There is a sense of heightened expectations of tight fights for titles ahead of the fifth and final round of the MRF MMSC-Fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Championship to be held at the Madras International Circuit here over three days from Friday (September 30).
Commanding most attention over the weekend are the two premier categories, Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open and Pro-Stock 165cc Open where the battle for the championships could go down to the wire, going by the extremely close races this season that has attracted nearly 200 entries for each round.
Promoters Madras Motor Sports Club, celebrating its 70th anniversary, has put together a 20-race card for the weekend.
"It has been an exciting season thus far with India's top riders and two-wheeler manufacturers, Honda, TVS, Yamaha and KTM, battling for honours, with our sponsors, MRF Tyres, providing invaluable support. The final weekend should see a continuation of the trend of close races that has kept everyone on the edge of the seat," said MMSC president Ajit Thomas.
Veteran Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power1), in sight of his 11th National career title, has 161 points in the kitty going into the Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open double-header that offers a maximum of 50 points. Placed behind him on the leaderboard are Petronas TVS Racing's KY Ahamed (126) and Deepak Ravikumar (125). Thus, Rajini needs 16 more points this weekend to seal the championship.
It is a three-way battle in the Pro-Stock 165cc category involving Pacer Yamaha's Mathana Kumar (126 points), Rajiv Sethu of Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing (109) and Prabhu Arunagiri (Pacer Yamaha, 104) ahead of the twin races.
Hubballi's Sarvesh Balappa (Axor Sparks Racing), with five wins and a podium finish from eight races so far, has taken an unassailable 58-point lead in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category while Ann Jennifer (Alpha Racing), the 2020 champion, has a slender nine-point advantage over Mumbai's Jagruthi Kiran Penkar (Axor Sparks Racing) in the Girls (Stock 165cc) class.
Pune youngster Sarthak Chavan enjoys a 30-point advantage in the NSF 250R class of the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup while Kolhapur's Raheesh Mudassar Khatri is virtually assured of the crown in the Novice (CBR 150) category with eight wins from eight starts.
The Petronas TVS One-Make Championship organised by MMSC comprises four categories -- Open (Apache RR 310), Rookie, Girls and Media (all RTR 200). Hyderabad's Rahil Pillarisetty requires only five more points from two races this weekend to clinch the title in the Open class, while Bengaluru teenager Chiranth Viswanath has effectively sealed the championship in the Rookie category having won all eight races so far, and Aditi Krishnan, also from Bengaluru, with four wins from as many outings, enjoys an unbeatable lead in the Girls class.