Team Honda bags another 2 podiums

Amol Gokhale
Monday, 25 September 2017

Sriperembudur: If Saturday’s racing action in Round 5 of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) at the Madras Motor Race Track was coupled with scorching heat, Sunday’s action was coupled with light showers as the conditions became tricky to ride at the 3.74km circuit here.

It was another day of mixed results for team RAMA Honda as Koyama Tomoyoshi finished second in Asia Production 250cc class (AP250cc) while Indian rider Rajiv Sethu suffered a non-finish because of the collision.

Sriperembudur: If Saturday’s racing action in Round 5 of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) at the Madras Motor Race Track was coupled with scorching heat, Sunday’s action was coupled with light showers as the conditions became tricky to ride at the 3.74km circuit here.

It was another day of mixed results for team RAMA Honda as Koyama Tomoyoshi finished second in Asia Production 250cc class (AP250cc) while Indian rider Rajiv Sethu suffered a non-finish because of the collision.

It was again, the race between top three riders of Saturday’s race for the top spot in wet conditions on Sunday. Galang Hendra Pratama of Yamaha Racing Indonesia pulled ahead of the pack at the start and managed to bring home his bike without any difficulty, controlling the pace beautifully.

RAMA Honda’s Tomoyoshi did not take any risks as he finished second, 0.905 seconds behind the leader. Takehiro Yamamoto, who finished second on Saturday, took the remaining podium spot. Championship leader inched further closer to the title with a fifth-place finish which earned him valuable 11 points in the penultimate round.  

Rajiv Sethu talked about the incident which forced him to return to the pits after the race.

“I started well, as I managed to gain 10 places on the first lap, I was in ninth position, a place which I managed to hold well, but I collided with Vorapong Malahuan at corner three of the third lap and broke my gear lever, so I returned to the pits,” he said.

Sarath achieves personal best
Heading into the weekend, 24-year-old Sarath Kumar had set himself a target of 1 minute 46 seconds lap time, which he did achieve on Saturday, but he did manage to put in a much better performance in Race 2 on Sunday. He clocked the time of 1 minute 45.676 seconds, to become one of the fastest Indian riders in the Super Sport 600cc category, as he finished the race in 13th position.

The premier category race saw some intense action as the track had dried down after the drizzle as Md Zaqhwan Zaidi and Yuki Ito locked horns once again. After trailing for the most part of the race, Ito riding the Yamaha machine, made a stunning move on Zaidi in the 12th lap to snatch the lead with just two laps to go.

RAMA Honda rider Taiga Hada, who had finished second earlier, put in another composed performance to bring home his bike in the third place. On his way to the podium, he set the fastest lap at 1:40:990 with a blistering pace of 132.35 kilometres per hour.

Sethu plays it safe
Having already sealed the title of Honda One Make Series CBR 250cc in Saturday’s Race 1, Rajiv Sethu opted not to participate in Race 2 on Sunday ahead of next Sunday’s final round of National Racing Championship with Honda holding a mere one point advantage over TVS Racing.

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