· 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.”
FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019
(Asia Production 250 class)
Nov, 1997 (21 yr)
- ARRC, AP 250 (27th)
- Thai Talent Cup (12th)
- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)
- ARRC, AP 250 (46th)
- Thai Talent Cup (16th)
- INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)
- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)
- Honda Asia Dream Cup (12th)
- INMRC Pro Stock 165 (1st)
- CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)
- Thai Talent Cup (20th)
- INMRC Pro Stock 165 (3rd)
- IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 250R (3rd)
- 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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