Day one of round four of the JKNRC 2018 witnessed some close-fought battles between contenders in the Euro JK 18 series while the Suzuki Gixxer Cup witnessed some out-of-the-blue results.
After witnessing some gruelling races over the past three rounds at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore, the 2018 season of the JKNRC has now reached the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida for its fourth and final round. So far, the fight for this year's Euro JK 18 title has been really close with Ashwin Datta (#7) emerging as the championship leader at the end of round three, sitting at 74 points. Just six points behind him, Chennai's Karthik Tharani (#16) found himself in the second place. The top three were rounded off by Nayan Chatterjee (#9) who was at a total of 66 points.
However, day one of round four was not favourable for Datta as he only managed to secure fifth and sixth (provisional) places in today's two races. To make matters worse, Datta was handed a 10-second penalty by the race stewards for an alleged jump start in race two. Therefore, his final standing in race two is yet to be confirmed. In the end, day one clearly belonged to both Tharani and Chatterjee who managed to secure podium finishes in both the races. In race one, Tharani took the top spot followed closely by Chatterjee in P2 and in race two, it was Chatterjee who claimed victory. Arya Singh's (#10) fighting spirit kept Tharani behind him, allowing Tharani to finish in P3. Barring a few retirements, both races witnessed clean competition.
While Euro JK 18 witnessed somewhat expected results and performances, it was the Suzuki Gixxer Cup which saw a complete reversal of fortune for championship leader Joseph Matthew (#8). The race on day one began with Matthew on pole followed by Malsawmdawngliana (#6) in P2 and Sachin Chaudhary (#2) starting P3. As the race progressed, the fight for the top spot was between Chaudhary and Matthew who kept trading places between each other. However, things quickly went south for Matthew as he crashed out of the race during the final few laps of the race, giving Chaudhary a comfortable win. However, Chaudhary was handed a 30-second penalty for an avoidable collision which sent his grid position to 8th. As a result, Vidhan Dubey (#4) was the confirmed winner of the race. Behind Dubey, Anthony Lalawmpuia (#14) finished in P2 after starting the race from P12. Clinton Cordeiro (#15), who had started from 7th, clinched the final spot on the podium. The results were unexpected due to the fact that this was Joseph Matthew's first ever loss of the 2018 season, ending his streak of six consecutive victories from the six races of the season till round three.
At the end of day one, Karthik Tharani, currently with 82 points, has taken the championship lead away from Ashwin Datta (even without his 10-sec penalty), However, Nayan Chatterjee is just one point away from Tharani at 81 points. In the Gixxer Cup, due to his consistent domination, Joseph Matthew still sits on top of the championship leaderboard despite today's DNF.