ARRC

With top 15 finish, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India’s Rajiv snaps points for India once again! at ARRC

· Despite injuries, Rajiv Sethu records Top 15 finish, adding 1 more point for India

· Senthil - the Youngest Indian rider in Asia’s toughest championships in ARRC gains 5 positions to finish 17th

· AP250 Championship Standing: Team (9th), Rajiv (16th), Senthil (27th)

 

Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia) 22 September 2019: Sunday’s final race of round 6 at Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia) once again brought cheer for IDEMITSU Honda Racing India -  the solo Indian racing team battling for points at the Asia Road Racing Championship 2019 (ARRC).

 

Despite his back and hand injury from yesterday’s crash, Rajiv earned 1 more point for India with his eight top 15 finish this season in Asia Production 250cc (AP 250) class of ARRC.

 

Still learning the ropes of international racing in his debut ARRC season, 18-year-old Senthil continued his assault on time sheets to record his personal best lap record of 2:28:241 at Sepang. Despite his 8th row start from 22nd on the grid, Senthil quickly overtook Taipei’s Liu Junmei and Thailand’s Sawapol in lap 2 itself. Maintaining 20th in lap 3, he jumped to 19th in lap 4 and maintained his stance for the 3 rounds, only to finish 17th in final 8th lap, with 5 positions gain overall.

 

Today’s Race 2 of Asia Production 250cc class saw Indonesians dominate the top 6 ranks. In-fighting for the win went unabated till the chequered flag and took out two causalities - Rafid Topan and Muklada Sapapuech who crashed out in their attempt to lead in the last lap. Ultimately, it was Astra Honda Racing team’s Awhin Sanjaya who stopped the clock at 19:43:339. Hot on his heels was Andy Fadly trailing by only 0.048 seconds (19:43:387) and 3rd podium claimant Reynaldo Chrisantho (19:43:545).

 

Quote from Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., “This weekend we couldn’t best our past. However, I’m satisfied that in spite of injury from yesterday’s crash in race 1, Rajiv closed in Top 15 with 1-point gain today. Senthil is now more confident and faster on his CBR 250RR and he was a story of recovery today. Now with Sepang over, we head back to India to analyze our performance, identify gap areas and improve further. Next up is Round 7 at Buriram circuit. Both our boys have a good experience there, and I’m sure that we will bounce back with strong results in December round.”

 

Quote from IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Rajiv Sethu

“Despite back and hand injury, I could get good confidence in morning warm-up after a bad crash yesterday. I started strong and had jumped up to 11th position in turn 2, I was sticking with the top 15 riders for about 4 laps. On 5th lap, I missed my gear and went out of the track, losing two positions. It was very difficult to recover especially as couldn’t push 100% due to my injury. I finished 15th. But frankly, this was not the goal I had set for myself this weekend. I have very good confidence in Buriram. Now I plan to recover fast and focus on my weak-points to fight for the top 15 in Championship. I will have to close in the top 10 in both the Thai races.”

 

Quote from IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Senthil Kumar

“In the morning warm-up, I recorded my fastest lap time of 2:28:241 and entered the race with confidence. But when a bad start shoved me to 29th, my first priority was to fast reverse this loss. In the first lap itself, I aggressively rode and overtook 7 riders to return to my starting 22nd position. In next lap, I overtook 2 more riders to climb to top 20. But by then, the gap between Shahrol and me had increased which I couldn't recover. However, with Thai rider Sawapol hot on my heels, I successfully defended my position to finish 17th. Next up, is the last round at Buriram (Thailand). With its 3 long straights, competition is tight as all riders are riding in a 2 to 3-second gap. I have to learn from my mistakes this weekend, better my corner exits and get more lean to ensure a top 15 finish there.”

 

IDEMITSU Honda Racing India is now stacked up in Top 9 teams of AP 250 class with 33 points. Rajiv is now placed 16th in the points tally with 33 points, while Senthil with no-gain-no-loss this weekend is tied at 26th out of 40 riders. As the Sepang outing draws to a close, the battle for 2019 ARRC Championship will re-commence in Round 7 finale at Buriram, Thailand in December.

 

 Parallelly, Zaqhwan Zaidi of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team in ASB1000cc class finished 4th in today’s race 2, putting him 3rd in the championship.  

 

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ARRC

IDEMITSU Honda Racing India Team charged up for Asia Road Racing Championship’19 at ARRC

Ready with the newracing squad, Rajiv Sethu & Senthil Kumar to represent India in AP250 class

 

Delhi, 5 March, 2019: Startingthe 2019 motorsports season with an aggressive announcement, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt.Ltd. is all set to bring forth its newly formed team on the tracks at 2019Asia Road Racing Championship. The round 1 of ARRC will be held at the SepangInternational Circuit, Malaysia from the 5th-6th March2019.

 

Taking forward their motto of discovering Indian ridersfor National and International championships, Honda is taking forward the SOLOIndian team to ace the 2019 motorsports season. Representing India in the AP250class is the experienced rider Rajiv Sethu, participating for the third time inARRC. Adding to the team clout is rookie Senthil Kumar who gained prominence ontrack by finishing at the 20th place in Thai Talent Cup 2018.

 

Speaking on the opening race, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, HondaMotorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “Last week, Honda reinforced its commitment ‘To develop iconic Indianrider for National & International Championships’ with a more aggressiveTHREE-PRONGED approach. Going forward with the more challenging spirit andpassion of claiming victory, we have carefully designed a roadmap for ourriders to reach the heights of International racing. Starting the ARRc season,we are excited to let loose Rajiv Sethu and Senthil Kumar who have sweated itout in practices and are all set to race against best of Asian riders. We wishthem luck for their first round this season.”

 

Leading the team from front, the young talented Hondarider Rajiv Sethu said, “My experience of last two years and thecustomized world class training from Honda has made me more confident ontechnical aspects, which is eventually going to bring good points on the scorestally. I am extremely excited and positive to make Honda and India proud.”

 

Talking on his debut season with fresh energy andconfidence, the Honda rider Senthil Kumar said, “Last season the Thai Talent Cup was a greatexperience for me. I was trained by the Honda professionals who found talent inme and now have helped me in getting ready for the Asia’s toughest racingchampionship ARRC. I will endeavor to execute all my trainings, hard work andlearning on this reputed platform to capitalize the opportunity.”

 

Giving priority to developing not just world level riderbut also technician, Mr. P. Prabhakaran from India is ready to showcase hisskills as a part of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team in the newlyintroduced premier class of Asia Super Bike 1000.

 

About 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:

The 24th editionof FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is Asia’s most competitive motorcycle roadracing championship, held since 1996. The 2019 season will have a total ofseven rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia, Thailand * 2, Japan& South Korea) starting from 8th March 2019 with the battlegoing all the way to the last round in December 2019. ARRC is part of theproduction-based category of racing, similar to the Supersport World Championship.This year the Championship will feature four main classes. This includes thenewly introduced premier class of Asia Super Bike 1000 over and above theexisting three classes SuperSports 600cc, Asia Production 250cc, and theUnderbone 150cc.

 

 

 

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ARRC

Creating history, Honda riders Rajiv & Senthil make India proud in the inaugural race of 2019 ARRC! at ARRC

 

·       IDEMITSU Honda Racing Indiateam wins HIGHEST EVER 7 points in single race in inaugural race of 2019 ARRCseason

·       Honda’s Indian duo of Rajiv &Senthil overtake 3 riders each to finish in Top 14 in AP250 Race 1

·       Rajiv Sethu records new BESTFINISH BY INDIAN RIDER in ARRC, wins 5 points with 11th finish

·       Senthil Kumar becomes theFIRST Indian rookie and YOUNGEST Indian rider to win points in maiden ARRC racewith strong top 14 finish

 

Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), 9March 2019:After the solid practiceyesterday where Rajiv closed at ever highest position of 7th and the18-year old rookie Senthil too zoomed to 17th position in the AP250class, the solo Indian team IDEMITSUHonda Racing India today celebrated its best ever performance in FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC).

