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Asia Road Racing Championship 2018 - India (Round 4 coverage) - A weekend well spent

Asia Road Racing Championship 2018 - India (Round 4 coverage) - A weekend well spent

Snapshot: ARRC rides home to MMRT, Chennai, and I was lucky enough to experience an action-packed weekend and support our homegrown champions fighting it out with the international riders!

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Every time when motorheads like me are given an opportunity to go close to a racing track we make sure not to miss it. And especially when ARRC (Asia Road Racing Championship) is riding back at our home circuit, MMRT, Chennai. Recently I was lucky enough to experience one of the most action-packed weekends of my life, and support our homegrown riders fighting back to back with international talents.

India hosted the fourth round in the ARRC’ calendar this season after Thailand, Australia, and Japan. And for those of you who are just born, there are three classes in the championship including SuperSport 600 (SS600), Asia Production 250 (AP250), and Underbone 150 (UB150) category. Idemitsu Honda Racing India team is the only Indian team competing in the championship with two riders in the AP250 category and one in the SS600 category. Rajiv Sethu and Anish D Shetty, being the only Indian riders competing in the ARRC this year in AP250, while Tiaga Hada (Japan) the third racer riding in support of Idemitsu Honda Racing India team.

Both Sethu and Shetty have been long associated with racing, and are the top crop in bike racing prepared by the Tpo Ten10 Racing teams in India. Before the round 4, Shetty managed to score the first two precious points in his debut season in the round 2 (Australia), on the other hand, Sethu, struggled due to a wrist injury earlier this year and was yet to get the points rolling on the scoreboards. Both the riders are racing in this championship on their race-prepped CBR250RR race machines.

Race Day 1 -

Both the Indian riders, Rajiv Sethu and Anish Shetty qualified at 19th and 20th positions, respectively. Sethu, clearly had the confidence back after successfully recovering from the wrist injury after returning from Thai Talent Cup held earlier this year. Race 1 on Saturday (4th August), proved to be a good one for Sethu. Even after a bad start he managed to make his way from P19 to P13, and score his maiden three points on the home ground. While Shetty went down during the seventh lap, with a DNF, and no points.

Speaking about picking up his first points on day 1, Rajiv Sethu said, "While I had a bad start today and I was confident of the setup of my bike. Too many riders crowding around me which kept pushing me outside of the racing line. But I kept my cool and kept gaining on everyone. Climbing 6 positions, I am ecstatic to score my first points for the season in front of the home crowd. My recent stint in the Thai Talent Cup has been a game changer, giving me more exposure to the highly competitive international racing. With this huge morale boost, I will soak pressure better and push harder tomorrow."

Idemitsu Honda Racing India's solo entry in the premier SuperSport 600 (SS600) class, Taiga Hada qualified at a strong 6th on the grid, managing an electric pace in his fastest lap time of 1m41.384s.  He managed to snatch team's first-ever podium at position 3rd during the race 1 while fighting it out lap by lap with the race leaders Anthony West and Md Zaqhwan Zaidi, who finished at position 1st and 2nd, respectively.

Speaking on his first podium with the team, Honda's Taiga Hada said, "Having scored double podiums in my previous outing at Madras Motor Race Track, I am very excited to register one of the third consecutive time. The support from the crowd was electrifying and that inspired me to push harder in every corner. This is one of my most favorite tracks of the calendar and I am going to aim for a win tomorrow."

In the UB150 category, Md Helmi Azman, racing for SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing Team scored top winning position in the race 1.

Race Day 2 -

Race 2 proved to be a fight for both the Indian riders. Sethu had a chance to advance his points if he again manages to make his way in the top 15 finishers. While Shetty was under pressure to make a good finish after DNF from the Race 1. With heat waves lashing out at the riders, and rising track temperatures, the race was only turning out to be much more challenging than the previous day. On the day 2, Sethu fought his way up to 16th position, missing out on points by an inch. While Shetty finished on position 19th, failing to score any points in round 4, Chennai. While in SS600 class, Taiga Hada scored a brilliant 3rd position again, pushing the overall team points higher in the score charts. Gupita Kresna, the Yamaha Yamalube SND Factory rider finished at winning position in the Race 2 in the UB 150 category.

After the highly successful round here in Chennai, the overall team standings of Idemitsu Honda Racing India Team in both the classes -  

Image Courtesy - Honda

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