SENTUL (INDONESIA): The Indonesian duo of Rheza and Awhin never looked like giving up their positions from the start as the Astra Honda pair finished first and second in the AP 250 Race 1 in Round 5 of the Asian Road Racing Championship in Sentul on Saturday. However, Honda Racing India had a mixed day as the Indian duo of Rajiv Sethu and Anish Shetty, despite recording the fastest lap times in the qualifier, were unfortunate to not gain points in Race 1.
Rajiv, who fractured his rib on Friday, put up a brave show to gain 2.1 seconds and clock his best lap time of 1:45:674. Anish, meanwhile, gained 3.1 seconds to record his fastest lap time of 1:48:198. “Despite starting at 23rd, I was pushing for top 15. By the 3rd lap, I had overtaken eight riders to be at 15th spot, but I fell back due to my contact with Thai rider Kanatat in lap 4.
While I recovered fast and avoided a crash, I couldn’t maintain the pace going forward as Saturday’s highslide intensified the pain of Friday’s rib injury. It (Saturday’s race) was disappointing for me. I had full intention to notch points but felt it slip through me. I want to give it my best shot on Sunday to finish in top 15,” said Rajiv. However, in the SS 600 category, Taiga Hada who qualified 9th on the grid, finished 6th clocking his fastest lap time of 1:31: 025. In doing so, the 20-yearold Japanese rider won 10 points for the Indian team on Day 1.
“I was happy with the good start on Saturday which took me to 5th spot. There on, I made my best efforts to maintain the position. But by the fag end of the race, my rear tyre could not hold, and I had to close on 6th spot. For Sunday, we will work on the suspension settings and I will once again challenge myself for a podium finish,” Hada said.