 

Today’s race made India proud and recordedmany firsts. It is the first time that both riders of India’s solo team scoredpoints at Asia’s toughest road race championship in same race.

 

Rajiv recorded the best ever finish by Indianrider in AP250 class of ARRC at 11th spot (earlierhighest 13th). The teen rider Senthil too showed the power of YoungIndia and became the first Indian rookie to win 2 points with 14thfinish in his debut ARRC race itself! With this, Honda’s Indian team has madeits best ever season start with tally of 7 points in the first race itself.

 

Sharing anoverview on the solo Indian team’s performance today, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, HondaMotorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “2019 is the year when Indian motorsport is coming of age.Technically, our CBR250RR bikes are tweaked to be more competitive withimproved cowl giving added advantage to our boys. Additionally, our boys havethe strength of entire team and coach behind them. Right from the first race ofthe 2019 ARRC season, our solo Indian team is emerging as a serious challenger.Making India proud, Rajiv gave his best ever ARRC performance and added 5points for Indian team. Senthil the face of new, confident and aggressive youngIndian riders finished in top 14 and added another 2 points to IDEMITSU HondaRacing India kitty. Charged with today’s results and learnings, we are challengingourselves to better our results ever more in tomorrow’s race 2.”

 

Indianteam gives best ever performance in AP 250 (race 1) class of ARRC:

In lap 1itself, Rajiv made a good start from his 14th position. Whileclimbed to top bunch but had to drop back due to other rider crash. But hisperseverance paid off mid-race. Overtaking2 riders in lap 4 and maintaining this till the last 8th lap, the21-year old recorded his best ever finish in AP250 class at 11thposition. With this strong finish, Rajiv swooped his highest single race haulof 5 points in race 1 of 2019 ARRC season itself. 

 

Senthil showed the might of confident youngIndian riders in his debut race itself.  Starting 17th on the grid of 25riders, Senthil made a good start and overtook 3 riders in lap 1 itself. Fromthere till the end of race, Senthil was battling it out with Taipei rider ChiouKe-Lung and closed at 14th position with total lap time of 20:17:513.With this, Senthil is now the youngestIndian rider and the first ever Indian rookie to score a point in Asia RoadRacing Championship.  

 

With 2crashes in lap 1 itself, the afternoon AP 250 Race 1 saw battle start from theword go. The fight went on till the chequeredflag of 8 lap race with Indonesian riders wrapping up the first 6 positionsfinish. Overtaking to win race 1 just 100 meters short of the finish line wasLucky Hendriansya of Astra Honda (19:34:655), with Andy coming 2nd(19:34:839) and Irfan Ardiansyah also from Astra Honda completing the podium(19:38:376).

 

 

Satisfied with his performance today andcharged up for tomorrow, Honda’s front-runner rider Rajiv Sethu said, “After mybest ever qualifier finish at 14th earlier today, I was charged upeven more. I made a great start and overtook 9 riders to reach 5thspot in first lap itself. But just then the 2 riders before me crashed and Ihad to go back to save myself. Yet I could gain 3 spots and finish 11thwhich is the best ever for me in my 3 years of ARRC. Today, I feel great buttomorrow I will fight to finish in top 10.”

 

Taking on his debut season with fresh energyand confidence, the 18 year rookierider Senthil Kumar said, “Its been a fantastic day of learning forme. The competition is very tough here. I started strong and overtook 3 ridersin first lap itself. Thereafter the battle was to hold my front and I couldsuccessfully do that. Personally, I am both humbled to earn points for the onlyIndian team in my debut ARRC race itself and am excited to do even better inrace 2 tomorrow.”

 

 

REFERENCE ANNEXURE:

 

 

Championship

Machine

Rider

Age

Nationality

Career Highlights

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019

 

(Asia Production 250 class)

CBR250RR

Rajiv

Sethu

Nov, 1997 (21 yr)

India

2018:

- ARRC, AP 250 (27th)

- Thai Talent Cup (12th)

- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

2017:

- ARRC, AP 250 (46th)

- Thai Talent Cup (16th)

- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

2016:

- Honda Asia Dream Cup (12th)

 - INMRC Pro Stock 165 (1st)

- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

 

Senthil Kumar

Feb, 2001

(18 yr)

India

2018:

- Thai Talent Cup (20th)

- INMRC Pro Stock 165 (3rd)

-  IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 250R (3rd)

2017:

- CBR 150R One Make Championship

Debut in racing with Honda

IDEMITSU Honda RacingIndia team – Rider Profile

 

 

About 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) isAsia’s most competitive motorcycle road racing championship in its 24thyear. The 2019 season has 7 rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia,Thailand * 2, Japan & South Korea). The battle for 2019 championship startsthis weekend (8-10 March) at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia.

 

In 2019 ARRC features four classes - thenewly introduced premier class of Asia Superbike 1000 (ASB1000), SuperSports600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250) and Underbone class (UB150).

 

Representing the solo Indian team at theevent - IDEMITSU Honda Racing India are two riders – Rajiv Sethu and the rookieSenthil Kumar who fight on the CBR250RR.

 

 

 

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ARRC

Honda’s solo Indian rider duo at ARRC scores their First Ever Tenner at Sepang round despite a crash ridden race at ARRC

·       After 7 points yesterday,masterful riding by Rajiv wins the team another 3 points today

·       Honda’s solo Indian riderduo grabs 10 points in formidable Sepang – their highest single roundhaul!  

·       Despite crash in lap 1 whichpushed him to last on grid, Rajiv resurges to finish 13th in Race 2

·       Tough luck for Senthil, low-sidein 6th lap leading to crash and minor injury

·       IDEMITSU Honda Racing Indianow 6th out of 15 teams in inaugural round of 2019 ARRC

 

Sepang International Circuit(Malaysia), 10 March 2019: Masterful race performance by the Indian riderRajiv Sethu at Sepang International Circuit track earned him and IDEMITSU HondaRacing India team 3 additional points in the second consecutive race of2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC).

 

With the end of inaugural Malaysia round today, Honda’s solo Indianteam has earned double digit points in a single round for the first time. Gaining10 points in the inaugural round, Honda’s Indian rider duo is now firmly inthe Top 6 teams of AP 250 class.

 

Sharingan overview on the solo Indian team’s performance today, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, HondaMotorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “No doubt, it wasa tough weekend, but we did good work, and I am proud our team’s efforts too.After the high of race 1 where both Rajiv and Senthil scored a double whammy,Sunday race was a tough one with as many as 6 crashes. Though Rajiv was caughtup in the crash in lap 1 itself, he scripted a quick bounce-back from 23rdto 13th. Meanwhile, Senthil crashed out while fighting to secure his13th spot. This was disappointing but he’s learning fast and I’mconfident that he will come back stronger and wiser. Sepang is just the startof a long season. We have to keep our focus high and aim higher for the nextround in Australia now.”

 

Indianteam performance in AP 250 (race 2) class of ARRC:

Sunday’s AP 250 race was one of the toughest ones till date with 6 riderscrashing out in the 8 lap race.

Trouble ensued for Rajiv right from lap 1. Despite a great startwhich took him to 5th spot, Rajiv suffered the collateral damagefrom the crash of Indonesian rider duoIrfan Ardiansyah and Rafid Topan before him and crashed. Determined tofinish the race, Rajiv resumed from back of the pack at 23rd spot.Scripting an extraordinary recovery, Rajiv sprang back in ensuing 7 laps tofinally cross the chequered line at 13th.  

