Anish Shetty survives close fight for a thrilling win, Jagan Kumar annexes 10th National title
Chennai, February 4, 2022
Bengaluru-based Anish Damodara Shetty (Race Concepts), astride a KTM 390, shrugged off a hip injury, to win a thrilling race in the Pro-Stock 301-400cc category in the fifth and final round of the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship at the MMRT, here on Friday.
Meanwhile Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) finished third in the premier Pro-Stock 165cc race, but the 15 points were enough to fetch him his 10th National crown with a race to spare
Anish Shetty, who suffered a hit on the right side of the hip after a highspeed high-side crash during the qualifying session a couple of hours earlier, managed to scramble from a P3 start to the front after a battle with front-running pole-sitter Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing).Also in the pack was Rahil Shetty (Gusto Racing).
As the six-lap race progressed, KY Ahamed made two places to tuck in behind Anish Shetty and Rahil as the trio crossed the finish line in that order.
In the process, Anish moved within 22 points of leader Rajini Krishnan (RACR Castrol Power1 Ultimate) for whom it was a disastrous outing as he crashed in the second lap and finished without a point in12th.
“It was a tough race to win especially after my crash earlier in the day. In the qualifying a couple of hours before the race, I had a high-side crash on the back sweep on just my second hot lap. I must have been doing about 135-140Kmph,” said Anish
“I landed on the right side of the hip. Luckily, I didn’t suffer any other injuries, but the team did a fantastic job in getting the bike ready for the race. I had a twitch on the right side and so I couldn’t lean much on the right-hand turns,” he added.
Keeping the title in sight, 33-year old Jagan rode a conservative race and was content to finish third behind winner and team-mate KY Ahamed who broke the Honda hearts by passing race leader Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda SK69 Racing) entering the start-finish straight on the final lap.
An ecstatic Jagan, 33, said: “The No. 10 title was always my goal. In fact, after I won title No. 5, I said I would like to double it, but people laughed. Anyway, I am extremely happy to have sealed the championship and it has been a long and difficult journey for me. Today, I did not really push in the race as I wanted to pick up the points I needed for the championship.”
Jagan, who had started the season with a hat-trick of wins, moved to 174 points, well clear of Rajiv Sethu (134), Deepak Ravikumar (128) and Ahamed (124) with just one more race to be run tomorrow (Saturday) and a maximum of 25 points on offer.
Also hogging the limelight on the day was Thrissur’s Allwin Xavier (Sparks Racing) who won both the races in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category to move to third spot on the championship leaderboard. Alwin Sundar (AS Motorsports), with two second-place finishes today, took a 16-point lead over another Thrissur rider Anfal Akdhar (Rockstar Racing) to head the championship standings in this category with one more race to be run Saturday.