Rajiv consistent in Top 15 in today’s practice at ARRC Rd 3, Thailand
After yesterday’s rider briefing and technical checks, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team’s riders duo of Rajiv Sethu and Senthil Kumar today completed a positive opening day of practice in Round 3 of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) in Buriram.
Clocking his best practice lap time of 1:55:146, Rajiv Sethu has recorded a his new fastest lap time at the Chang circuit. Shaving off 3 seconds from his lap times between the 3 practice sessions, Rajiv’s gap with the fastest rider has now reduced to just 2 seconds. This puts him in the top 15 bunch after todays practice.
Meanwhile his teammate Senthil – the rookie 18-year-old rider reduced his lap time by more than 1 second between FP1, FP2 and FP3. Combined practice result saw Senthil finish 20th with lap time of 1:57:766.
The heat was surely turned on today as the gap between first 14 riders was 1 second. Ruling from the front in today’s combined practice was the A.P Honda Racing duo of Muklada Sarapuech (1:53:138) and Piyawat Patoomyos (1:53:666) followed by Indonesian reigning champion Andy Fadly (1:53:724).
Now, the action resumes tomorrow when 25 of Asia’s top riders from 7 countries will battle in the morning Qualifier followed by Race 1 at the Chang International circuit.
Quote from Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.
“Today, our boys performance in practice sessions consistently improved. There’s a drastic change in Rajiv of last year and now. He’s much more confident, risk taking and both mentally and physically fit. In today’s practice, Rajiv’s gap with lead rider has squeezed to just 2 seconds now. He can push to the top bunch if he plays his cards right tomorrow. Senthil is a rookie rider and still learning his new race machine. Its now time to up his game. Tomorrow should be a good day for us. We will fight for top 10.”
Quote of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Rajiv Sethu:
“The FP1 was good and I came in top 14. But I couldn’t ride most of the FP2 due to an electronic issue. In FP3, I really pushed hard and broke my previous best lap time. Today my strategy was to ride alone and get familiar with the track. Tomorrow, I aim to stay with the top bunch and finish well in Top 10.”
Quote of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Senthil Kumar:
“I’m not satisfied with my performance today. I could have improved more but could only be 1.2 seconds faster between the 3 FPs. Tomorrow will be new day. I will correct my mistakes and fight back to finish in top 15 and win points for India.”
Parallelly in the ASB1000cc class, Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team was in full form. His best lap time of 1:36:274 put him on 2nd spot after Azlan Shah.
Today also saw Honda’s teenager rider duo of Mohammad Mikail and Kritik Habib practice with 19 riders in Honda Thailand Talent Cup (Honda’s development program for Asian riders run on NSF250R). Making strong push, Mikhail zoomed to the Top 13 with 1:53:776 best lap time and Kritik Habib finished 17th in FP1 and 18th in FP2.