IDEMITSU ASIA TALENT CUP 2017
Haruki Noguchi took an impressive first victory at the legendary Suzuka Circuit in Race 1, mastering his home track to take a tight victory from Malaysian Azroy Anuar and second Japanese rider Yuki Kunii in another thrilling Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup battle.
The riders got away cleanly under the Suzuka sun with a lead group emerging of front row starter Haruki Noguchi, polesitter Ryusei Yamanaka, Azroy Anuar, Yuki Kunii, and Can Öncü – with early season points leader Deniz Öncü the rider leading the chase from the second group.
Anuar was the first to attempt a break before being chased back down – and the ensuing fight at the front then saw the second group close the gap.
Drama struck in Race 1 for previous Championship leader Deniz Öncü, who after opening the year with a double then saw himself crash out of contention at Suzuka – his first DNF of the year as he attempts to take the crown.
As the last laps appeared on the horizon, Noguchi made a mistake in the final chicane, losing out as Kunii and Anuar fought it out for first, which turned out to be foreshadowing for the last lap - but for a different rider.
With four riders battling throughout that final lap, it all came down to that final chicane – with Yamanaka this time making the same mistake as his compatriot the lap before. Noguchi didn’t repeat the error, crossing the line to take the win ahead of a close fight for the podium - with Azroy Anuar taking second at the flag, just beating home hero Yuki Kunii, who completed the podium.
Japanese rider Ryusei Yamanaka took fourth, with Turkish rider Can Öncü holding off Japanese riders Koji Hirama and Genki Nakajima. Thai rider Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi came eighth, with Kai Saito and Malaysian Erfin Firmansyah completing the top ten.
Yuki Kunii took the win in a drama-filled Race 2 at Suzuka for the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup, ahead of Saturday’s winner Haruki Noguchi. Wildcard Genki Nakajima took a podium finish as Japanese riders shone on home turf around the legendary venue.
Ryusei Yamanaka took the lead off the line from pole, with another incident-free start to the race as the riders streamed around the first few laps in a long freight train. Before long though, a lead group had appeared – with Yamanaka leading the likes of Race 1 winner Haruki Noguchi, Malaysian Azroy Anuar, wildcard Genki Nakajima, and Turkish rider Can Öncü. As the laps counted down, the positions switched back and forth as the race split into three groups.
As the riders came onto the last lap, it was Turkish rider Can Öncü leading a front group of Anuar, Yamanaka, Kunii and Noguchi – with wildcard Nakajima impressing once again a little further back. Then, the big drama of the race struck late in Race 2 – with Anuar crashing, and Yamanaka and Can Öncü caught in the crossfire.
That left Yuki Kunii heading wide to avoid the incident, the Japanese rider holding onto it around the outside of the crash – as compatriot Noguchi headed the opposite way to avoid the incident and the two took first and second, ahead of wildcard Genki Nakajima.
Koji Hirama took P4, ahead of Deniz Öncü, Azroy Anuar – who remounted to cross the line in sixth – Koki Suzuki and Kai Saito crossing the line to complete the top eight, followed by Malaysians Erfin Firmansyah and Lucky Hendriansya.
Takuto Suzuki, Maxi Hattori and Haziq Hamdan were P11 to P13 respectively, with recovering Ryusei Yamanaka and Can Öncü managing to cross the line after the last lap incident to complete the points.
Race 2 leaves the two winners from Suzuka now first and second in the standings, with Noguchi on 87 points and Kunii on 85 – with Buriram double winner Deniz Öncü holding on near the top with 72. The next stop is the Malaysia Superbike Championship from July 28th to 30th, with the impressive Sepang International Circuit next to stage the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup.
|5||Can Alexsander Öncü(Turkey)|
|10||Muhammad Erfin Firmansyah(Indonesia)|
|16||Koko Masaharu Tadachi(Philippines)|
|17||Syairul Yuslie Bin Suhaimi(Malaysia)|
|9||Muhammad Erfin Firmansyah(Indonesia)|
|15||Can Alexsander Öncü(Turkey)|
|16||Reid Terrence Battye(Australia)|
|17||Syairul Yuslie Bin Suhaimi(Malaysia)|
|18||Koko Masaharu Tadachi(Philippines)|