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.
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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 &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).