Ali, Joshua reign supreme
Bhopal's Mujaffar Ali and Bangalore's Pramod Joshua came up with a brilliant display in the Gulf Cup 'Clash of the Titans' in Bhopal on Sunday to emerge the undisputed kings of dirt track motorcycle racing in India.
Joshua, who showed the stuff champions are made of in the previous legs in Jaipur, Hyderabad and Nashik, again proved a distinct class above the rest of the field featuring only the top riders from the previous rounds in this final leg, organized by Sportscraft, Mumbai, in association with Bhopal Automobile Sports Club at the BHEL Dushera ground, Govindpura.
Besides winning the Indian Expert Class Group A Foreign Motorcycles upto 260 cc, Joshua also won the Indian Expert Class Group B upto 260cc 2 & 4 stroke.
Image: Motorcyclists shoot out from the gates in the Local Class race
Joshua perfects sharp bends
Like in all the previous rounds, the Bangalore rider, astride a TVS was a clear winner in the Indian Expert class Group A for foreign motorcycle despite being challenged all the way by Pradeep, who finished second, and R Nataraj, who placed third.
Joshua was always under pressure as he went through the motions on the serpentine course but, to his credit, did well to strike the perfect balance on the sharp bends and stay ahead of the rest of the field and come out trumps.
If his first race was rather easy, his second outing in the Indian Expert Class Group B was a close affair. Sudeep Kotegar, who ran him close in the previous rounds, tailed him right through, but again had to settle for second best. Vishal Barguje took third place.
Image: Pramod Joshua (4), R Natraj (5), Badal Doshi (46), Shamim Khan (3) and HK Pradeep (7) go around a bend in the Indian Expert Class
Murthy R clinches Novice championship
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 was really tough. In addition to the sharp bends there was also loose gravel and water-logged areas which made riding a dicey proposition, but all riders displayed excellent skills to come through this test of man and machine in flaying colours.
If the experienced riders, like Joshua, Pradeep, Ali and Nataraj dazzled, young novice Murthy R was equally good as he won Novice championship for bikes upto 165cc 2-stroke and upto 130cc.
Maninder Singh won the Private Expert Class for foreign motorcycles 260cc 2 & 4 stroke, beating back a strong challenge from Vineeth Kurup and Jatin Jain, who finished second and third respectively.
Image: Jatin Jain (44) is closely followed by HK Pradeep (7) in the Expert Class
Mujaffar Ali makes a mark
Mujjafar Ali won the Private Expert Class Group B upto 260cc 2 & 4 stroke, with Firoz Khan and Jes David coming in second and third place respectively.
Ali was indeed brilliant in winning all the four races he participated in and thus won the maximum races in the event. He certainly proved himself on the National motor sports scenario and will be the one to watch out for in events to follow.
While the goodly crowd that turned up was appreciative of the event, the riders too were all praise for Sportscraft's conduct of the Gulf Cup which saw four legs being held at different venues and culminating with the Clash of the Titans.
Image: Bikers race in the Private Expert Class