Mahi Racing India wins at Imola
The month of June is probably the most hectic month for motor sports in Europe. MotoGP, WSBK and F1 crisscross the continent by road to get to the next venue of racing. In-between, last weekend there was a brake as 24 Hours Du Lamns motor race takes place in France. It is considered the greatest motor race in the world. Unlike F1, most car companies pitch their cars to race all of 24 hours non-stop. Cars cover in excess of 5000 kilometers at F1 speeds. All eyes and ears concentrate on this event as the rest quietly change venues for their next round.
As the MotoGP teams head for Assen, Holland Mahi Racing India team makes their way to Imola, Italy. This is a dream weekend for bike racing enthusiasts. Saturday MotoGP and Sunday WSBK!
The best news for Mahi Racing and all of us Indian fans is that Kawasaki has agreed to let Kenan Sofuoglu and Mahi Raceing take part in World Super Bike in 2014. This is a huge step for the Indian team and for Indian fans as now we will get live TV coverage of all the races. Note, WSBK is covered but still the WSS (where Mahi Racing participates) is left out for Indian viewers! During the Aragon, Spain test sessions Sofuoglu was invited by Kawasaki Racing team to test their Super Bike Spec ZX-10R for almost three hours. Both Sofuoglu and Kawasaki were happy with the feedback. Team Pricipal Amit Sandill confirmed this over a telephone conversation with me. So next year is set for Mahi Racing India and WSBK.
Friday: In Friday’s qualifying the Mahi racing India team is no where hear pole position. Championship leader Sam Lowes Yamaha beat his own pole position time of 2012. He remained at the top of the time sheets through out the sessions. Mahi Racing’s Fabien Foret and Kenan Sofuoglu, the principal championship contenders must be seriously concerned with managing only 8th (Foret) and 11th (Sofuoglu). The most pressing issue is the second and a half gap between the leader and them. Saturday will be more practice and qualifying. Mahi Racing is working their pants off to rectify the situation.
Saturday: A cloudy and cold day that day belonged to Sam Lowes Yamaha. In the final qualifying, he bettered his timing of Friday by taking pole position, for the 6th time this season. Mahi Racing’s riders put everything in it to prove they are the contenders. Sofuoglu Kawasaki is on 2nd position and Fabien Foret Kawasaki 16th placed. Foret has slipped further below on Friday. For a Championship contender team this is not good enough. Serious introspection is needed for both team and riders to score a victory. But Again, the cliché words are of course, race day is another story altogether.
Sunday: Race day is another day. Sam Lowes leapt out in front with Kenan Sofuoglu stuck on his tail like chewing gum. It only took a few laps for Sofuoglu to pip Lowes and take the lead, like a Champion should. On lap five Debise’s bike started spewing smoke and in no time oil began to pour on to the track. The race was red flagged and restarted. The restart played into the hands of Sofuoglu as Lowes struggled on the oil patch. In this split second Lowes was consumed by other riders and Sofuoglu zoomed was way ahead. After that Lowes managed to overtake all the rest but had to settle for second place. It was a brilliant and tactical victory for the Mahi Racing India Team. So it was 1. Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki mahi Racing India, 2. Sam Lowes Yakhnich Yamaha, 3. Vladimir Leonov Yakhnich Yamaha. Mahi Racing’s Fabien Foret managed just 12th place. Sofuoglu won the second race this season clawed out 5 points from Lowes. Next round is in Russia.
The FIM issued a note yesterday confirming that the India Round at Budh Circuit will be 17th November 2013.