 

Meanwhile beginnersluck evaded young Senthil today. Starting 17th on the grid, Senthilskillfully avoid the crash in lap 1 and climbed to 13th position bylap 6. But his strong braking in the tight corner resulted in a low-side andultimately crash. Senthil’s total point tally at end of round 1 stands at 2points.

 

Femalepower stood out in the AP250 race 2 today with Thailand rider Muklada Sarapaechfrom A.P Honda Racing Thailand overtaking Andy at the last minute to win therace. Completing the podium was the Indonesian rider Awhin Sanjaya from AstraHonda Racing team.

 

Having mixed reaction post his performancetoday, Honda’s front-runner rider Rajiv Sethusaid, “This weekend I really gave it myall. Today I was totally focused, as I wanted to be in the top bunch right fromthe start. While I could do that, but I couldn’t save from Indonesian riderscrash before me. My machine had minor problem from the crash impact, but Iwanted to finish the race. Yes, I could gain more points for India and my teamtoday but I feel disappointed that I couldn’t close in top 10. Going back toIndia, the challenge to myself is to achieve this in the April round at BendMotorsport Park.”

 

Summing up his debut round performance, the 18 year rookie rider Senthil Kumar said, “Today was a tough day. My target was tobetter my yesterday’s 14th finish. By 6th lap, I hadalready reached 13th spot but the miscalculation at the turn led tomy crash. As a racer, my target is to do better and eye for top bunch in everyrace. So yes, today was been a little disappointing but there is a lot oflearning in this too.”

 

 


REFERENCE ANNEXURE:

 

 

Championship

Machine

Rider

Age

Nationality

Career Highlights

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019

 

(Asia Production 250 class)

CBR250RR

Rajiv

Sethu

Nov, 1997 (21 yr)

India

2018:

- ARRC, AP 250 (27th)

- Thai Talent Cup (12th)

- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

2017:

- ARRC, AP 250 (46th)

- Thai Talent Cup (16th)

- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

2016:

- Honda Asia Dream Cup (12th)

 - INMRC Pro Stock 165 (1st)

- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

 

Senthil Kumar

Feb, 2001

(18 yr)

India

2018:

- Thai Talent Cup (20th)

- INMRC Pro Stock 165 (3rd)

-  IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 250R (3rd)

2017:

- CBR 150R One Make Championship

Debut in racing with Honda

IDEMITSU Honda RacingIndia team – Rider Profile

 

 

About 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) isAsia’s most competitive motorcycle road racing championship in its 24thyear. The 2019 season has 7 rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia,Thailand * 2, Japan & South Korea). The battle for 2019 championship startsthis weekend (8-10 March) at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia.

 

In 2019 ARRC features four classes - thenewly introduced premier class of Asia Superbike 1000 (ASB1000), SuperSports600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250) and Underbone class (UB150).

 

Representing the solo Indian team at theevent - IDEMITSU Honda Racing India are two riders – Rajiv Sethu and the rookieSenthil Kumar who fight on the CBR250RR.

 

 

 

For more information, contact Public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

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ARRC

Taking Indian motorsport truly international, Honda’s solo Indian racing team arrives at Australia for round 2 of ARRC at ARRC

·       Honda makes Indian racing pitch stronger, signsex-moto GP rider TomoyoshiKoyama as team coach

·       With 8 points already in kitty, IDEMITSU HondaRacing India starts Australia round firmly in Top 7 teams

·       Intense competition as 25 expert riders from 8nations battle in Asia Production 250cc class this weekend

·       IDEMITSUHonda Racing India riders are the experienced Rajiv Sethu and rookie SenthilKumar

·       Indian rider duo of Rajiv & Senthil challengethemselves for Top 10 and Top 15 finish respectively

 

Bend Motorsport Park- Australia, 24 April2019: IDEMITSU Honda Racing India’ – the soloIndian two-wheeler racing team from Honda 2Wheelers India is all fired up to raisethe stakes higher in Round 2 of Asia Road Racing Championship 2019.

 

After theinaugural round in Malaysia earlier in March’19, Asia’s toughest motorsportsracing championship has now reached Australia and kicks off tomorrow with startof official practice.

 

Sharingpreparations of the IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, HondaMotorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “Honda made a good start to 2019 ARRC season. Both Rajiv and Senthillapped up points in the first round and put the solo Indian team among Top 7. Now,round 2 in Australia brings with it new set of challenges. Senthil faces thedaunting challenge of mastering Adelaide track but is excited to make newrecords. Rajiv is already aware of the track and his past experience willsupport him in scoring top chart. The team has come back with intense training,more learning and the final wind in the wings will be the world class guidanceby ex-GP rider TomoyoshiKoyama. We are confident that both riders will outperform and will make Indiaproud”.

 

Leadingthe ARRC charge is the experienced RajivSethu for whom 2019 is his 3rd season in ARRC. Rajiv has shownconsistent improvement since his ARRC debut in 2017; climbing from 46thspot in his inaugural year to closing 27th position in 2018. In2019, Rajiv opened the throttle and is ranked 14th in AP 250cc classchampionship snapping up 8 points in his kitty already.

 

BackingRajiv up as his teammate is the 18-year-oldpromising rookie rider Senthil Kumar. In 2018, Senthil showed promisingresults in his debut year at Thai Talent Cup and finished 3rd in the2018 INMRC Pro Stock 165cc championship on the domestic front.  In 2019 season of ARRC, Senthil made his markby winning 2 points in his debut race in Sepang circuit. 

 

Marking his third year in the championship, youngtalented Honda riderRajiv Sethu said,“Every round comes with a new learning. After riding in the Bend motorsportpark in 2018, my entire focus this weekend will be to improve my riding style. Withthe full support of my IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team and propelled under theguidance of Mr. Koyama, I feel much more confident of my race-craft in thistricky track. I am striving for a Top 10 finish.”

 

Goingtowards his second ARRC round, rookie rider Senthil Kumarsaid, “Representing India on aninternational circuit and scoring points in my first race in Malaysia has givenme positive momentum. Australia is a new track for me and a very technical onetoo. But with the full support of my team, I am groomed and trained for everychallenge. I aim to go ahead full steam and snap points for India.”

 

Parallelly, Honda Group Companies HondaAsia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team has pulled strong in the inaugural Asia SuperBike1000cc (ASB) class of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019. The team has recruitedtop personnel from Honda subsidiaries across the Asia & Oceania region,including a race technician from India. Led by former MotoGP racer MakotoTamada as team manager, the Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi on the CBR1000RR SP2racing machine is currently ranked in the top 4 in the championship.

 

 

 

 

 

IDEMITSUHonda Racing India team at ARRC, 2019 in the Asia Production 250cc class

Rider

Age

Nationality

Career Highlights

Rajiv Sethu

Nov, 1997 (21 yr)

India

2019:

-ARRC Round-1(AP 250), Malaysia (14th)

2018:

- ARRC, AP 250 class

- ARRC, AP 250 (27th)

- Thai Talent Cup (12th)

- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

2017:

- ARRC, AP 250 (46th)

- Thai Talent Cup (16th)

- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

2016:

- Honda Asia Dream Cup (12th)

 - INMRC Pro Stock 165 (1st)

- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

Senthil Kumar

Feb, 2001

(18 yr)

India

2019:

- ARRC Round-1(AP250), Malaysia (17th)

2018:

- Thai Talent Cup (20th)

- INMRC Pro Stock 165 (3rd)

-  IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 250R (3rd)

2017:

- CBR 150R One Make Championship

Debut in racing with Honda

 

 

AboutFIM Asia Road Racing Championship:

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) isAsia’s most competitive motorcycle road racing championship in its 24thyear. The 2019 season has 7 rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia,Thailand * 2, Japan & South Korea). After the Malaysian first round in theSepang circuit, the battle for 2019 championship will take place this weekend (25-28 April) at the Bend Motorsport Park in Australia. 

