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
AP 250, Rd. 2 Qualifier:
ARRC - AP 250 class
Team Championship standing
Race 1: 10th
Best lap time: 2:10:207
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
Race 1: 17th
Best lap time: 2:12.459
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.
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