Ishan Dassanayake regained the Best Rider title at the Vijayabahu Motorcross 2018 edition which was held on the 17th (Sunday) June at the Vijayabahu Motorcross track situated in Boyagane, Kurunegala.
ThePapare.com | Anjana Dissanayake | 17/06/2018..
Ishan despite being the national champion for two consecutive years in 2016 & 2017 did not manage to win the top title at Boyagane with the Japanese rider Tomoyo Suziki winning it in 2016 & Vijyabahu regiment’s very own Sameera Premarathne winning the top title in 2017. It was a major chink in the armor of the national champion from Kurunegala as this is his practice track and also with the track lauded as the most technical and physically challenging motocross track in the country.
The skies had opened up on practice day 16th (Saturday) making the Boyaganey track muddy and presenting the riders with an entirely new challenge to cope with. The Organizers had also made a few changes to the layout. In the racing MX 125cc 2 stroke event Ishan managed to get the pole position and dominated the race from the gates and looked to be enjoying himself throughout the 6 laps winning it in convincing fashion.
In the MX 250cc the returning three-time champion rider at the Boyaganey Supercross Tomoyo Suzuki made the race pacey as battle ensued between him and Ishan from the gate drop of the Moto 01. Ishan gathered a good lead on the Japanese in the beginning of the race with Tomoyo losing his balance and drifting out from track, The Japanese veteran was however at Ishan’s tail with both the riders going through the 1.9km track at a feverish pace. While Tomoyo managed to get the lead momentarily Ishan regained the top spot thanks to a mistake by the front running Japanese. However due to a collision that took place during this maneuver, it turned out to be Ishan’s undoing as he had punctured his back tire and had to go through the last 04 laps with a flat tyre which helped the Japanese rider to take the top honors in moto 01.
The skies opened a few minutes before Moto 02 creating water puddles in the middle of the track and made the surface muddy making it even more difficult for the riders. Similar to the first Moto Ishan managed to take an early lead in the second moto with the Japanese close on his tail. IIn the second round a thrilling battle ensued with Tomoyo managing to take the lead in a corner but Ishan regaining the lead with a mouthwatering scrub which brought the crowd in attendance to their feet. The Japanese veteran was not going to give up as he managed to box block Ishan’s race line in a corner taking the lead. Ishan in pursuit lost his balance and presented Tomoyo with an unassailable lead which saw the Japanese veteran clinching the second moto as well. Despite placing second in both the MX 250cc events Ishan was adjudged the best rider with 54 championship points due to his win in the MX 125cc event.
Buddika Kasun Silva of Sri Lanka Army Signal Corps won the unique longest jump challenge recording a distance of 120m. The record for the longest jump at Vijayabahu is held by Sameera Premarathne who amassed a distance of 122m in the last year’s competition.
DIlitha Kalhara, the young rider from Kekirawa who is turning out to be the one to keep an eye out for in the future was awarded the Upcoming Young Rider of the Year for the second consecutive time. Young Kalhara was a class apart in the Under 15 MX Racing upto 85cc Race 01 as he was in a league of his own completing the 8 laps. Despite having a nasty fall as he landed awkwardly in a muddy area Kalhara managed to win the first race comfortably having assailed a commanding lead over the rest of the riders. In the second moto Kalhara again got onto a great start but lost his balance in a corner which prompted Kesara Godagey to capitalize on the opportunity and race away to the checkered flag. Kalhara who is competing in his final year in the under 15 category, will be joining the big boys from next season and will be one to look out for with his riding skills that he showcases already.