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.
Thirteen-year-old Aaron Gunawardena riding his semi modified Suzuki Gixxer 150 stunned Indian riders when he posted the fastest timing at practice and qualifying in the under 24 one make event at the Kari Speedway Circuit in Coimbatore. Kari Motor Speedway is a purpose built auto racing circuit or race track, located in Orratukuppai, Chettipalayam, Coimbatore, India. The track’s length is currently 2.1 km. It was inaugurated in 2003, in memory of Late Shri. S. Karivardhan Naidu or “KARI” as he was affectionately known. Most of the Indian riders were amazed as Aaron has never seen or ridden the circuit before and never had a go on a Suzuki Gixxer.
The young pacesetter not only ended up winning both his events but helped many Indian riders improve by using his racing lines to corner and exit faster. Suzuki India has their eyes glued on the young Lankan and fervently hopes he would be able to participate at their championships in future, as most of the under 24 riders ended up bettering their all-time lap records, and beating all riders from the open event too.
Aaron’s performance has not only secured a slot for him in the Indian Championships, it has also opened doors for elder brother Jaden to run in the higher capacity events in India.
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)
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