 

In 2019 ARRC features four classes - thenewly introduced premier class of Asia Superbike 1000 (ASB1000), SuperSports600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250) and Underbone class (UB150).

 

Representing the solo Indian team at theevent - IDEMITSU Honda Racing India are two riders – Rajiv Sethu and the rookieSenthil Kumar who fight on the CBR250RR.

 

 

 

For more information, contact Public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

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ARRC

Honda riders Rajiv and Senthil open 2019 ARRC with a bang! at ARRC

 

·  Rajiv Sethu: Clockingbest practice lap time of 2:26:858, Rajiv pushes hard to Top 7 for the First time

·  Senthil Kumar: 18-yearold rookie rider shows his mettle, 17 position in his ARRC debut practice!

·  Aftertoday’s strong practice, Honda’s soloIndian team eyes top 10 finish in tomorrow’s qualifying

·  New expert riding coach ex-MotoGPrider Mr. Koyama brings new value to team in 2019 season

 

Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), 8March 2019:A week after announcing its international motorsport plans for 2019, the soloteam from India – ‘IDEMITSU Honda RacingIndia’ is now charging full steam ahead in the first round of Asia’s mostprestigious motorsport championship – FIMAsia Road Racing Championship (ARRC).

 

The 2019season start is setting the mood for the season ahead with 25 riders from 7nations fighting for podium in the hot and humid Sepang Internationalcircuit.  The competition in Malaysia isa tough and intense with top 10 riders finishing in just a 2 second gap.

 

Honda’ssolo Indian team turns the heat to full in today’s practice:

Afterfinishing the 2 day pre-season testing yesterday, the team finished today’s 3practices on a high note. Both the riders of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team -the experienced 3rd timer Rajiv Sethu and rookie rider Senthil Kumarin the Asia Production 250cc class consistently showed aggression and resultson track.

 

Clocking animpressive best practice lap time of 2:26:858, Rajiv Sethu is now in the top 7bunch of the race ending todays practice. This is his best ever finish in theAsia Road Racing Championship practice ever.

 

Meanwhile,Senthil is coming under spotlight in his debut racing season itself. Earlier inhis pre-test, Senthil clocked 14th fastest best lap time of 2:29:873.The combined practice result saw Senthil finish at 17th with hisbest lap time of 2:30:288. 

 

Sharing anoverview on the team performance today, Mr.Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle& Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “Withan aim to develop iconic Indian rider for India and the World, the IDEMITSUHonda Racing India team has returned stronger in 2019. Malaysia is a trickyround as the track is new to both the team and riders who are riding theCBR250RR. But our boys performance in pre-test and today’s practice has beenvery strong and encouraging. Rajiv’s first time entry in top 7 in practice andSenthil coming in top 17 is great news for the qualifier and race 1 tomorrow. Weare now challenge ourselves in top 10 finish this season.”

 

Leading from the front, young talented Hondarider Rajiv Sethu said, “Malaysia being a new track for me, it tooksome time to adapt to Sepang. For me, the focus was on working on both bikesetting with team and improving my riding style with Koyama san’s expertguidance. The result was my top 7th finish in combined practice. Withthe full support of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team, I am now challengingmyself to push more and finish in top 10 tomorrow. I target is to win pointstomorrow itself and make India proud.”

 

Talking on his debut season with fresh energyand confidence, the 18 year rookierider Senthil Kumar said, “For me, the first day was a big struggle.The machine was new, so was the track and the aggressive riding style of mycompetition. The hot and humid weather made riding even more physicallychallenging. But I am happy with my results today. In pre-test, I clocked myfastest lap time of 2:29:873. Today was all about experimenting to improve mytechnique and riding style. Honda has given me wings to realize my dreams torace at an MotoGP track internationally and I aim to go ahead full steam andfinish in top 15 tomorrow.”

 

Parallely, Honda Group Companies HondaAsia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team pulled strong in the inaugural Asia Superbike1000cc class at the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019 too. The team has recruitedtop personnel from Honda subsidiaries and other Honda racing teams across theAsia & Oceania region including a race technician from India. Led by formerMotoGP racer Makoto Tamada as team manager, the Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi closedtoday’s combined ASB1000 practice at 6th position on the CBR1000RRSP2 racing machine.

 

REFERENCE ANNEXURE:

 

 

Championship

Machine

Rider

Age

Nationality

Career Highlights

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019

 

(Asia Production 250 class)

CBR250RR

Rajiv

Sethu

Nov, 1997 (21 yr)

India

2018:

- ARRC, AP 250 (27th)

- Thai Talent Cup (12th)

- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

2017:

- ARRC, AP 250 (46th)

- Thai Talent Cup (16th)

- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

2016:

- Honda Asia Dream Cup (12th)

 - INMRC Pro Stock 165 (1st)

- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

 

Senthil Kumar

Feb, 2001

(18 yr)

India

2018:

- Thai Talent Cup (20th)

- INMRC Pro Stock 165 (3rd)

-  IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 250R (3rd)

2017:

- CBR 150R One Make Championship

Debut in racing with Honda

IDEMITSU Honda RacingIndia team – Rider Profile

 

 

About 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) isAsia’s most competitive motorcycle road racing championship in its 24thyear. The 2019 season has 7 rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia,Thailand * 2, Japan & South Korea). The battle for 2019 championship startsthis weekend (8-10 March) at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia.

 

In 2019 ARRC features four classes - thenewly introduced premier class of Asia Superbike 1000 (ASB1000), SuperSports600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250) and Underbone class (UB150).

 

Representing the solo Indian team at theevent - IDEMITSU Honda Racing India are two riders – Rajiv Sethu and the rookieSenthil Kumar who fight on the CBR250RR.

 

 

 

For more information, contact Public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

Read More 

ARRC

Honda’s solo Indian team crafts history in Australia! at ARRC

Rajiv Sethu becomes First Indian riderin ARRC to finish in Top 10!

 

·  IDEMITSU Honda Racing Indiarealizes dream for Top 10 finish for the first time ever!

·  Rajiv breaks into in Top 10AP 250 ranks with best ever lap time of 2:10:207

·  With his best ever 6 pointsgain in Race 1, Rajiv jumps 2 positions to 12th in championship

·  Indian team AP 250championship standing after Race 1, Rd 2: Team (7th), Rajiv (12th),Senthil (22nd)

 

Bend Motorsport Park, Adelaide, 27 April2019:Indian motorsport is finally coming of age and Saturday proved this as IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team riderRajiv Sethu created history as the first Indian rider to break into Top 10 group in AP 250 class of FIMAsia Road Racing Championship 2019 (ARRC) - Asia’s toughest road racechampionship. 

 

With his beststart from 12th position, Rajiv Sethu pulled the guns today. A goodstart propelled him to 5th and 6th position in the firstlap of race 1 itself. However, his bike’s handlebar got stuck with Indonesianrider Irfan Ardiansyah on contact which pushed him back. But challenginghimself, the 3rd timer 21-year-old maintained his cool and made hismove in 5th lap. Overtaking 2riders, Rajiv was the 10th to cross the chequered flag and gained 6points while recording his fastest best lap time of 2:10:207, a solid 1.5second improvement over his previous best.

 

Meanwhile,today was a day of struggle and then a massive recovery for the rookie18-year-old Senthil Kumar. Starting 18th, Senthil overtook 3 riderswith his great start but in turn 15 he went out of track and went back to 24th.But ploughing on, Senthil overtook 7 riders to finally finish 17thwith 1 position gain from his start.

 

With this,IDEMITSU Honda Racing India continues strong in the Top 7 teams of the AP 250class.

