The Suzuki Red Bull Rookies Cup was incepted to provide aspiring motorcycle racers of the country with a platform that will take them to a global stage. And with the second edition of the event coming to a successful completion this year, you could say that everything is right on track. After three rounds of the Red Bull Rookies Cup, we finally have a winner from India who’ll be representing the country’s tricolour at the Red Bull Road to MotoGP qualifiers in Spain in October 2017. And the name of the racer who’ll be flying to Spain is Mizoram’s Lalhruaizela.
Lalhruaizela winning the ticket to Spain should actually come as no surprise since the 15-year old has been on the podium in each of the six rounds of the Rookies Cup in this season. The Red Bull Rookies Cup’s final showdown was held during the third round of the 2017 JK Tyre National Championship. In race 1 of the final round, Lalhruaizela took second position while Sri Lankan rider, Jaden Gunawardena, won the race. Since Gunawardena doesn’t qualify for championship points owing to his nationality, Lalhruaizela bagged full 10 points on day 1, which helped him stretch his lead by 12 points ahead of the Lalnunsanga in second place. This virtually sealed his ticket to Spain on day 1 of the third round itself.
On day 2, the final race of the season race saw Lalhruaizela suffer his first defeat in three rounds as he finished third behind Lalnunsanga while Gunawardena yet again won the race. Even though Lalhruaizela was beaten by Lalnunsanga in the final race, he will still be the one going for the Red Bull Road to MotoGP qualifiers in Spain as he led the points tally with 56 points over Lalnunsanga (46 points) after the end of the season.
While the Red Bull Road to Rookies is a platform for budding racers aged between 12 to 16 years, the Suzuki Gixxer Cup that runs alongside is where riders above that age criteria prove their mettle. The third round of 2017 Suzuki Gixxer Cup witnessed Joseph Mathew continue his winning spree on day 1 of round 3 by taking his fifth consecutive win of the season. However, in the second race of third round of Gixxer Cup, the championship leader, Mathew lost for the first time in this season as his winning streak was put to an end by Malsawmdawngliana and Sachin Chaudhary. Both the riders fought tooth and nail to claim victory till the very end of the race but it was Malsawmdawngliana who emerged victorious by just a seventh of a second. Mathew finished third in the race.
Going into the final rounds, Mathew is still in the clear with a comfortable lead of 17 points in the championship. The final round and the title decider will be held in November at BIC.