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Honda’s Solo Indian Team Jumps to Top 5 in Australia

In Sports
April 29, 2019

IDEMITSU Honda Racing India – the solo Indian team in FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019 (ARRC) – Asia’s toughest road race championship had mixed results in today’s AP 250 Race 2 of the Australian round at Bend Motorsport park.

After his best ever qualifying finish of 12 th , Rajiv made a good start and stayed with the front bunch for most part of the race. in 11 th position which he maintained this till 5 th lap. In 6 th lap Loosing traction of his rear tyre, he lost 1 position but recovered very well and maintained 12 th position till the chequered flag finishing 19:43:636. Rajiv has notched up a total of 10 points in round 2 here at the Bend Motorsport park (his first ever double digit tally in a single round) maintaining his presence in top 12 in championship overall. This round saw Rajiv break his previous best and record new fastest lap time of 2:09:254 in Australia.

Meanwhile, Senthil couldn’t finish AP 250 race 2 today after his bike developed a technical snag in lap 1 and he returned to the pits. At the top, today was the first win for Japanese rider Aiki Iyoshi. Following him, were the Honda duo of Muklada Sarapuech (2 nd ) and Tatchakorn Buasri (3 rd ) from Thailand who fought a tough battle till the last.

With this, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India continues strong in the Top 7 teams of the AP 250 class. Sharing an overview on today’s qualifier, Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “We could have done better today. Rajiv’s riding was much stronger today. He paid the brunt of his high side but at the same time, his spectacular recovery proves how far he’s come as a rider contending for top 10. Unfortunately, Senthil could not finish his race due to a technical problem. I am confident that with the full support of team and Riding coach by ex-GP rider Koyama and the entry in top 10 bunch is just the start. Thailand round should be a strong one for Honda’s Indian team as both Rajiv and Senthil are familiar with this track.”

After earning 10 points in the Australian round and looking forward to Round 3 at Chang International circuit, Thailand, Rajiv Sethu said, “Today there was a lot of juggling at the start itself. After yesterday, I stayed calm and recorded my best ever lap time of 2:09 seconds and maintaining this for 5 laps. But the highside in lap 5 pushed me back and its disappointing that I couldn’t stay with the rider before me. But the positive thing is that I have narrowed my gap and am less than 2 second away from the leader on a consistent basis. Australia round was good for me and entering top 10 bunch. With next round, Chang cicuit (Thailand) feels like the second home to me post my Thailand talent cup season riding there. For sure, there will be a surprise in Chang.”

Meanwhile, while today didn’t bring good news for Senthil Kumar, he’s already planning his return at the Chang round and said, “Compared to my ARRC debut in Malaysia, I have improved my race-craft, be it in my body language, bike handling or even new understanding the technical changes in the windy and wet Australian tarmac. Today I was very calm at the start and had broken into the top 15 but my bike had a sudden technical problem between turn 5 and 6 due to which I had to pre-mature retire from the race. Now its target Chang for me. I am confident that my familiarity with the track thanks to my Thailand Talent Cup experience of last year and riding CBR 250RR for official season pre-testing will give me advantage to return to top 15.”