 

Meanwhile,the reigning AP 250 champion Andy Muhammad Fadly from Indonesia finished on topwith 19:15:688 as Muklada Sarapuech from Honda Racing Thailand took a loosecorner in the last lap costing her 2 positions while Japanese rider Aiki Iyoshifinished 2nd.

 

Sharing anoverview on today’s qualifier, Mr.Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle& Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “Todayit’s a happy day! We’ve reached the first step of our target top 10 finish.Looking at both rider and coach feedback, we’re confident of Rajiv’s potential.He’s earned 14 points in 3 races which is a major improvement over the 7 pointshe earned in 2018 complete season. Now its time for Rajiv to aim much higher.We were expecting Senthil too in top 15. But while he fell back, he fought backvery well. We are delighted to be the first Indian team to finish in top 10 inAP250 race. Tomorrow, we will challenge ourselves harder to better our positioneven more.”

 

Delightedwith his performance today and charged up for tomorrow, Honda’s third timerARRC rider Rajiv Sethu said, “Everything is going in good direction.Thanks to my IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team, I am feeling stronger on trackwith the training, expert coach feedback and the full technical team backingme. I achieved my goal for today to break into the Top 10 for the first time. Butnow that I am here, I have to change my race craft to target higher.”

 

Meanwhile,the 18-year-old rookie rider SenthilKumar said, “I am feelingdisappointed today. I improved my braking today but I was too tense before therace. That reflected in my result today. Tomorrow, my target is to stay calmand avoid aggressiveness in lap 1 which cost me dear today.

I’m challenging myself to finish in top 15tomorrow.”

 


 

IDEMITSU Honda Racing India@ AP 250 class of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019

Rider

AP 250, Rd. 2 Qualifier:

ARRC - AP 250 class

championship standing

 Team Championship standing

Rajiv Sethu

21 years

Race 1: 10th

Total: 19:40:936

Best lap time: 2:10:207

Qualifying: 12th

Lap Time: 2:11:738

2019 - 14th (Round 1 ending)

2018 – 27th

2017 - 46th ( ARRC debut)

 

2019 –  7th

(Race 1 of Round 2 ending)

 

2018 – 15th *

* Debut year as solo Indian team

 

Senthil Kumar

18 years

Race 1: 17th

Total: 20:18.113

Best lap time: 2:12.459

Qualifying: 18th

Lap Time: 2:13:876

2019 – 17th (ARRC debut)

 

 

About 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) isAsia’s most competitive motorcycle road racing championship in its 24thyear. The 2019 season has 7 rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia,Thailand * 2, Japan & South Korea). After the Malaysian first round in theSepang circuit, the battle for 2019 championship will take place this weekend (25-28 April) at the Bend Motorsport Park in Australia. 

 

In 2019 ARRC features four classes - thenewly introduced premier class of Asia Superbike 1000 (ASB1000), SuperSports600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250) and Underbone class (UB150).

 

Representing the solo Indian team at theevent - IDEMITSU Honda Racing India are two riders – Rajiv Sethu and the rookieSenthil Kumar who fight on the CBR250RR.

 

 

 

For more information, contact Public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

 

 

Read More 

ARRC

IDEMITSU Honda Racing India’s rider duo gains speed in windy Australia! at ARRC

Rajiv Qualifies intop 12, Senthil at 18th

 

·       Both riders shave offprecious seconds off their lap times and climb ranks

·       Rajiv records his best everqualifier result at 12th spot & aims for top 10 in tomorrow’srace

·       Senthil aims in break intothe top 15

 

Bend Motorsport Park, Adelaide, 26 April2019:After delivering best ever performance in round 1 of FIM Asia Road RacingChampionship 2019 (ARRC) in Sepang; IDEMITSUHonda Racing India team’s riders pushed hard in today’s Asia Production 250Qualifying at the Bend Motorsport Park near Adelaide today.

 

The 4.95 kmlong Bend track with its technical corners and fast-flowing sections proved toa tougher adversary today after early morning showers. But the Indian duo continued to climb ranks in the afternoon AP250 Qualifier.

 

Rajiv pushed hard to close the AP 250qualifier in Top 12 with best lap time of 2:11:738. This was asignificant improvement for Rajiv over from his best practice lap time of2:12:130. Shaving off seconds in each track outing, Rajiv has already reducedhis gap with lead rider Andy to 3.1 seconds.

 

Meanwhile,learning continued for 18-year-old rookie Senthil Kumar who gained his firstever wet race experience in the morning third practice. In his first Bendouting, Senthil closed in top 18 with best lap time of 2:13:876. Pushing harder,Senthil’s gap with the lead rider has now reduced to 5.250 seconds compared tohis best practice lap time gap of 8.412 seconds.

 

Tomorrow’srace 1 will see reigning AP 250 champion Andy Muhammad Fadly from Indonesia whostopped the clock with best lap time of 2:08:626 lead the grid, followed byJapanese rider Aiki Iyoshi at 2nd and the wonder woman Muklada Sarapuechfrom Honda Racing Thailand at 3rd spot.

 

Sharing anoverview on today’s qualifier, Mr.Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle& Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “Themorning rains gave us some tense moments but the Indian team emerged strongerthan before. Rajiv riding is evolving every time he goes on track. Rajivqualified 12th on the grid, which is his best ever qualifyingposition. This can give him the push to finish in the top 10 for the firsttime. For Senthil, Australia is a complete new ballgame. He faced the wet racefor the first time today but he’s showing significant improvement. If the teamand Senthil play it right, we just might earn points yet again in tomorrow’srace 1.”

 

Satisfiedwith his performance today and charged up for tomorrow, Honda’s third timerARRC rider Rajiv Sethu said, “Bend is a complicated track. The manyelevations coupled with strong winds make it unpredictable for riders. Last year,I could do only 5 laps as I suffered a crash in practice 3. This time, I hadmore laps on track and improved to qualify in 12th position – whichis my best ever qualifying result. Tomorrow, my mantra will be to stay calm,understand the race in initial laps, then plan and push ahead. My goal is tobreak into the Top 10 for the first time in the 9 lap race tomorrow.”

 

Meanwhile,the 18-year-old rookie rider SenthilKumar is working hard to grab points for India in this tough weekend and said,“Today’s FP3 was my first wet race.Riding with a bunch of riders, I could improve my riding line and entry speed. Ialmost crashed in lap 5 but made fast recovery. Overall, my gap with lead riderhas reduced and I finished 18th. Tomorrow, I plan to stay with thebunch in the first few laps and then set a pace and challenge myself to finishin Top 15th.”

 


 

IDEMITSU Honda RacingIndia @ AP 250 class of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019

Rider

AP 250, Rd. 2 Qualifier:

ARRC - AP 250 class

championship standing

 (Ranking / points)

Rajiv Sethu

21 years

Qualifying:

 

Lap Time: 2:11:738

Position: 12th

2019 - 14th (Round 1 ending)

2018 – 27th

2017 - 46th ( ARRC debut)

 

2019 –  7th (Rd. 1 ending)

 

2018 – 15th *

* Debut year as solo Indian team

 

Senthil Kumar

18 years

Qualifying:

 

Lap Time: 2:13:876

Position: 18th

2019 – 17th (ARRC debut)

 

 

About 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:

FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) isAsia’s most competitive motorcycle road racing championship in its 24thyear. The 2019 season has 7 rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia,Thailand * 2, Japan & South Korea). After the Malaysian first round in theSepang circuit, the battle for 2019 championship will take place this weekend (25-28 April) at the Bend Motorsport Park in Australia. 

 

In 2019 ARRC features four classes - thenewly introduced premier class of Asia Superbike 1000 (ASB1000), SuperSports600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250) and Underbone class (UB150).

 

Representing the solo Indian team at theevent - IDEMITSU Honda Racing India are two riders – Rajiv Sethu and the rookieSenthil Kumar who fight on the CBR250RR.

