With the end of race 2 at the Chang circuit in Buriram today, the curtains closed for the 2018 Asia Road Racing Championship 2018 (ARRC).
It’s been a cracker of a season for India’s first solo team – ‘IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team by T. Pro Ten10. With Rajiv’s and Hada’s double whammy of notching points in both races and Anish’s consistent improvement in the last round this weekend, Indian motorsport is surely coming of age internationally too.
Sharing overview of the Honda’s solo Indian team’s debut season at ARRC, Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand & Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “It’s a proud moment for us and a great push to Indian motorsport. Not only are our boys getting opportunity to battle with Asia’s best professional riders and notching up points. In his rookie season, Anish won points in Australia. In Rajiv’s case, the improvement is remarkable. Compared to his 46 th position in the overall AP 250 championship last year, he has jumped 19 spots and won 7 points for the first time in 2018. In SS600 class too, Hada has amassed 79 points for the India team. The 2018 season closes today, but the action continues. As a company driven on realizing the Power of Dreams, our next big dream is to create an iconic Indian rider at the world stage. Working on this dream, we will start the testing for the 2019 season in next 2 days.
Expect the unexpected from Honda as we push our commitment to win laurels for India in 2019.” AP 250 – Rajiv wins back to back points for India, Anish too climbs up 3 spots Race 2 of AP 250 was the second day of nail biting finish. The Indian duo of Rajiv and Anish started 19 th and 25 th on the grid. With top 7 fighting for the win with less than 1 second gap, Andy came first, followed by Astra Honda Racing team rider Rheza (2 nd ) and Anupab completing the podium.
Starting from a far 19 th on the Chang circuit, Rajiv worked his magic yet again. Propelled by a good start, he climbed 3 positions in the first turn of first lap itself. But he had to relax his riding after a touch by rider in the next turn itself. Thereafter, he maintained his position and made his final move in last lap turn 3. After another another rider touched his bike, Rajiv got a good slip stream and overtook him in turn 4. Rajiv finished in top 15 yet again, thereby scoring points for the second time outside Indian soil in Asia Road Racing Championship.
Sharing his learnings and experience in AP250, Rajiv Sethu said, “My 2017 debut was a learning year for me but I couldn’t grab any points for my team. This year, I am thankful to Honda and IDEMITSU to give me opportunity to be a part of the only Indian team at ARRC. With the solid technical support behind me, my performance has really improved. Not only did I jump 19th positions in the championship over last year, but also win as many as 7 points in 3 races this season, which is a first for me. Now will put best effort to try to win the SuperSport165 in Indian National Championship.”
For the Bangalore rider Anish Shetty who made his international racing debut this season, the last race of the Asia Road Racing Championship was a good one. Despite a bad start which cost him 10 dear seconds in lap 1 itself, Anish aggressively pushed to close with the rider before him by the 6 th lap. The battle then continued till the last lap last corner, where Anish made a move on him to finally finish 20 th .
Talking about his debut season in international racing Anish Shetty said, “In 2018, I realized my dream to make my international racing debut thanks to Honda and IDEMITSU. ARRC was a steep learning curve & has tremendously improved my riding style, cornering speed, bike and tyre understanding. After battling with Asia’s best, my target now is to add to my lead and seal my maiden Pro-Stock title in Indian National Racing Championship and the 2018 CBR 250R championship too.”
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