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Round 4 of the 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship has come to a close. The race was held at the MMRT track in Chennai, between 3rd to 5th August 2018. Japanese rider, Taiga Hada for IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team by T.Pro Ten10 Racing, stood on the podium after a brilliant third place finish.
The 19-year old rider from Japan, Taiga Hada was the sole entry of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India in the SuperSport 600 (SS600) class in Chennai. The rider qualified sixth on the grid, with the fastest lap time of 1:41.384.
Hada managed to get a strong start, leading the race for most parts along with Anthony West. By the end of the race, Tiaga Hada managed to secure the third position with 16 points. This was the first podium finish for the solo Indian team in the championship. The rider has now secured a total of 40 points, putting him among the top seven in the championship.
Race two in the SuperSport 600 category, Hada secured the third position once again, with blistering speed. This meant a back-to-back third-place finish for the Japanese rider from IDEMITSU Honda Racing.
Taiga Hada also managed to record the second fastest lap time of the race with 1:41.330.
Taiga Hada, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team by T.Pro Ten10 rider, stated, "Having scored double podiums in my previous outing at Madras Motor Race Track, I am very excited to register one of the third consecutive time. The support from the crowd was electrifying and that inspired me to push harder in every corner. This is one of my most favourite tracks of the calendar and I am going to aim for a win tomorrow."
Meanwhile, the weekend also saw 24 riders competing in the Asia Production 250 (AP250) races. Indian riders, Rajiv Sethu and Anish Shetty of IDEMITSU Honda Racing participated in the race, qualifying 19th and 20th, respectively.
This was the first race, for the 20-year old, Rajiv Sethu, after recovering from a wrist injury. The rider, quickly climbed up the ranks during the race, finishing in 13th position.
Fresh from leading the national championship and the international exposure at the Thai Talent Cup, Rajiv Sethu, brought home his first 3 points in the Championship. Sethu also managed to set his fastest lap time of 1:50.945 in the race. While, rookie rider, Anish Shetty got a DNF after a high-side on the 7th lap.
Race two of the AP250 category, Rajiv Sethu managed to climb up three places, securing 16th position. Anish Shetty, though, finished 19th because of an injury, which prevented him from pushing hard.
Rajiv Sethu, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team by T.Pro Ten10, Rider, stated, "Chennai was my home ground so winning my first point here made it all the more special. While I scored in Race 1 with first ever points, the mechanical issue with the bike from the start, plagued me till the end of today's race. It was really difficult to push hard today."
He further added, "The race may be over, but the championship is on. And now, after recovery, I want to continue to earn points in the next round in Indonesia in October. Before that, this weekend will be about consolidating leadership in SuperSport class of National championship"
Prabhu Nagaraj, Brand & Communication, HMSI Pvt. Ltd., stated, "Racing is the heart of Honda. IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team is realizing the dreams of young riders from India and taking the sports globally."
"This is the start, and our solo Indian race team at Asia Road Racing Championship is learning fast. Every member has delivered this weekend and we're thrilled that the Indian team won the first double podium in ARRC this season."
He further added, "This weekend is a testimony to Honda India's commitment to develop an iconic Indian rider for international Championship."
About FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2018 (ARRC)
The Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) is one of the most competitive road races to be held. ARRC is part of the production-based category. The championship consists of three open-make classes and two single-make development classes.
The Championship, currently in its 23rd edition, consists of 65 riders from eight Asia and Oceania countries, battling in a six-round championship. The first round was held in Thailand, followed by Australia and Japan for round two and three, respectively. With the completion of Round four in India, the championship will now move to Indonesia (12th to 14th October). The season finale will be held in Thailand, between 30th November to 2nd December.
Thoughts On Round Four Of the 2018 Asia Road Racing Championship
Round four of the Asia Road Racing Championship 2018, witnessed amazing track battles. The weekend also bought in the first podium finish for the home team of IDEMITSU Honda Racing in the SuperSport category. The AP250 category also saw the first point finish for Rajiv Sethu.
The championship now moves to Indonesia, IDEMITSU Honda Racing will be hoping to continue the same pace in Round five, to be held next month.