 

 

 

For more information, contact Public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

Read More 

ARRC

Honda’s solo Indian team arrives at Thailand for Round 3 of ARRC at ARRC

Rajiv Sethu & Senthil Kumar gun for theirbest performance at familiar Chang circuit

 

 

Chang International Circuit (Thailand), 29May 2019:This weekend ‘IDEMITSU Honda RacingIndia’ – the solo Indian racing team from Honda 2Wheelers India is takingthe battle for Indian glory to Thailand. The Indian contingent today reachedChang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, where Asia’s best riders willfight in Round 3 of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019 (ARRC).

 

Sharingpreparations of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, HondaMotorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “2019 is shaping up as the best year for Honda’s solo Indian team atARRC. Rajiv Sethu is coming of age and is already in Top 12 riders this season,compared to his 27th position last year. Senthil too is riding moreconfidently on the new machine after 2 rounds. The biggest advantage is thatChang circuit is like a second home for our boys. Both Rajiv and Senthil haveraced extensively on this MotoGP track and are aware of its intricacies. Pushinghard, we want to make most of this round and close in top 5 teams this round.”

 

Leading theARRC charge in Asia Production (AP250) class is the experienced Rajiv Sethu.After sweeping double digit points for the first time in Australia, Rajiv isbeing viewed as a serious contender in the 2019 championship. Compared to his27th position last year, Rajiv is already in top 12 with 18 pointsso far in AP 250 class of championship.

 

BackingRajiv up will be his teammate SenthilKumar. Marking 2018 as his debut year at Thai Talent Cup, Senthil showedpromising results at the Chang International Circuit last year. In his debutARRC year, Senthil has already won 2 points and is all charged to push thethrottle in Chang, an international circuit where he has the strong benefit ofprior racing experience. 

 

The Indianduo of Rajiv and Senthil will be racing with 25 of Asia’s top riders from Indonesia,Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taipei and India in Asia Production 250ccclass.

Meanwhile,the competition will intensify further with introduction of new Balancing VariousMotorcycle Concepts rule. The new rule was created for greater equality amongcompeting motorcycles and balance rider performance of top 5 riders in overallchampionship. After 2 rounds, top riders of AP 250cc class Aiki Iyoshi (Japan)and Andy Muhammad Fadly (Indonesia) will be the first to achieve the firstequaliser (500rpm reduction) while rounding up the top 3 of AP 250cc class is thewonder woman Muklada Sarapuech from A.P Honda racing, Thailand.

 

Sharing histhoughts, Rajiv Sethu, theexperienced IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider said, “I am both mentallyand physically charged up for this round. With the support of complete IDEMITSUHonda Racing India team and my coach Mr. Koyama, Australia gave me momentum andnow I want to re-write history by aiming for a podium at Chang – the circuitwhere I scored my first ever international points. My target is not top 10finish, I want to push hard and surprise everyone even more this round”

 

Enteringhis third ARRC round and the first track where he has ridden before, SenthilKumar said, “In 2018, Honda gave memy international break in Thailand Talent Cup 2018 which is Honda’s developmentplatform for Asian riders. And in 2019, Honda again gave me a bigger chance in Asia’stoughest championship. With the full backing of my fantastic IDEMITSU HondaRacing India team, I am now much more confident on bike handling. Chang is afamiliar track for me. This is my best chance to return to top 15 and eye evenhigher finish.”

 

Parallelly,the marquee Asia SuperBike 1000cc (ASB) class of ARRC 2019 will see Malaysianrider Zaqhwan Zaidi of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team (ranked 2nd)return in full form. The team has top personnel from Honda subsidiaries acrossAsia & Oceania, including a race technician from India.

 

This roundwill also see Honda’s teenager rider duo of Mohammad Mikail (ranked 15th)and Kritik Habib (ranked 16th) who made their international debutwith Thailand Talent Cup (Honda’s development program for Asian riders) getchance to learn race-craft from Asia’s best.

 

 

Formore information, contact Public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

<Rider profiles >

Championship (class)

Machine

Rider

Career Highlights

ARRC

 

(AP 250 class)

CBR

250RR

Rajiv Sethu

(21 yrs)

2019:

International: ARRC in AP 250 class (12th)

2018:

Int’l: ARRC, AP 250 (27th), Thailand Talent Cup (12th) Domestic: INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

2017:

Int’l: ARRC, AP 250 (46th), Thailand Talent Cup (16th)

Domestic: INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd), CBR250R One Make Race (1st)

2016:

Int’l: Honda Asia Dream Cup (12th)

Domestic: INMRC Pro Stock 165 (1st), CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

Senthil Kumar

(18 yrs)

2019:

International: ARRC in AP 250 class (17th)

2018:

International: Thailand Talent Cup (20th)

Domestic: INMRC Pro Stock 165 (3rd), IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 250R (3rd)

2017:

Racing debut in Honda CBR 150R One Make Championship (5th)

Thailand Talent Cup

 

(NSF 250)

 

NSF 250R

Mohamed Mikail

(15 yrs)

2019:

International: Thailand Talent Cup (15th)

2018:

Racing debut of IDEMITSU Honda Talent Hunt prodigy in IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 150R (1st)

Kritik Habib

(19 yrs)

2019:

International: Thailand Talent Cup (16th)

2018:

Racing debut of IDEMITSU Honda Talent Hunt prodigy in IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 150R (3rd)

 

 

 

About 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:FIMAsia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) is Asia’s most competitive motorcycle roadracing championship, now in its 24th year. The 2019 season has 7rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia, Thailand * 2, Japan &South Korea). The battle for 2019 championship has now shifted from Australiato the Chang International Circuit, Buriram province, Thailand.

In 2019,ARRC features four classes - the newly introduced premier class of AsiaSuperbike 1000 (ASB1000), SuperSports 600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250)and Underbone class (UB150). Representing the solo Indian team at the event -IDEMITSU Honda Racing India, are two riders – Rajiv Sethu and the rookieSenthil Kumar who fight on the CBR250RR.

 

About the New Balancing Various Motorcycle Concepts rule:

Makingthe competition even more tough is the new BalancingVarious Motorcycle Concepts rule introduced in Asia Production 250 class in2019. The rule has been created to bring equality among competing motorcyclesand balance the performance by adjusting the RPM limit of top 5 riders inoverall championship. The first equalizer, a 500rpm reduction to the rev limitwill be applied once any of the top 4 riders acquire a 25 –point lead over theother competitors in the top 5. The adjusted RPM limit will stay throughout theseason or further adjusted if they are affected by second or third equaliser.

 

After2 rounds, top riders of AP 250cc class Aiki Iyoshi (Japan) and Andy MuhammadFadly (Indonesia) will be the first to be affected by the first equaliser(500rpm reduction).

Read More 

ARRC

Rajiv consistent in Top 15 in today’s practice at ARRC Rd 3, Thailand at ARRC

·       Rajiv Sethu: Creatinghis new fastest lap time record of 1:55:146, Rajiv maintains position in Top 15

·       Senthil Kumar: 18-yearold rookie rider shows improvement, shaves 1 second of his lap time

·       Actionstarts tomorrow with qualifying and race 1 of AP 250 class in Round 3 of ARRC

·       Honda’ssolo Indian team eyes top 10 finishin tomorrow’s qualifying

 

Buriram (Thailand), 31 May 2019: After yesterday’srider briefing and technical checks, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team’s ridersduo of Rajiv Sethu and Senthil Kumar today completed a positive opening day ofpractice in Round 3 of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) in Buriram.

 

Clocking hisbest practice lap time of 1:55:146, Rajiv Sethu has recorded a his new fastestlap time at the Chang circuit. Shaving off 3 seconds from his lap times betweenthe 3 practice sessions, Rajiv’s gap with the fastest rider has now reduced tojust 2 seconds. This puts him in the top 15 bunch after todays practice.

