Sameera Premaratne stole the limelight at the Vijayabahu Motocross -2017, which was held for the 15th consecutive years, winning the Champions Trophy on April 2, (Sunday) at the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR), Boyagane. He was the most outstanding rider and also recording the longest Jump clearing a distance of 120 feet.
Sameera had to face tough competition from four-time champion Gayan Sandaruwan and last year’s Champion Ishan Dassanayake. In the Open Race One which is considered for the National championship, Ishan , last year winner won the race; he was challenged by Gayan and Sameera. Gayan suffered a nasty mishap in the 6th lap while Sameera followed the front runner up to the finishing line.
On this day, Sameera carried away three major awards- The Champions Trophy, Trophy for Longest Jump, and the Open event second race. Gayan had to be rushed to hospital for treatment for fracture. The second race commenced minus Gayan, and it was Ishan with sizeable lead ahead of Sameera, but the luck was not with Ishan as he too went off the track and failed to be back on the track to fight further.
Young Venushka Silva competing in the under 16 category on a Honda 150cc in Group J MX won both events and with those two victories paved the way for him be the Emerging Rider of the 2017.
The under-ten event was one of the most interesting, especially for the kids who were present at the premises. The race competed by sets of twins Minusha/Rivini Ratnayake and Himasha/Hirusha Padukka both sets aged five plus years. In the first race, it was Ratnayake twins that came with flying colours to be placed first and second, respectively. The second race was dominated by Ratnayakes but luck was not with Himasha as he faced an unexpected problem and had to give up the race with Hirusha Padukka placed second.
Nihal Wijeratne carried away the Trophy awarded for the Best Forces Rider. He won the Group M Std/Mod Street Trail Motor Cycles 100cc up to 125cc 2/T (Forces Event) He had to face stiff opposition from two of colleagues- MN Perera, 3. Nilanka Mawella.
The Vijayabahu Motocross organised by the Sri Lanka Racing Riders Association was a grand success this year. An unexpected huge number of motor-racing fans were present to witness the events as all leading riders were participating. This year, the foreign challenge was not much as the Indian riders failed to turn up for the event due to unavoidable circumstances.
Major General Mahesh Senanayake, Chief-of-Staff of the Army gave away the Army Commander’s Trophy to Corporal Nihal Wijerathna of 7 VIR who showed exceptional skills. Major General Ajith Kariyakarawana, Colonel of the Regiment, VIR gave away the Colonel of the Regiment Challenge Trophy to Corporal Sameera Premarathne of 1 VIR for his outstanding performances.
The meet was sponsored by New Lanka Furnishers, Kurunegala (Main sponsor) while the Sri Lanka Insurance, Hutch PLC, Stafford Motors, CEAT, Elephant House and Kelani International Tyre co-sponsored.
All proceeds of the event are utilized for the welfare of disabled War Heroes and families of fallen War Heroes.