Round 3 of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup is coming soon to Suzuka. As a preview, here are the rider competing this season.
Suzuka is a technically difficult track to master - “He who masters Suzuka, masters the world,” the saying goes. This will be the first time Suzuka will be the stage for an Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup race, and will undoubtedly be interesting to see how the riders perform.
Can Alexsander Öncü
Bima Febrinda Arfin
In this year’s Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup (IATC), 22 riders from six nations compete for the entire season. Japan has the largest share of 8 riders, with 7 Indonesians, 3 Malay, 2 Turkish, and 1 each from the Philippines and Australia making up the total field. The youngest rider is 13, and the oldest 20 (as of the Suzuka race). 6 riders from 2016 compete this year, while the remaining 16 were newcomers, selected last year.
After a two-month break following the Thai and Qatar rounds, the third round, Japan, will be held at Suzuka from June 2 to 4. The round consists of two races, and it is the first time the venue will be used for an IATC race.
Following Suzuka, Round 4 will be held in Sepang, Malaysia after a two month break. Another three months later, Round 5 will be held at Twin Ring Motegi, and the final round in Sepang once again.
The reason for the long intervals is to give excelling riders over their second year in the series the opportunity to race in the Moto3 Junior World Championship and MotoGP Rookies Cup. The IATC’s system of nurturing riders is set up so that rounds are scheduled to avoid Moto3 Junior and MotoGP Rookies races, giving riders who have built up experience in the IATC and are recognized as outstanding an upward path, while still being able to race further in the IATC.
After three races for the first two rounds (one race in the Qatar round was cancelled due to bad weather), 13-year-old Turkish rider Deniz Öncü emerged as the leader, winning two races. Ranked 2nd is Japanese Ryusei Yamanaka with three consecutive podiums (one 3rd, and two 2nd’s), and Yuki Kunii, winner of one race at Qatar, is 3rd. At the end of the first two rounds, the three top ranking riders are all in their second IATC year, and also compete in Moto3 Junior and MotoGP Rookies races. Haruki Noguchi, in his first year of IATC racing, finished 3rd in Qatar to give him 4th overall to date.Suzuka is expected to be a battle between the top-ranked riders and Japanese riders familiar with the track. A lot of interest gathers around what lap times will be set, and how battles will be fought at IATC’s first Suzuka round.
Reid Terrence Battye
Syairul Yuslie Bin Suhaimi
Surya Narayana R. Surojo
Riefsa Firdaus Hakim
Koko Masaharu Tadachi
Muhammad Erfin Firmansyah
The first time the IATC will be held at Suzuka coincides with Round 3 of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC). Race weekend has lots to offer, with IATC, and ARRC SS600 and AP250 class races.
Thai-born Chantra, last year’s ATC champion, takes pole in his first attempt at Suzuka, in the rain.
CEV also kicked off its 2017 season at Albacete, Spain. Somkiat Chantra, Kazuki Masaki, Ai Ogura and Yuki Kunii represent the Asia Talent Team in the Moto3 Junior World Championship. In a rainy qualifying session, Chantra takes pole position.
Under difficult conditions in which every session except for the race was rainy, the Asia riders battled up at the front, but unfortunately retired. Of the Asians, former ADC rider Andi Izdihar ranks highest with a 5th place finish. In the Moto2 class, Hiroki Ono finished 12th.
Nakagami (right) finishes on the podium for the second time at the Grand Prix of the Americas. He is the closest of the Japanese riders to the premier class.
Two Japanese riders, Takaaki Nakagami and Tetsuta Nagashima compete in Moto2, and three Japanese, Tatsuki Suzuki, Kaito Toba and Ayumu Sasaki are in the Moto3 class.
Nakagami finished 3rd in the first round in Qatar, and at the Grand Prix of the Americas. Nagashima earned his first points finish for the season in Spain, finishing 15th. Although outside the points, Suzuki gained 16th place ranking at Spain, and former ATC rider Toba 20th. Sasaki, in the points for the second time in Spain, is on the same championship points with Toba, ranked 21st.