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Gulf Cup Dirt Track Racing: Mohammad Ali humbles famed motorcycle riders

Wednesday March 02, 2011 07:51:39 PM, Pervez Bari,

Bhopal lad Mohammad Ali Khan with his trophy after winning the Novice class for motorbikes up to 165cc 2-stroke in the Clash of Titans in the Gulf Cup Dirt Track Racing

Bhopal: The 21-year-old young novice Bhopal lad Mohammad Ali Khan was the cynosure of all eyes as he humbled famed motorcycle riders in the Clash of Titans in the Gulf Cup Dirt Track Racing in the Novice class for motorbikes up to 165cc 2-stroke to emerge with flying colours.

Dashing and adventurous Mohammad Ali, who is a trainee pilot, riding on his Yamaha – 135 gave the home fans lots to cheer as he beat back a stiff challenge from Santosh Kumar of Coimbatore to win the seven laps race and make his parents proud.

Santosh Kumar stood second while Suhail Ahmed of Bangalore was placed third in the race. Mohammad Ali was presented a glittering trophy and certificate along with a cheque of Rs. 22,500/- as first prize. Santosh and Suhail received trophies, certificates and cheques of Rs. 15000/- and Rs. 12000/- as second and third prize respectively.

It may be mentioned here that a day earlier Mohammad Ali Khan had finished second behind Muzaffar Ali in the Local Class Group C – Motorcycles up to 165cc – 2 stroke in the third leg of the Gulf Dirt Track Racing. He had received Rs. 2300/- cheque for his efforts.

Talking to this Correspondent after the race elated Mohammad Ali said that this is the second year when he participated for the second time in the race. “This is my biggest achievement”, he exclaimed. When asked about his ideal he revealed that it is none other but Syed Asif Ali, also of Bhopal, who dominated on the scenes of motorsports winning the title of India's most skillful rider in 2007.

A beaming Mr. Mohammad Sarwar Khan, father of Mohammad Ali, while distributing sweets following the spectacular success of his progeny informed that his son has completed 152 of his 200 hours Commercial Pilot training course schedule. He is undergoing pilot training in the Madhya Pradesh Flying Club at Bhopal, he added.

Meanwhile, India’s leading riders gave Bhopal’s motorsport fans something to shout about as they went through the motions in the third leg of the Gulf Dirt Track Racing and Clash of Titans at the BHEL Dussehra Ground over the weekend. If they got a glimpse of what dirt track racing was all about when the third leg of the event, organized by Sportscraft, was run on Saturday, the Clash of the Titans, which pitted only the best riders of the previously held legs in Hyderabad, Nasik and Bhopal, that followed on Sunday was a virtual feast of top class riding.

Bangalore’s Naresh VS of TVS Racing Team was the toast of the crowd which had gathered in large numbers, with teenagers dominating the scene, to cheer the riders performing dare devil feats to their heart content. Naresh scored a rare double when he stood first in both races of Motorcycles up to 130cc and 165cc 4 strokes categories in which he participated. He garnered total prize money of Rs. 45,000/- from the two races along with trophies and certificates.

While in motorcycles up to 130cc race Santosh Kumar of Coimbatore and Sarath KP of Calicut were placed second and third to earn Rs. 15,000/- and Rs. 12000/- respectively as prize money. In the race up to 165cc Yasir Ishaq a local lad, and 17-year-old Siddanth Nayak of Bangalore, the youngest competitor in the race, finished second and third respectively to pocket Rs. 15000/- and Rs. 12000/- cheques accordingly as prize money.

Arvind K. P. and H. K. Pradeep of TVS Racing Team came up with brilliant displays in the Clash of the Titans to emerge the undisputed kings of dirt track motorcycle racing in India. The Bangalore riders Arvind and Pradeep showed the class champions are made of to upset the applecart of their TVS Racing teammate C. S. Santosh, who was favourite going into the Clash of Titans after the brilliant display on Saturday, and take the honours, as the trio proved a distinct class above the field.

Arvind and Pradeep hogged limelight as they won one race each of the two races they participated in the Indian Expert Class Group A Foreign Motorcycles up to 250cc & Group B up to 260cc respectively and remained second accordingly in the other. They relegated CS Santosh to third place in one race and Vishal Barguje, another Bangalore rider, in the other race. Like in the previous rounds, Arvind and Pradeep, astride TVS bikes, were clear winners in the Indian Expert class Group A for foreign motorcycle despite being challenged all the way by CS Santosh and Barguje.

Arvind and Pradeep laid hands over cheques of Rs. 45,000/- (Rs. 27,000/- + Rs. 18000/-) each as both of them won first and second places in the two races. While CS Santosh and Barguje who each finished third in the two races received Rs. 13,500/- cheques each as prize money.

Much was anticipated from this Clash of the Titans, and none disappointed as they went through the motions on a specially-laid out course at high speeds, their superbly prepared bike raising a dust storm all over. The course laid out by organizers Sportscraft was really tough. In addition to the sharp bends there was also loose gravel and slushy areas to negotiate, which made riding a dicey proposition, but all riders displayed excellent skills to come through this test of man and machine in flying colours.

If the above-named champions dazzled, Coimbatore’s R. Prakash was not far behind in his riding skills as he grabbed top notch in the Private Expert Class for foreign motorcycles up to 250cc - 2 & 4 stroke. Prakash was challenged all the way by Nasik’s Shamim Khan and Vineet Kurup but clever maneuvering around the sharp bends won him the day. Khan and Kurup could only be placed second and third in one of the two races.

Prakash after trailing to Jatin Jain of Nagpur in the first lap turned up the accelerator of his bike full throttle to overtake him and maintained his lead through out to finish first. Jatin probably due to cramps could not maintain his lead and continued to slide down to end up last among the five competitors. Khan and Kurup moving neck and neck continued to push up leaving behind veteran Badal Doshi of Mumbai to fourth place and finished second and third in the race.

While Prakash finished second behind Girish KC of Kerala and Firoz Khan of Aurangabad came third in the Group B – Motorcycles up to 260cc – 2 & 4 stroke.

Prakash pocketed Rs. 48,000/- (Rs. 28,000/- + Rs. 20,000/-) cheques, apart from trophies and certificates, in the two races in which he took part. While Khan and Kurup received Rs. 20,000/- and Rs. 15,000/- cheques respectively. Girish gained Rs. 28,000/- cheque plus trophy for his top finish in the Group B – Motorcycles up to 260cc – 2 & 4 stroke and Firoz got Rs. 15000/- cheque for his third spot in the race.

For riders and public which came in large numbers, this Gulf Oil event was certainly one to remember. They had two days of two-class action from the best riders and their bikes. The manner in which it was conducted left no room for complain from any quarter. After all, Sportscraft’s usual competence in running events with clock-like precision made it possible.

Mr. Shrikant Karani, the enterprising Chairman Organising Committee and founder member of Sportscraft which organized the event, appeared pleased as punch at the successful completion of the event. It may be mentioned here that Sportscraft, which was started by Mr. Shrikant Karani, was named in the Limca Book of Records in 2007 for achieving the landmark of organising 250 motorsport events from 1984 to 2006. Up till now the Sportscraft has organized over 300 events.

It may be pointed out here that the event was sponsored by Gulf Oil Corporation Limited, (GOCL). The GOCL or simply Gulf Oil, which is a Hinduja Group Company and is more than 100 years old with its famous Orange Disc Logo, is present in more than 90 countries globally. Gulf Oil is renowned for its association with motor sports internationally with the famous Lemans 24hrs endurance race and Gulf Cup Dirt Track Racing in India.







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