Coimbatore, June 7 (IANS) The rolon round of the MRF national motorcycle racing championship 2018, commencing here at the Kari Motor Speedway on Friday heralds a new season that promises plenty of top-drawer action amidst a few innovations designed to unearth fresh talent.
The five-round national championship programme also includes One-Make Championships (OMC) for two of country’s leading two-wheeler manufacturers, TVS and Honda, both of whom have tweaked their respective events to make them more competitive and representative of pan-India talent.
The national championship comprises four categories — the top-end Super Sport Indian Open (165cc) which boasts of country’s top riders and dominated by TVS Racing and Honda Ten10 Racing teams, Pro-Stock 301-400cc, Pro-Stock 165cc and Stock 165cc (Novice and Girls).
A big step forward this year is the decision by title sponsors MRF to provide slick tyres for bikes in Super Sport Indian (165cc) and Pro-Stock (301-400cc) classes from Round 2 to be held at the MMRT circuit in Chennai next month.
The slicks which afford better grip than the conventional tyres, will see higher cornering speeds and consequently, improved timings.
The growing popularity of two-wheeler racing is reflected in the fact that the organisers, Madras Motor Sports Club, have received close to 200 entries with a good mix of established and Novice riders.
Last season, the Novice class that the MMSC has been actively promoting in a bid to rope in fresh talent, proved to be the most competitive and attracted riders in huge numbers, necessitating qualifying heats to identify the grid for the point-scoring race.
Likewise, the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup 2018 organised by MMSC generated encouraging response from across the country to the initial selection process that eventually whittled the number to 36 riders, who will compete this weekend for the 16 slots available for the points-scoring race in the Open class (CBR 250).
The Novice (CBR 150) class for those under 21 years of age, will join the championship from the next round in Chennai in July.
The TVS One-Make Championship 2018 organised by MMSC has competitions in three categories — Open (Apache RR 310), Novice (Apache RTR 200) and Girls (Apache RTR 180) — besides races for Media (Apache RTR 200).
The Open class has a string of riders of proven ability like Deepak Ravikumar, Vivek Pillai, Arun Muthukrishnan, Abhishek Vasudev and Amarnath Menon, last year’s champion in the 300-400cc category.
The 15-strong grid for girls is headlined by Rehana Bee, Haridharani and Haritha R.
The weekend card has a total of 14 races apart from practice and qualifying sessions, and heats in the Novice class.