Mixed outing for Indian riders in practice sessions of Asian Road Racing
By Shyam Sundar
Jakarta, Oct 12 (PTI) Riders Rajiv Sethu and Anish Shetty, representing Idemitsu Honda Racing India team, had mixed fortunes in the Asia Production 250cc class on the opening day of the fifth round of FIM Asian Road Racing Championship at the famed Sentul circuit here Friday.
While Shetty improved his lap times, Sethu suffered a fall in the second practice.
The other Honda Racing India rider in the fray in the SuperSport 600cc class, Taiga Hada, did well to finish fifth in the third practice after taking 10th place in the first.
In the 250cc event, Sethu, fresh from his recent win in round four of the Indian national championship, shaved off 1.6 seconds from his first practice best lap time Friday and climbed two positions to 21st in FP2.
However, he suffered a fall in the second practice which resulted in significant damage to his bike due to which he couldn't gain track time in third practice.
Improving the timing was good, Sethu said, adding the aim is to do well in the qualifying and races.
"Sentul is a tough track but I have entered this round with a positive momentum. Today was all about finding a proper grip and racing line. My timing improved consistently. Tomorrow, qualifying will be critical as I want to gain points and finish in Top 15 in Indonesia," he said.
Shetty, making his racing debut in Sentul, improved his lap time by a strong 2.9 seconds between practice 1 and 2 but couldn't maintain his pace in FP3 and hoped to do well in the qualifying on Saturday.
"Being my first time in Sentul ciruit, I'm still adapting to the track and conditions. Post practice, the team has supported me with detailed technical analysis of my track riding. We have identified the top areas of improvement and I hope to work on them tomorrow for better lap time," he added.
According to Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President, Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt Ltd: "Indonesia's Sentul circuit is definitely a difficult one. Rajiv (Sethu) improved on his lap time between practices while riding first time in this difficult track, Anish (Shetty) too gained confidence. In 600cc class, Hada showed huge improvement and climbed to top 5 in third practice."
In the marquee SuperSport 600cc, Hada jumped from 10th position in practice 1 to top 5 by the third practice.
Hada's best lap time improved from 1:33:043 seconds in FP1 to 1:31:360 seconds in FP3