 

Meanwhilehis teammate Senthil - the rookie 18-year-old rider reduced his lap time bymore than 1 second between FP1, FP2 and FP3. Combined practice result sawSenthil finish 20th with lap time of 1:57:766. 

 

Theheat was surely turned on today as the gap between first 14 riders was 1second. Ruling from the front in today’s combined practice was the A.P HondaRacing duo of Muklada Sarapuech (1:53:138) and Piyawat Patoomyos (1:53:666)followed by Indonesian reigning champion Andy Fadly (1:53:724).

 

Now, the actionresumes tomorrow when 25 of Asia’s top riders from 7 countries will battle inthe morning Qualifier followed by Race 1 at the Chang International circuit.

 

Quote from Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brandand Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.

“Today, our boys performance in practicesessions consistently improved. There’s a drastic change in Rajiv of last yearand now. He’s much more confident, risk taking and both mentally and physicallyfit. In today’s practice, Rajiv’s gap with lead rider has squeezed to just 2seconds now. He can push to the top bunch if he plays his cards right tomorrow.Senthil is a rookie rider and still learning his new race machine. Its now timeto up his game. Tomorrow should be a good day for us. We will fight for top 10.”

 

Quote of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Rajiv Sethu:

 “The FP1 was good and I came in top 14. But Icouldn’t ride most of the FP2 due to an electronic issue. In FP3, I really pushedhard and broke my previous best lap time. Today my strategy was to ride aloneand get familiar with the track. Tomorrow, I aim to stay with the top bunch andfinish well in Top 10.”

 

Quote of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Senthil Kumar:

“I’mnot satisfied with my performance today. I could have improved more but couldonly be 1.2 seconds faster between the 3 FPs. Tomorrow will be new day. I willcorrect my mistakes and fight back to finish in top 15 and win points for India.”

 

Parallellyin the ASB1000cc class, Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi of Honda Asia-DreamRacing with SHOWA team was in full form. His best lap time of 1:36:274 put himon 2nd spot after Azlan Shah.

 

Today alsosaw Honda’s teenager rider duo of Mohammad Mikail and Kritik Habib practicewith 19 riders in Honda Thailand Talent Cup (Honda’s development program forAsian riders run on NSF250R). Making strong push, Mikhail zoomed to the Top 13with 1:53:776 best lap time and Kritik Habib finished 17th in FP1 and 18thin FP2.

 

For more information, contact Public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

 


<Rider profiles >

Championship (class)

Machine

Rider

Career Highlights

ARRC

 

(AP 250 class)

CBR

250RR

Rajiv Sethu

(21 yrs)

2019:

International: ARRC in AP 250 class (12th)

2018:

Int’l: ARRC, AP 250 (27th), Thailand Talent Cup (12th) Domestic: INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)

2017:

Int’l: ARRC, AP 250 (46th), Thailand Talent Cup (16th)

Domestic: INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd), CBR250R One Make Race (1st)

2016:

Int’l: Honda Asia Dream Cup (12th)

Domestic: INMRC Pro Stock 165 (1st), CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)

Senthil Kumar

(18 yrs)

2019:

International: ARRC in AP 250 class (17th)

2018:

International: Thailand Talent Cup (20th)

Domestic: INMRC Pro Stock 165 (3rd), IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 250R (3rd)

2017:

Racing debut in Honda CBR 150R One Make Championship (5th)

Thailand Talent Cup

 

(NSF 250)

 

NSF 250R

Mohamed Mikail

(15 yrs)

2019:

International: Thailand Talent Cup (15th)

2018:

Racing debut of IDEMITSU Honda Talent Hunt prodigy in IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 150R (1st)

Kritik Habib

(19 yrs)

2019:

International: Thailand Talent Cup (16th)

2018:

Racing debut of IDEMITSU Honda Talent Hunt prodigy in IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 150R (3rd)

 

 

 

About 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:FIMAsia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) is Asia’s most competitive motorcycle roadracing championship, now in its 24th year. The 2019 season has 7rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia, Thailand * 2, Japan &China). The battle for 2019 championship has now shifted from Australia to theChang International Circuit, Buriram province, Thailand.

In 2019,ARRC features four classes - the newly introduced premier class of AsiaSuperbike 1000 (ASB1000), SuperSports 600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250)and Underbone class (UB150). Representing the solo Indian team at the event -IDEMITSU Honda Racing India, are two riders – Rajiv Sethu and the rookieSenthil Kumar who fight on the CBR250RR.

 

About the New Balancing Various Motorcycle Concepts rule:

Makingthe competition even more tough is the new BalancingVarious Motorcycle Concepts rule introduced in Asia Production 250 class in2019. The rule has been created to bring equality among competing motorcyclesand balance the performance by adjusting the RPM limit of top 5 riders inoverall championship. The first equalizer, a 500rpm reduction to the rev limitwill be applied once any of the top 4 riders acquire a 25 –point lead over theother competitors in the top 5. The adjusted RPM limit will stay throughout theseason or further adjusted if they are affected by second or third equaliser. After2 rounds, top riders of AP 250cc class Aiki Iyoshi (Japan) and Andy MuhammadFadly (Indonesia) are the first to be affected by first equaliser (500rpmreduction).

Read More 

ARRC

Rajiv becomes 1st Indian to qualify in Top 7 in AP 250 class of ARRC at ARRC

After great start, day ends with mixedresults for the Indian team in Race 1

 

·       AP250 class Qualifying: Rajiv recordsBEST EVER finish in top 7 records with fastest lap time of 1:53:573; Senthilreduces lap time by another second but starts race 20th on grid

 

·       AP 250 class Race 1: Bad startpushes Rajiv back to 21st, recovers to 10th only to beput down by a high-side in last lap to finish 22nd; Senthil gains 2positions to finish 18th

 

Buriram Circuit (Thailand), 1 June 2019: Todayturned out to a mixed day for IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team’s riders duo of RajivSethu and Senthil in Round 3 of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) inBuriram.

 

Afterconsistent top 15 in yesterday’s practice,today’s morning qualifier saw Rajiv Sethu record the Best Ever Finish by anIndian rider in top 7. Improving his race craft further, his gap with leadrider Muklada further reduced to under 1 second, the least ever so far.

Unfortunately,he couldn’t maintain this momentum in Race 1. A poor start lost him 14positions from his first ever 3rd row start. Yet persevering on aggressively,Rajiv made quick recovery. By lap 3 he overtook 1 rider, by lap 5 he gained on3 more. By the start of last 10th lap, Rajiv had returned to histargeted 10th position. But then, searching for a slipstream camethe high-side resulting in a crash in Turn 3. Despite minor damage inhandle-bar, Rajiv managed to finish the race.

 

Starting 20thon grid, Senthil made a good start but couldn’t surge ahead till the 8thlap. Thereon, he gained over 2 riders in the last 2 laps to finally close at 18thposition.

 

Race 1 saw battle start from the word go andended at the chequered flag with Honda riders ruling all 3 positions in podium.Leading the bunch were Thai rider duo of Muklada Sarapuech (1st) andTatchakorn Buasri (2nd) from A.P Honda Racing followed by Indonesianrider Irfan Ardiansyah from Astra Honda (3rd). 

 

Quote of Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brandand Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.

“Aftera great start, we were confident of achieving our target today. I’m happy thatthe rider and machine are competing in the top lot now with Rajiv achieving hisbest ever 7th spot in qualifying. Surely, we missed a greatopportunity. Rajiv’s fighting spirit stood out and led to his recovery back toTop 10 until the crash in last lap. Tomorrow, our first target is to maintainthe qualify position and achieve Top 10 target.”

