Chennai : If the action-packed lung-opener a fortnight back is any guide, then more fireworks are in the offing in the second round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2021, commencing September 10 at the MMRT circuit behind closed doors due to the ongoing Covid-19 related restrictions.
There is much to enthuse about the national championship whose growing popularity is reflected in the 100-plus entries across all categories.
The national championship comprises Pro-Stock 301-400cc, Pro-Stock 165cc, Novice (Stock 165cc) and Girls (Stock 165cc) classes with all bikes running on MRF tyres which have received thumbs up from the competitors.
“The response to the championship this year has been quite extraordinary considering the challenging times we are in due to the Covid-19 situation and consequent restrictions. One notable feature is that the riders are not only getting more competitive, but also younger with the numbers growing steadily year-on-year,” MMSC president Ajit Thomas said.
The 18-race card also includes TVS and Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup One-Make Championships organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club.
TVS are showcasing their Apache machines in the Open (RR 310), Rookie (Under-19 age group) and Girls (both RTR 200) categories, all of which have attracted sizable entries.
In the first round last month, Honda introduced the Hornet 2.0 via a double-header as a support event to their top-end NSF 250R which is of World Championship Moto3 spec, and the CBR 150.
KTM and Yamaha too have a sizable presence while offering support in a variety of ways to some 17 teams that are in the fray across all categories. Thus, the championship is a confluence of leading manufacturers and the best of Indian racing talent.
The competition in Round 2 is expected to be even more sharper with front-runners looking to add to their tally of points.
Veterans Rajini Krishnan (RACR) and Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) put on a brilliant exhibition of their undoubted riding skills with a double apiece in the premier Pro-Stock classes, 301-400cc and 165cc, respectively. The duo will again be the cynosure this weekend.
The Novice category has been an eye-opener with entries filling up well ahead of the deadline for submission. As such, the double-header last month boasted of a 39-bike grid, the biggest in the championship with Alwin Sundar winning both the races.
The girls category, an initiative launched by MMSC a few seasons ago, has improved in quality with lap times going down with Ryhana Bee (RACR) winning the race last month.