Both Joseph Matthew and Zothanmawia won the opening rounds of the Suzki Gixxer Cup and the Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup, respectively, at the Kari Motor Speedway near Coimbatore. Both series fall under the event schedule of the JK Tyre National Racing Championship.
In the second race, Chennai’s Matthew had an exciting tussle with Aizwal’s Malsawmdawnliana before pulling out a 1.950 second advantage on him by the end of the 10-lap race at the 14-turn, 2.2km circuit.
This left Malsawmdawnliana to slug it out with Bengaluru’s Syed Muzamil Ali for second place. The pair kept trading places until Ali finally crossed the line just 0.198 seconds ahead.
Meanwhile in the Road to Rookies Cup class, Aizwal’s Zothanmawia was, by far, class of the field as the rider from Aizwal won by a margin of 28.385 seconds ahead of Jerome Vanlalrengpuia.
While racing in the combined 28-rider field, that performance was good enough for him to be seventh on the road. His best lap in the race was almost two seconds faster than the next fastest rider and just under 0.7 seconds slower than Matthew’s best lap.
In the first Gixxer Cup race, Matthew lead away from pole position and steadily opened up a 3.245 second advantage over Aizwal’s Malsawmdawngliana and third placed Syed Muzamil Ali from Bangalore, who was just a further 0.059 seconds adrift in third place.
Rookie Zothanmawia’s victory in the Red Bull Road to Rookies Cup was the main talking point, given how far ahead he was from the other riders in that category.
He was a whopping 23.800 seconds ahead of PC Andy Lalhmanaihsang, the second placed finisher in the Red Bull Rookies Cup category. In fact, Zothanmawia was so far ahead of the others that overall among the combined standings, he was the sixth rider over the finish line. Jerome Vanlalrengpuia was the third placed rider in the Road to Rookies Cup class.
Suzuki and JK have actively scouted for talent from the North-East region of India in an effort to promote both motorsport and their respective brands in that region.