Entering the finale 7th round of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) 2019 at the Chang International circuit, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team’s rider-duo of Rajiv Sethu and Senthil Kumar finished Friday’s 3 practice sessions on a strong note amidst intense competition from Asia’s best riders.
Rajiv was his fastest ever in free practice sessions at the Chang circuit with a lead gap of only 2:045 seconds from the Indonesian lead rider Rafid Topan who stopped the clock at 1:53:039, Rajiv clocked his best practice lap time of 1:55:084.
Meanwhile, Senthil, 19, too showed consistent improvement. Finishing 21st on the grid, Senthil too recorded his personal best practice lap time of 1:56:942 on Friday. Gaining confidence in the 6 rounds of 2019 ARRC, Senthil significantly reduced his gap with the lead rider to 3.903 sec compared to the 4.628 sec gap in the earlier round 3 in the same Chang circuit.
With the battle for the AP250 title still up for grabs in the last round, the heat was on, on Friday. The top 15 riders fought in just a 2:045 seconds gap. Leading the combined practice from the front was Indonsian Rafid Topan Sucipto (1:53:039) followed by AP Honda Racing team’s Thai rider duo of Piyawat Patoomyos (1:53:157) and Muklada Sarapuech (1:53:194).
After a constructive day on Friday, Saturday will be decisive. Honda’s Indian duo is fighting with 30 of Asia’s top riders from 8 countries. But the Indian challengers are confident after their positive track outing. While Rajiv is aiming for a top 10 finish, Senthil is targeting a top 15 finish at Buriram.