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Round 06: Sepang International Circuit – Malaysia

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October 29, 2017

Can Öncü Stuns Sepang and the Cup Goes Down to the Wire

Turkish rider takes a dominant win as the standings shuffle ahead of the finale.

Can Öncü did the double on the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup’s first visit to Sepang International Circuit in 2017, and the Turkish youngster is half way to repeating that feat after taking a dominant victory in the first race of the weekend. Indonesian Gerry Salim took a spectacular second, with Japanese rider Yuki Kunii completing the podium after another pacy performance.

It was Deniz Öncü who took the holeshot off the line, and the young Turkish rider led initially until brother Can Öncü began to make a move towards the front. Once there, the Can Öncü was able to pull away – then crossing the line an incredible 6.534 clear. Behind him, it was a seven rider battle to complete the podium – with some spectacular racing between Salim, Kunii, Deniz Öncü, Azroy Anuar, Haruki Noguchi, Ryusei Yamanaka and Genki Nakajima.

In the end, Salim was able to make it count on the final lap, followed home by Kunii. Anuar took fourth riding at home for some good points, with Noguchi taking fifth. Yamanaka was sixth at the flag, just ahead of Deniz Öncü, who lost out on an incredibly close drag to the line. Nakajima took eighth, with compatriot Koji Hirama in ninth and Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi of Thailand completing the top ten.

Incredibly, there remain six contenders for the crown ahead of the final race. Deniz Öncü retains an advantage at the top of the table, but the Turkish rider is now only eight points clear of Haruki Noguchi in second. Only two further back is Ryusei Yamanaka, on 133 points, ahead of Yuki Kunii and Azroy Anuar, who both sit on 126. Can Öncü remains the outside contender but retains a mathematical chance; 21 points down with 25 on the table for a win in the second race of the weekend, and final race of the 2017 Cup.


Alberto Puig, Talent Promotion Director
“Point one is that the race was nice and it was impressive because there were no crashes. The group was quite big and they managed to have a good race. The championship is open and I think tomorrow we’ll see a final attack, so we expect some good action. It was very hot, that’s why the laptimes weren’t so good, but we’re happy and pleased - and expecting a good battle tomorrow.”

Can Öncü wins the race, Deniz Öncü wins the cup

Turkish brothers take the glory after a dramatic season finale – with the Cup winner decided at the final corner

Can Öncü made it four from four for Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup wins at Sepang International Circuit this season, dominating the race once again after getting to the front and pulling out a huge lead. But it was incredible drama behind as the field battled to complete the top positions – with Haruki Noguchi taking second but just denied the Cup by a single point as Deniz Öncü managed to take fourth out the final corner on the final lap. Yuki Kunii of Japan completed the podium.

It was Deniz Öncü who got the holeshot off the front row, but it didn’t take long for brother Can to get to the front and then begin pulling away. The fight behind then saw Deniz Öncü, who went into the race with an eight-point lead in the standings, battling it out to stay in a position needed to secure the crown. Drama hit late on as rain flags appeared at some points on the track and, knowing the race would be Red Flagged if conditions deteriorated and the result counted back to the last time over the line, shuffling for position began – but the rain largely stayed at bay. It was a group going into the final corner for the final time, led by Noguchi as he did everything he could to give himself the best chance of taking the Cup.

Noguchi got through cleanly at the head of the group as Koji Hirama headed wide, with polesitter Azroy Anuar, Japanese rider Ryusei Yamanaka and Indonesian Gerry Salim making contact. Kunii slipped up the inside cleanly as Anuar fell and a domino effect sent Yamanaka and Salim wide; the number 12 of Yamanaka able to gather it up quicker for a push to the line.

Deniz Öncü chose the wide line on the approach to Turn 15 as he knew it was now or never to take the title, and the Turkish rider swept back up the inside behind Kunii, free of the drama and able to out-drag Hirama to the line – and the title of 2017 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion.

Behind Deniz Öncü in fourth and Hirama in fifth, Yamanaka took sixth, with Genki Nakajima able to catch and pass Gerry Salim for seventh after the last corner shuffle. Salim, Anuar and Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi completed the top ten.

That’s now a wrap on 2017, with Deniz Öncü the Champion, Noguchi the runner up and Can Öncü taking P3 overall after doing the double in the final weekend of the year. Yamanaka ends the season in fourth, with Kunii rounding out the top five in the standings – despite missing some races through injury.

The newcomers for 2018 were decided ahead of this year’s finale as the Selection Event chose some new faces to join the grid, and the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup will be back to crown another Champion in 2018.


Alberto Puig, Talent Promotion Director
“It was really exciting, a good race with no crashes, so we are super happy. The racing was tough, I think all the guys in the leading group did a good job. They were fighting each other and finally Deniz became the Champion so we must congratulate him. Noguchi also had a good race in running for the Championship, end up only one point behind. In any case we are happy, all the riders made a good effort. In the last races, it was not so easy - in Japan and then here with completely different weather, but finally it was OK. We must think how to make the Championship even better for next year, but we must congratulate all the riders for their efforts.”

Round 06: Sepang International Circuit – Malaysia

Race 1
Rank Rider
1Can Alexsander Öncü(Turkey)
2Gerry Salim(Indonesia)
3Yuki Kunii(Japan)
4Azroy Anuar(Malaysia)
5Haruki Noguchi(Japan)
6Ryusei Yamanaka(Japan)
7Deniz Oncu(Turkey)
8Genki Nakajima(Japan)
9Koji Hirama(Japan)
10Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi(Thailand)
11Koki Suzuki(Japan)
12Kai Saito(Japan)
13Takuto Suzuki(Japan)
14Koko Masaharu Tadachi(Philippines)
15Syairul Yuslie Bin Suhaimi(Malaysia)
16Haziq Hamdan(Malaysia)
17Irfan Ardiansyah(Indonesia)
Race 2
Rank Rider
1Can Alexsander Öncü(Turkey)
2Haruki Noguchi(Japan)
3Yuki Kunii(Japan)
4Deniz Oncu(Turkey)
5Koji Hirama(Japan)
6Ryusei Yamanaka(Japan)
7Genki Nakajima(Japan)
8Gerry Salim(Indonesia)
9Azroy Anuar(Malaysia)
10Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi(Thailand)
11Takuto Suzuki(Japan)
12Koki Suzuki(Japan)
13Kai Saito(Japan)
14Koko Masaharu Tadachi(Philippines)
15Lucky Hendriansya(Indonesia)
16Irfan Ardiansyah(Indonesia)
17Syairul Yuslie Bin Suhaimi(Malaysia)

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