The final race of the ARRC Round 6 at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, once again brought cheer for IDEMITSU Honda Racing’s Indian team, as the solo Indian racing team battled for points at the Asia Road Racing Championship 2019 (ARRC). Despite a back and hand injury from the previous day’s crash, Rajiv Sethu earned 1 extra point for India, as he registered his eighth top-15 race finish this season in the Asia Production 250cc (AP 250) class of ARRC. On the other hand, the 18-year-old Senthil Kumar continued his assault on timesheets to register his personal best lap-record of 2:28:241 at Sepang. Despite his 8th row start from P22 on the grid, Senthil quickly overtook Taipei’s Liu Junmei and Thailand’s Sawapol in lap 2 itself. Maintaining P20 on lap 3 and then jumping to P19 a few laps later, only to finish on P17 in the final 8th lap, with an overall gain of 5 positions.
Quote from Mr Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., “This weekend we couldn’t best our past. However, I’m satisfied that in spite of injury from yesterday’s crash in race 1, Rajiv closed in Top 15 with 1-point gain today. Senthil is now more confident and faster on his CBR 250RR and he was a story of recovery today. Now with Sepang over, we head back to India to analyze our performance, identify gap areas and improve further. Next up is Round 7 at Buriram circuit. Both our boys have a good experience there, and I’m sure that we will bounce back with strong results in December round.”
Quote from IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Rajiv Sethu, “Despite back and hand injury, I could get good confidence in morning warm-up after a bad crash yesterday. I started strong and had jumped up to 11th position in turn 2, I was sticking with the top 15 riders for about 4 laps. On 5th lap, I missed my gear and went out of the track, losing two positions. It was very difficult to recover especially as couldn’t push 100% due to my injury. I finished 15th. But frankly, this was not the goal I had set for myself this weekend. I have very good confidence in Buriram. Now I plan to recover fast and focus on my weak-points to fight for the top 15 in Championship. I will have to close in the top 10 in both the Thai races.”
Quote from IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Senthil Kumar, “In the morning warm-up, I recorded my fastest lap time of 2:28:241 and entered the race with confidence. But when a bad start shoved me to 29th, my first priority was to fast reverse this loss. In the first lap itself, I aggressively rode and overtook 7 riders to return to my starting 22nd position. In next lap, I overtook 2 more riders to climb to top 20. But by then, the gap between Shahrol and me had increased which I couldn’t recover. However, with Thai rider Sawapol hot on my heels, I successfully defended my position to finish 17th. Next up, is the last round at Buriram (Thailand). With its 3 long straights, competition is tight as all riders are riding in a 2 to the 3-second gap. I have to learn from my mistakes this weekend, better my corner exits and get more lean to ensure a top 15 finish there.”