Coimbatore: National Supercross championship leader Harith Noah sort of announced his rally credentials when he defeated his TVS Racing teammate R Natraj in his first try in rally racing, at the Round 5 of the MRF MoGrip FMSCI National 2-wheel rally championship here on Sunday.
Noah was the trump card that TVS played after the Shoranur rider expressed his intentions to try hands in rally racing a few weeks ago.
“I just came here without much of practice. These rally bikes are heavy too, and even though I missed out on some corners and went awry, I controlled soon after to take the chequered flag,” Noah said after beating Natraj in a exciting battle.
Noah clocked 46 minutes 33 seconds to go 56.90-km course over two stages to be done twice over. Natraj was home in 46:48, while N Sanjay Kumar sneaked in for the third place in overall standings with 50:13 on
“The route was very challenging and I enjoyed riding the stages,” said Noah. “This is one of the best event I have taken part in and though I am undecided over whether to branch out to rallying, but it was real fun and in enjoyed every moment of the rally,” said the TVS Racing rider.
This time around, unlike last year, there were two Special Stages, the LMW Stage (14.5 km) and the Premier Stage (13.95 km).
Nataraj, who leads the championship after winning three of the four rounds held earlier, will need to finish in the final round to win the title.
R Nataraj was brilliant in the most part of the day and had a great chance to win the Coimbator Rally but he was out done by Harith Noah.
Forty eight riders took part in the rally organised by Coimbatore Auto Sports Club, while local lad SR Karthik won the Star of Tamil Nadu category exclusively for riders from Tamil Nadu.
The rally was flagged off from Kethanur and finished at AR Hall, Puliakulam Road with Amarnath, District Manager MRF Ltd giving away the prizes.
Provisional overall classification: 1. Harith Noah (TVS Racing, RTR 450FX) 46:33, 2. R Nataraj (TVS Racing, RTR 450FX) 46:48, 3. N Sanjay Kumar (CRF450) 50:13.
Class 1: 1. Harith Noah (TVS Racing, RTR 450FX) 46:33, 2. R Nataraj (TVS Racing, RTR 450FX) 46:48.
Class 1A: 1. Sanjay Kumar (CRF450) 50:13, 2. Asad Khan 50:46, 3. Yuvakumar 52:15.
Class 2: 1. Mahesh Chandu (YBX125) 1:01:47, 2. SD Yuvarasha 1:11:24; 3. Pradeep N (YBX125) 1:13:52.
Class 3: 1. K. Saravanakumar 56:26, 2. Imran Pasha (TVS Racing, RTR 160CC) 57:20, 3. V Trinesh (Hero Impulse) 57:46.
Class 4: 1. Rajendra RE (TVS Racing, RTR200) 53:55; D Sachin (TVS Racing, RTR200) 57:35, 3. Shardul Sharma (Hero Karizma) 59:28.
Class 5: 1. Venu Rameshkumar (PK Racing, Duke 390) 58:09, 2. Neeraj Samarth 58:21, 3. T Vijay Kumar (Duke 390) 1:05:19.
Class 6: 1. Prabhu Chandramohan (Enfield Bullet) 1:03:55, 2. D Vignesh Prabhu 1:08:27, 3. Madhusudhan (Himalayan) 1:09:34.
Class 7 (Scooter): 1. Syed Asif Ali (TVS Racing) 1:02:42, Shamim Khan 1:04:51; 3. Pinkesh Thakkar (Aprilia SR150) 1:06:24.
Class 8 (Ladies): 1. Gurumail Kaur Sonotra (Ten 10 Racing) 1:12:26, 2. S Shreya (TVS Racing, RTR 200 4V) 1:17:31, 3. Fazeela U (Apache RTR200) 1:18:12.
Class 9 (Locals): 1. SR Karthik 1:02:26, 2. P Shivakumar 1:02:50, 3. Jaideep Joshi 1:05:51.