IDEMITSU ASIA TALENT CUP 2017
After heavy rain and a storm overnight in Qatar, the first race of the second round of the IATC – originally to take place on Saturday at 16:00 local time (GMT +3) – has been cancelled.
Although no rain was falling at the time of the decision, Race Direction declared the conditions too dangerous to race.
The second round of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup saw Yuki Kunii take the win on the drag to the line, after compatriot Ryusei Yamanaka just lost out. Haruki Noguchi completed an all-Japanese the podium in P3 after another tight race for the impressive IATC class of 2017.
There was drama at the start of the Warm Up lap as double Buriram winner and points leader Deniz Öncü couldn’t get off the line, getting started from pitlane and then lining up at the back of the grid for the start. With Kunii starting from pole, the race was on for Öncü to make it up through the field – and the Turkish rider sliced back to the front to know on the door to the top five after only a couple of laps.
After a slightly difficult start for Kunii off the line, the Japanese rider fought back straight away on the inside of Turn 1 to take it back from Can Öncü and Gerry Salim. As the grid settled into formation, Yamanaka was out front initially, before the poleman fought back to take over at the front as his compatriot slipped back slightly. Indonesian Salim, a former winner at the track, was joined by Can Öncü, Haruki Noguchi and Lucky Hendriansya in the fight just ahead of the charging Deniz Öncü, with a huge group at the front of the race.
Chopping and changing positions with only two seconds covering the top five, by 7 laps to go Deniz Öncü had hit the front for the first time as his comeback hit full speed, with Yamanaka, Can Öncü, Hendriansya and Salim alongside the Buriram winner at the head of the field.
It was a Japanese attack on the last lap, before Kunii found a way past Yamanaka on the penultimate corner to take the lead – despite the risk of slipstreaming to the line. As the top group straightened up on the way to the final flag, Yamanaka dived out from behind his compatriot just before the line – but it was Kunii who held onto it by a few thousandths. Haruki Noguchi took an impressive third place, completing an all-Japanese podium.
Can Öncü and twin brother Deniz completed the top five, with Malaysian Azroy Anuar taking sixth ahead of Lucky Hendriansya, Gerry Salim and Irfan Ardiansyah. Koji Hirama completed the top ten.
Thai rider Kritchaporn Kaewesonthi was an early faller, with Syairul Yuslie Bin Suhaimi and Maxi Hattori also suffering DNFs.
Deniz Öncü retains his points lead in the Cup standings after Qatar by virtue of his double win in Buriram and well-fought top five at Losail, with the grid next headed to Suzuka alongside the Asia Road Racing Championship in June for another incredible IATC battle.
|4||Can Alexsander Öncü(Turkey)|
|12||Muhammad Erfin Firmansyah(Indonesia)|
|13||Reid Terrence Battye(Australia)|
|14||Riefsa Firdaus Hakim(Indonesia)|
|16||Bima Febrinda Arfin(Indonesia)|
|17||Koko Masaharu Tadachi(Philippines)|
|DNF||Syairul Yuslie Bin Suhaimi(Malaysia)|