Mumbai, July 3, 2017 (PTI): Venkatesh Shetty, riding an Aprilia SR 150, won the 28th edition of Gulf Monsoon Scooter Rally in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, beating the favourites on Sunday, July 2.
Shetty of Lorraines Racing overcame a strong field that included a host of former champions amid tough conditions to emerge victorious.
In a field of 54 riders, the Mumbai rider rode judiciously over the dirt tracks to win the gruelling 35-km rally in 25 minutes and 15 seconds in penalties.
In the process he left former champions Syed Asif Ali, Shamim Khan, Rustom Patel, Manjeet Singh Bassan and Avtar Singh in the cold.
Punes Pinkesh Thakkar of Team Ceat, also riding an Aprilia SR 150, was second, clocking 25 minutes and 43 seconds, and defending champion Syed Asif Ali of TVS Racing, astride a TVS 4SXR 150, was third with the time of 25 minutes and 44 seconds.
Nashiks Shamim Khan, who was looking to win the event for the fourth time, finished fourth astride an Aprilia SR 150 clocking 25 minutes 55 seconds, while Erimal Shekharan of Team Ceat, on an Aprilia SR 150, was placed fifth with a time of 25 minutes and 56 seconds.
Heavy rain over the last few days made riding on the gravel-laden, winding course dicey. Riders had to exercise extreme caution and control while negotiating steep inclines, hairpin bends and water-logged stretches.
Some of them took a tumble or two.
Forty-nine of the 54 riders completed the race. Of 22 first-timers, 18 could finish it.
There were two women among the riders. Mumbais Nidhi Shukla of Team Ceat, riding a Honda Activa, completed the course in 37 minutes and 13 seconds, while Priya Gala, astride a Suzuki Access, was home in 42 minutes and 19 seconds.