· 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.
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<Rider profiles >
(AP 250 class)
International: ARRC in AP 250 class (12th)
Int’l: ARRC, AP 250 (27th), Thailand Talent Cup (12th) Domestic: INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd)
Int’l: ARRC, AP 250 (46th), Thailand Talent Cup (16th)
Domestic: INMRC Super Sport 165 (2nd), CBR250R One Make Race (1st)
Int’l: Honda Asia Dream Cup (12th)
Domestic: INMRC Pro Stock 165 (1st), CBR 250R One Make Race (1st)
International: ARRC in AP 250 class (17th)
International: Thailand Talent Cup (20th)
Domestic: INMRC Pro Stock 165 (3rd), IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 250R (3rd)
Racing debut in Honda CBR 150R One Make Championship (5th)
Thailand Talent Cup
International: Thailand Talent Cup (15th)
Racing debut of IDEMITSU Honda Talent Hunt prodigy in IDEMITSU Honda Talent Cup CBR 150R (1st)
International: Thailand Talent Cup (16th)
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).