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Racemandu II : The Closest We Could Get To Some Live Motorcycle Racing In Nepal

The Satdobato Swimming Complex was an exciting place to be on the 8th of March, 2014. Unlike on any other day, the complex had been laid out to function as a make-shift motorcycle racing track and the entire facility was riding high on adrenaline energy as the keen racers looked forward to prove their mettle in this proving ground. Geared up riders could be seen visibly glowing with excitement as they hustled around the pit area, and it was very encouraging to see companies from the likes of CrossFire, Honda and KTM extending every necessary support to their riders. A variety of race-ready motorcycles had been lined up and there was a continuous buzz of revving motorcycles reverberating in the air. Local superbike owners had also turned up to support the championship, and with some of the most exotic high-end motorcycles in Nepal parked in the pit area, the enthusiastic spectators definitely witnessed much more than they had bargained for.

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It was the place to be for any motorcycle racing enthusiast and the closest one could have gotten to some live circuit racing action in Nepal. The stage had been set for the second season of Racemandu – the only official open category closed-circuit racing championship initiated in Nepal under the affiliation of Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the global governing body of motorcycle racing and organized by Nepal Automobile Sports Association (NASA). NASA is the only automobile sports related organization registered with the National Sports Council and dedicated to the development and management of motorsports in Nepal.

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But as with most events in Nepal, the event kicked off hours later than the stipulated time. Such delays not only make it boring for the viewers, but dampens the spirits of the participating racers as well. We really hope that the organizers will not overlook this aspect in the next season. Thankfully, after the brief opening ceremony and the riders had taken their pledge to promote fair and safe racing, the event kicked off with the warm-up practice laps for each category. The practice sessions were an unexpectedly exciting affair as most of the riders could be seen pushing their limits, rather than first familiarizing themselves with the circuit.

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To improvise on the competition and further boost the scope of the championship, NASA had set up three primary racing categories for this year’s Racemandu. There was a National, Novice and Ladies class. Under the National class, only the top tier winners of Racemandu I and the riders who participated in the racing experience at the MMSC Racing Circuit in Chennai under NASA’s supervision were allowed to participate. The Novice class which was further sub-divided into two categories for 100-198cc and 199- 250cc motorcycles accommodated the rest of the participants, and the Ladies class was strictly limited to female riders with scooters up to 200cc only. The cash prizes had been set at attractive NRs.30,000/-, NRs.30,000/- , NRs.20,000/- and NRs.10,000/- in the both the Novice Class and NRs.15,000/-, NRs.10,000/- and NRs.5,000/- in the Ladies Class. In the National Class though, only the winner was awarded with a two-way ticket to Bangkok. Apart from the prizes, the top winners will also be eligible to participate and represent Nepal in invitational international racing workshops and competitions.

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NASA had improvised on the layout of the circuit and it had been designed to be more complex and technical than in the previous championship. The track had been extended to a length of about 1km with a properly laid out mix of straights, high speed corners and tight chicanes. The whole race was carried out following the standard technical racing guidelines set by FIM, and it was a commendable effort by the organizers to have a safety motorcycle inspect the track before the start of every race. The racers in every category put out a great show, and the National class riders particularly displayed some promising talents. It was quite a revelation to witness the level of riding skills that most of the racers displayed lap after lap. Of course, with the riders pushing the limits, accidents were still inevitable and a handful of crashes were accounted for in some of the rounds. But thankfully, there were no serious major injuries to any rider. Volunteers and medical team were generously scattered around the race track to monitor and prevent any untoward incidents from happening.

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In the Ladies category, Dikshya Shrestha finished ahead of Shuvani Thapa and Sita Silwal, all riding Honda Dio scooters. In the Novice category, Yamaha R15 riders Bibesh Shrestha, Bipluv Shrestha and Nehal Man Joshi took to the podium respectively in the 100-198cc category, while in the 199-250cc category Saurav Man Shrestha clinched the top title in the CrossFire XZ250RR with Raj Shrestha on Bajaj Pulsar 200NS and Samit Thapa on Bajaj Pulsar 220 taking the runners-up spot. In the final National class, Shane Wilson Moktan on his race-prepped KTM 200 Duke put up an impressive winning show as other two KTM 200 Duke riders Bikram Thapa and Saras Rayamajhi trailed close behind making it a clean sweep for KTM in the premier category. The race then successfully ended with an exciting stunt show put up by the riders from Riders Unified and Madhyapur Riders, followed by the closing prize distribution ceremony.

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The Racemandu Championship is indeed a commendable effort by NASA to promote safe motorcycle racing in Nepal, and we really look forward to its continuity with more support from participants, spectators and sponsors in the next season. Motoring events like these specially need more encouragement and support from the auto industry to take the championship to newer heights. It’s definitely going to get bigger, better and faster in the next season!

FINAL RESULTS

 

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LADIES CLASS:

1st: Dikshya Shrestha | Honda Dio

2nd: Shuvani Thapa | Honda Dio

3rd: Sita Silwal | Honda Dio

NOVICE CLASS: 100cc-198cc

1st: Bibesh Shrestha | Yamaha R15 V2

2nd: Bipluv Shrestha | Yamaha R15 V2

3rd: Nehal Man Joshi | Yamaha R15 V2

NOVICE CLASS: 199cc-250cc

1st: Saurav Man Shrestha | CrossFire XZ250RR

2nd: Raj Shrestha | Bajaj Pulsar 200NS

3rd: Samit Thapa | Bajaj Pulsar 220

NATIONAL CLASS

1st: Shane Wilson Moktan | KTM 200 Duke

2nd: Bikram Thapa | KTM 200 Duke

3rd: Saras Rayamajhi | KTM 200 Duke

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