was AS James of Bengaluru. While Mohsin P de Velachery recorded the best lap in 1:32.210 in the race but he unfortunately crashed on the 4th lap.

Race 1 of the CBR150R class saw two-way racing action between Raheesh Khatri and pole starter Siddesh Sawant until the checkered flag. Starting 7th on the grid, Raheesh Khatri quickly fought his way to the top position from the start himself. From there, the younger rider kept his composure until the end and took his first win with a time of 14:46.340. Continuing the fight, Siddesh Sawant of Kolhapur managed to pass Raheesh on the last lap but settled for 2nd place, just 0.068 seconds behind Raheesh.

Siddesh clocked the fastest lap of 1:27.227 in Saturday’s race. Chennai boy Shyam Babu completed the podium with a total time of 15:06.707. Saturday turned out to be an unfortunate day for Harshit Bogar as he was unable to start the race due to a crash on the formation lap as rookies Beedani Rajendera and Pothu Vignesh crashed out after 5 laps.

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