 

Quote of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Rajiv Sethu:

After mybest ever qualifier finish, I was charged up for Race 1. But I missed a good startand got held back in the chasing bunch. However, I made a steady recovery andby the last lap returned to Top 10. I pushed harder but crashed. My aim thenwas to just finish the race. I’m sad to not meet my target but I learnt a lot. Tomorrow,my aim is to finish in top 10.”

 

Quote of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Senthil Kumar:

“Istarted strong but after early impact with another rider, I lost my bunch inturn 5 of lap 1. Thereafter, I rode the next 7 laps alone with focus oncorrecting my mistakes. My target for tomorrow is to correct my mistakes andchallenge for a Top 15 finish.”

 

In ASB1000cc class, Malaysian rider ZaqhwanZaidi of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team overtook 1 rider from his 3rdposition start to finish 2nd in race 1 fighting intensely till theend with the winner Azlan Shah.

 

Parallely,Honda’s Indian teen rider duo of Kritik Habib finished at his best ever 9thspot in Race 1 of Honda Thailand Talent Cup (Honda’s development program forAsian riders run on NSF250R) while Mohammad Mikail had an unfortunate crashwhile avoiding impact with the rider before him.

 

About 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship:FIMAsia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) is Asia’s most competitive motorcycle roadracing championship, now in its 24th year. The 2019 season has 7rounds across 5 countries (Malaysia* 2, Australia, Thailand * 2, Japan &China). The battle for 2019 championship has now shifted from Australia to theChang International Circuit, Buriram province, Thailand.

In 2019,ARRC features four classes - the newly introduced premier class of AsiaSuperbike 1000 (ASB1000), SuperSports 600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250)and Underbone class (UB150). Representing the solo Indian team at the event -IDEMITSU Honda Racing India, are two riders – Rajiv Sethu and the rookieSenthil Kumar who fight on the CBR250RR.

 

About the New Balancing Various Motorcycle Concepts rule:

Makingthe competition even more tough is the new BalancingVarious Motorcycle Concepts rule introduced in Asia Production 250 class in2019. The rule has been created to bring equality among competing motorcyclesand balance the performance by adjusting the RPM limit of top 5 riders inoverall championship. The first equalizer, a 500rpm reduction to the rev limitwill be applied once any of the top 4 riders acquire a 25 –point lead over theother competitors in the top 5. The adjusted RPM limit will stay throughout theseason or further adjusted if they are affected by second or third equaliser. After2 rounds, top riders of AP 250cc class Aiki Iyoshi (Japan) and Andy MuhammadFadly (Indonesia) are the first to be affected by first equaliser (500rpm reduction).

 

 

For more information, contact Public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

 

 

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ARRC

Rajiv wins points for India yet again, finishes 12th in Race 2 of Thai ARRC at ARRC

Midway into season, IDEMITSU Honda RacingIndia Team crosses 20 points mark for 1st time

 

·       Adding 4 more points to thetally 21-year-old Rajiv Sethu in Top 14 riders

·       With 22 points, the soloIndian team is now in Top 7 Teams of AP 250 class Championship

 

Buriram Circuit (Thailand), 2 June 2019: Today turnedout to be another day of gaining points for IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team’sriders duo of Rajiv Sethu and Senthil in the final race of Round 3 FIM AsiaRoad Racing Championship (ARRC) in Buriram.

 

Boosted byhis maiden third row start from 7th, Rajiv made a good start overtaking2 riders at start line itself. For the next 5, Rajiv was in top 9 riding inless than 1 second gap. In turn 4 of lap 6, Indonesian rider Rafid had ahigh-side and Rajiv exceeded track limit to save himself from crash slipping to10th. From 7th lap onwards, Rajiv, Rafid and 3 moreriders fought to maintain their positions. It was on the slipstream in homestraight of lap 9 that Rajiv emerged 12th. Fighting till the lastcorner, Rajiv took the call to avoid the risk of crash and maintained hisposition to win 4 points in race 2.

 

This round,Rajiv showed remarkable improvement, recording the first Indian rider Qualifierfinish in Top 7, new fastest lap time (1:53:573) and over 33% reduction in totalrace time gap with lead rider from 18 seconds to just 5 seconds in the 10 laprace.

 

His rookie team-mate,Senthil ended the race with no gain, no loss at 20th out of 25riders. 

 

The hot andsweltering weather condition was matched by heated AP250 race 2 on track too.After Thai rider Muklada returned to pits in starting lap, the frenzy continuedtill end line with A.P Honda’s Thai rider Tatchakorn Buasri stopping the clockfollowed by Indonesian Honda rider Awhin Sanjaya (2nd) and MuhammadFaerozy completing the AP 250 race 2 podium.

 

Withcurtains down at Buriram, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India has breached the 20points mark with total of 22 points in its kitty, before mid of 2019 season,taking it to TOP 7 teams of the AP250 championship. Snapping another 4 points, Rajivis ranked 14th with 22 points and Senthil at 21st with 2points in his debut season.

 

Quote of Mr. Minoru Kato, President & CEO, HondaMotorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.

“Honda wants to lead motorsports in India andcreate an iconic World champion from here. Historically, India might not havebeen at the forefront of racing in Asian region, but looking at the progress ofour team at ARRC in last 2 years, I strongly believe that we are on the righttrack. Our riders have started coming in the top bunch, the team is much moreexperienced now and experts like ex-MotoGP rider Mr. Koyama are further adding newvalue. Parallely, Honda’s Indian technicians are already learning the ropes fornext level of racing in the ASB1000 class.”

 

Quote of Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brandand Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.

“Aftertoday, I can confidently say that our team has entered the next level ofracing. Rajiv raced in the top bunch for the first time. Learning race-craftfrom Asia’s best riders gives him new insights to accelerate his performanceexponentially moving ahead. For Senthil, the learning phase will continue onhow to ride with Asia’s best by adapting fast to the new machine and newtracks. While the round ends today, preparation for next challenge startstomorrow when the team flies to Japan for Suzuka 4-Hour Endurance race forfirst time. This will further add to their track and riding style before Round4 in June end at Suzuka circuit itself.”

 

Quote of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Rajiv Sethu:

“Today,I raced my best out of my 24 ARRC races in 3 years. For the first time, Ifought in top 5 in 2 laps and I had my maiden opportunity to taste the frontbunch of AP250. Overall, I learnt a lot in Thai round and will be using thisexperience going forward. Last year, after my wrist fracture I couldn’t racewell in Japan. This year I will surely benefit from my experience in Suzuka 4-HourEndurance race next weekend and will apply the learning in upcoming June endround in Suzuka.”

 

Quote of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Senthil Kumar:

“Race2 started on a good note for me. By turn 3 of lap 1, I had overtaken 6 ridersbut exceeded track limit while cornering. I had returned to starting 20thposition by lap 4 but Malaysian rider Shahrol had an impact with me on Turn 3. WhileShahrol crashed out, I went in the mud to save myself but couldn’t join the frontbunch due to increased gap. Overall, I couldn’t match my targets with resultsin Buriram but I learnt a lot here. With the next race in Suzuka circuit, Japanprobably the toughest track in the world, I am excited and waiting to learnthere.”

 

In ASB1000cc class, Malaysian rider ZaqhwanZaidi of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team continued his golden run andfinished 4th, taking Honda’s solo team and rider both to Top 4 in flagshipclass. 

 

Parallely,development of NextGen millennial riders of India too got a push. Honda’sIndian teen rider duo racing in the Honda Talent Cup (Honda’s developmentprogram for Asian riders run on NSF250R) made further gains. Afer his firstever Top 9 finish in debut season yesterday, Kritik Habib crashed out in lap 8after the bike behind him hit him on the corner. Mohammad Mikail was the 13thto cross the chequered line.

 

 

For moreinformation, please contact : public.relations@honda2wheelersindia.com

 

 

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