Bhubaneswar: ‘IDEMITSU Honda Racing India’- the solo Indian racing team has arrived the Suzuka Circuit, Japan to continue to outperform others in Asia’s toughest championship – 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) this weekend.
Midway into the season, the IDEMITSU Honda Racing India Team has climbed up the score board to 22 points so far and ranks in top 7 of Asia Production 250 class at ARRC.
Elaborating on the team’s performance so far, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communication, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “2019 is a turnaround for our solo Indian team at ARRC. Rajiv is already winning points from first race of the season and has climbed to fight with top 5 in his last race in Buriram. Senthil is also showing improvement in his race craft. Knowing fully the potential of our trainers and intensive programme, we are pumped and ready to take on the challenges that come with this track.’
For Rajiv, Suzuka has been a tough adversary in the past. In 2017 debut at ARRC, Rajiv finished 28th. In his 2018 outing at Suzuka, he could not capitalize it due to the wrist fracture post his crash and again ended up at 28. In 2019 season though, Rajiv is all set for Suzuka. The 4-hour endurance race experience at this track has already increased his skill and understanding here. In his 3rd year at ARRC, Rajiv has already started to be counted as a serious contender. He is the first Indian Rider to qualify in Top 7 in single round of ARRC. After the round 3, Rajiv extends the tally to 22 points at 14th rank.
Teammate Senthil Kumar is at 21st position with 2 points at his debut season at ARRC. Based on the learning so far, he too is all excited to take the fight at Suzuka, one of the toughest tracks in the world.
Sharing his thoughts, Rajiv Sethu, the 21-year-old IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider said, “This season has boosted my confidence by leaps and bounds. With 7 wild card entries, the competition becomes more tough now. But my practice and training on home ground as well as Suzuka for the 4HR endurance has given me more strength and confidence to finish in top 10 and extend the positive streak of results.”
Looking forward to new round of the battle, Senthil Kumar said, “I am looking forward to racing on the Suzuka Circuit again after testing my skills in 4 hours Suzuka endurance race earlier this month. I now enter the round 4 with much more confidence and I will give my 100% to this championship.”
Making the championship even tougher is the wild card entry by 7 strong riders in Asia Production 250cc class along with 25 of Asia’s top riders from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taipei and India.
Adding to the excitement of Round 4 of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, is the tiebreaker between AP Honda Racing Thailand’s Muklada Sarapuech and Indonesian rider Andy Muhammad Fadly, both standing at the top spot with 86 points each.
Parallelly, the marquee Asia SuperBike 1000cc (ASB) class of ARRC 2019 will see Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team (ranked 3rd) return in full form. The team has top personnel from Honda subsidiaries across Asia & Oceania, including a race technician from India.