Honda rider Sarath concedes top spot after Round 3 of INMRC

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Chennai : Seasoned Honda rider Sarath Kumar conceded his track position to arch-rival Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) in the Super Sport Indian (165cc) class, as the third round of the Indian National Motorcycle Racing championship (INMRC) ended at the Madras Motor Racing Track (MMRT) here on Sunday.

In ProStock 165cc class, Idemitsu Honda's Mithun Kumar P.K grabbed the second spot while Senthil Kumar finished third to deliver a double podium for Honda Ten10 racing team.

Local rider Kevin Kannan (Rockers Racing) scored his maiden victory in the category.

Last year's champion Jagan, without a win in the first two rounds this season, closed out a very successful weekend but not without a bitter fight with Honda's Sarath Kumar, who denied TVS Racing a repeat of Saturday's 1-2 finish by pipping K.Y. Ahamed to second place in a thrilling race.

Sarath conceded the top position soon after the start with Jagan and later Ahamed moving past him. However, Sarath fought his way back to overtake Ahamed and then hung on grimly for a well-deserved second spot while Jagan put in consistent laps to emerge a clear winner.

At the end of Round 3, Jagan leads the championship with 112 points, followed by Ahamed (91) while TVS Racing's Deepak Ravikumar who has been consistently picking up points, is in third with 74, just ahead of Sarath Kumar and his Honda team-mate Rajiv Sethu, both tied on 70.

Speaking on the performance of Honda riders, Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President, Brand & Communication, HMSI said: "It was a mixed weekend for us. While our riders bagged 3 out of the 6 podiums in Pro-stock 165, we could add only 2 podiums to our tally in SuperSport 165."

"Mithun was a consistent performer with double podium finish in both races. With Sunday's race, a good 7 of our young finds of Idemitsu Honda India CBR 150R Talent Cup are now in the top-10," he added.

Meanwhile, 21-year old Kevin Kannan (Rockers), a mechanic from Chennai, recorded his first win of the season in the Pro-Stock 165cc class with a last lap move against leader Mithun Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing).

It was a crucial win for Kannan as he held on to his second place on the leaderboard with 85 points behind leader Anish Shetty (101) of Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing.

Another local lad, Anand Rajendran pulled off a fine win in the Novice (Stock 165cc) race after a tough fight with championship leader Karthik Mateti (Sparks Racing) who, however, maintained his top slot on the leaderboard with 61 points, just three ahead of team-mate Aditya Rao who finished third in Sunday's race.