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Motorsports in India have come a long way. From a feature once every few months in newspapers to today — there's something about motorsports in India at least twice a month. IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team rider, Rajiv Sethu created history in Australia as the first Indian to break into the Top 10 in the AP 250 class of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019 (ARRC) — Asia's toughest road race championships.
Although he was positioned 12th on the grid, a good start brought him up to 6th during the first lap. A duel with Indonesian rider Irfan Ardiansyah pushed him to the back of the grid. But the 21-year old Rajiv Sethu eventually found the opportunity to make his move. He flew past two riders to finish 10th on the grid. He gained 6 points for his finish and also recorded a personal best of 2:10:207, that is 1.5 seconds faster than his previous best.
Sethu's teammate, 18-year old Senthil Kumar meanwhile had a rough race. He started 18th on the grid, overtook three riders and then went off track during turn 15. That push him to 24th on the grid. The 18-year old recovered and managed to finish the race in the 17th position.
With the performance at the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India is among the Top 7 teams in the AP 250 Class.
The reigning AP 250 champion Andy Muhammad Fadly from Indonesia finished on top, and Japanese rider Aiki Iyoshi finished 2nd.
Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President, Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, "Today it's a happy day! We've reached the first step of our target top 10 finish. Looking at both rider and coach feedback, we're confident of Rajiv's potential. He's earned 14 points in 3 races which is a major improvement over the 7 points he earned in 2018 complete season. Now its time for Rajiv to aim much higher. We were expecting Senthil too in top 15. But while he fell back, he fought back very well. We are delighted to be the first Indian team to finish in top 10 in AP250 race. Tomorrow, we will challenge ourselves harder to better our position even more."
Elated with his performance, Honda's third timer ARRC rider Rajiv Sethu said, "Everything is going in good direction. Thanks to my IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team, I am feeling stronger on track with the training, expert coach feedback and the full technical team backing me. I achieved my goal for today to break into the Top 10 for the first time. But now that I am here, I have to change my race craft to target higher."
18-year-old rookie rider Senthil Kumar said, "I am feeling disappointed today. I improved my braking today but I was too tense before the race. That reflected in my result today. Tomorrow, my target is to stay calm and avoid aggressiveness in lap 1 which cost me dear today. I'm challenging myself to finish in top 15 tomorrow."
Thoughts About IDEMITSU Honda Racing India's Performance At The Asia Road Racing Championship 2109
Brilliant performance. It is refreshing to see manufacturers like Honda taking an interest in building, and developing future racers from India. The thing is, we're among the top populated countries in the world and we're sure that India can produce future Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP champions.
Congratulations to Rajiv Sethu for a brilliant performance. We hope Senthil takes it in his stride and keeps pushing forwards.