Honda Racing's Hada finishes 6th in SuperSport 600cc race, no cheer for Indians
Jakarta, Oct 13 (PTI) Taiga Hada of Idemitsu Honda Racing India took sixth place in the first race of the SuperSport 600cc class in the fifth round of Asia Road Racing Championship at the Sentul circuit here Saturday.
The 20-year old Hada of Japan had earlier qualified ninth on the grid. He earned 10 points with a sixth-place finish.
Meanwhile in the Asia Production 250cc class, there was nothing much to cheer for the two Indian riders in fray -- Rajiv Sethu and Anish Shetty, despite registering improved timings in the qualifying as they could only finish 23rd and 25th respectively in the first race.
After qualifying ninth, Hada did well to improve three positions and secure sixth spot in an intense race. He clocked a fastest lap of 1:31:025s.
Hada said he was happy with the start and would have been happier if he had been able to hold on to the fifth spot.
"I was happy with the good start today which took me to 5th spot. There on, I made best efforts to maintain this position. But by the end of the race, my rear tyre could not hold, and I had to close on 6th spot," he said.
The Japanese rider said he hoped to challenge for a podium finish on Sunday.
He is placed ninth in the overall standings with 66 points with Anthony West (136) leading the pack.
Sethu and Shetty recorded their respective fastest lap times in Saturday's qualifier but couldn't gain points in the first race.
Entering the qualifying race after suffering a rib fracture on Friday, Sethu pushed hard to gain 2.1 seconds and clock his best lap time of 1:45:674s. Shetty too shaved off 3.1 seconds off from his FP1 time to record his fastest lap time of 1:48:198s.
However, in the first race, the formidable Indonesian duo of Rheza Danica Ahrens (Astra Honda Racing Team) and Awhin Sanjaya (Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing) were in dominant form and finished one and two respectively.
Sethu, who had qualified 23rd, couldn't improve on his track position while Shetty climbed two places to end 25th.
"Despite starting 23rd, I was pushing for top 15. By the 3rd lap, I had overtaken 8 riders to be at 15th spot, but I dropped position due to contact with a Thai rider in lap 4. While I recovered fast and avoided a crash, I couldn't maintain the pace going forward due to the pain of Friday's rib injury," the Chennai rider said after the race.
Ahrens leads the overall standings after the first race of Round Five with 173 points followed by Indonesian compatriot Mario Suryo Aji (122) of Astra Team Honda and Thailand's Anupad Sarmoon (117)