The Suzuki Gixxer Cup returned for its second season this weekend at Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore with the popular one-make championship supported and run within the 2016 Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championships.
Organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) and approved by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), the 2016 season-opener saw exciting and close racing in both the Open (riders over 23 years old) and the Novice Class, for riders under 23.
This season, Suzuki has taken the Gixxer Cup further by collaborating with the ‘Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup’ which is the launch-pad for young riders, aged 13 to 17, to gain access to the Rookies Cup in Spain and then onto Moto3, Moto2 and eventually MotoGP.
Following the positive feedback from the Suzuki Gixxer Cup in its inaugural year, this season began with overwhelming participation for both Novice and Open classes, and also included riders from adjacent countries: The Novice class had a total of 39 entries and Open, 24 entries; with many on the waiting list to debut the race-prepared 2016 Gixxer SF machine that has been upgraded to use rear disc brakes for more-positive braking control this season.
Saturday saw three qualifying sessions, two slots for Novice riders, where the top 20 riders were selected, and one session for Open, where the top 23 riders qualified for the final race grid. The day ended with the Novice Race 1 where international participant, 13-year-old Aaron Gunawardena, clinched the closely-fought race from Joseph P Mathew with a best lap of 1: 21,161.
Sunday was the most exciting day of the Gixxer Cup weekend with three races lined up: Novice Race 2 had the riders in two groups, racing for first position and then for fourth, both being closely fought to the last lap. Gunawardena emerged the winner again, leaving second position for Joseph P Mathew with Amarnath Rajan third.
The grand finale was the Gixxer Cup Open race which saw the riders battle-it-out right from the start; stiff competition and a tight grid led to a crash followed by a restart, which resulted in an exciting race for the top three. Last year’s frontrunner Meka Viduraj crashed-out in the midst of an intense battle with B Rajnikanth, allowing Rajnikanth a well-earned victory, while second place went to Vivek Mani and third to Prabhu V.
The new Gixxer SFs performed around two seconds a lap faster than last year, clearly showcasing how well the machines and riders have evolved in the past year.
A visit by some 200 enthusiastic Suzuki Gixxer customers from the area added to the atmosphere as they witnessed the Team Suzuki pits, the race bikes and all the racing action up close.
Round two takes the Suzuki Gixxer Cup to the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai on July 21–24th. This will also have the ‘Road to Rookies Cup’ riders run alongside the Novice riders on the same grid; which is another positive evolution of the Suzuki Gixxer Cup series to help young riders develop.
Suzuki Gixxer Cup Results:
Novice Race 1 (6 Laps): 1 Aaron Gunawardena 9:03:050, 2 Joseph P Mathew 9:08:852, 3 Amarnath Rajan 9:17:098.
Best Lap: Aaron Gunawardena 1:21:161 (93.1 kmph)
Novice Race 2 (6 Laps): 1 Aaron Gunawardena 9:15:735, 2 Joseph P Mathew 9:16:580, 3 Amarnath Rajan 9:20:722.
Best Lap: Joseph P Mathew 1:20:645 (93.7 kmph)
Open Race 1 (10 laps): 1 B Rajnikanth 15:17:444, 2 Vivek Mani 15:29:148, 3 Prabhu V 15:30:765.
Best Lap: B Rajnikanth 1:21:224 (93.1kmph)
Open Race 2: Cancelled/ bad weather.
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For more Gixxer Cup information, visit: www.suzukigixxercup.in