Sepang (Malaysia), Sep 21 : Indonesian rider Irfan Ardiansyah won the first race in the Round 6 of Asia Road Racing Championship being held here at the Sepang International Circuit, 75 km from Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday while the Indian rider Senthil Kumar finished 17th.
The other Indian rider Rajiv Sethu -- who had been acclaimed for his performance throughout the event, met with an accident as his bike crashed nearly three minutes after the race started. Rajiv’s bike was damaged and was unable to continue the race. He finished last at the 30th position. He said that he made a cornering mistake while pushing hard in turn 11 of lap 2. “This resulted in a high-side and crash thereon. Today was a set-back for sure.” he said. With minor bruises Rajiv is confident enough to carry on his good work in the last and final race of Round 6 which will be held tomorrow.
Indian fans in the crowd, who were worried and sad after Rajiv fell down, cheered for Senthil all along his race. The 18-year-old Senthil maintained his calm and kept riding with a firm hand, finally finishing off at the 17th position – a jump of five positions from yesterday’s performance. Earlier while starting the race, Senthil, because of the pressure to move quickly in the beginning, plunged his front tyre into the air costing him two positions for some time but he managed to regain them back during the course of the race.
Honda Motorcycle Brand and communication Vice president Prabhu Nagaraj who was initially worried over Rajiv’s crash termed it as unfortunate. But given the nature of injury he said that he looks forward to a good fight in tomorrow’s race. “Our target still remains the same - top 10 for Rajiv and closer to top 15 for Senthil and we are ready to give it our all,'' he said.
Today also setting a high benchmark, it was the Honda’s motorcycles which proved to be the winning machines on track as top three riders were driving HONDA CBR 250 RR. The Indian riders are also using the same machine. Apart from Irfan, Muklada Sarapeuch from Thailand and Rafid Topan Sucipto bagged the second and third positions respectively in today's AP 250 challenge. (UNI)