Promising rider Jacque Gunawardene stole the limelight at the National Motorsport Riders Awards Ceremony, organised by the Sri Lanka Motorcycle Federation (SLMF) last Saturday (14) at the Eagle Lagoon Hotel in Katunayake.
His outstanding performances during the 2019 calendar year enabled Gunawadene to earn the top title at the annual awards ceremony dedicated for motorsport riders of Sri Lanka. Among the gravel events that Gunawardene earned the top places are the Nuwara Eliya Motorcross, Fox Hill Supercross, Wijayaba Motorcross, Sappers Motorcross, Commando Supercross, Walawe Supercross and Gunner Supercross while he also became the star of the day at tarmac events Mobil1 Katukurunda, Rotherham Katukurunda and Canway Autodrome Mirigama.
Podium finishes at all these accounted Gunawardene to claim the main award at the gala awards night. In 2019 Gunawardene competed at 10 Supercross events in which he competed in 21 races of Class MX 125cc up to 250cc Motorcross. He recorded 11wins, six second place finishes and two third place finishes and only failed to record top finishes in three events.
In addition Kesara Godagem Madhura Peiris, Shanuka Sandaruwan and Deshan Solanki won awards in gravel category, while Stefan Fernando, Hansika Abeysinghe, Nipun Dilanka and Dushan Mudalige earned honours in tarmac category.
Behind Gunawardene, young and aspiring Kesara Godage became the most successful rider in gravel events, in number of wins recorded during 2019. Godage competed at 10 motorcross events in the Class JMX up to 150cc Motorcross. From 12 races he recorded nine wins and two second place finishes, maintaining a best win ratio of 75 percent.
From 10 motorcross events, Shanuka Sandaruwan competed in 19 races of Class M up to 250cc Standard and Modified Street Trail and recorded eight wins. In addition Deshan Solanki , who recorded seven wins out of 15 races in eight motorcross events in Class SM 250cc up to 750cc Super Motard category, was among the top riders from the 2019 season.
Dushan Mudalige emerged as the best among riders in tarmac events in 2019 after five out of six wins. He competed in four road races and two hill climbs in the Class SM 125cc up to 250cc Super Motard category, to complete the year with five wins, with an average of 83.
Stefan Fernando, in Class M 100cc up to 125cc Standard and Modified, and Nipun Dilanka, in Class M 125cc up to 250cc Standard and Modified, competed in four events and recorded three wins and a second place finish each, to earn accolades in their respective classes.
While Madhura Peiris recorded four wins, two second places and three third places in the Class M up to 125cc Standard and Modified, Hansika Abeysinghe recorded two wins and a second place finish in three events she took part in the Class O 125cc up to 160cc Standard Motorcycles category.
Nine main awards were presented in addition to the four special awards presented for performances by local riders at international events, in the awards ceremony spearheaded by veteran rider Feroze Omar. Among the four recipients from the international arena were Hansika Abeysinghe, who was placed third at the Asia Cup of Road Racing 2019, Rishitha Prashan, Nikhila Pathirage and Vinula Pathirage.
Class JMX up to 150cc Motorcross (Under-15): Kesara Godage
Class M up to 125cc Standard and Modified Street Trails: Madhura Peiris
Class M up to 250cc Standard and Modified Street trails: Shanuka Sandaruwan
Class SM 250cc up to 750cc Super Motard: Deshan Solanki
Class MX 125cc up to 250cc Motorcross: Jacque Gunawardene
Class M 100cc up to 125cc Standard and Modified: Stefan Fernando
Class O 125cc up to 160cc Standard and Modified: Hansika Abeysinghe
Class M 125cc up to 250cc Standard and Modified: Nipun Dilanka