Buriram (Thailand), Dec 2 (IANS) India completed the 2018 Asia Road Racing Championship 2018 (ARRC) on a positive note with the Idemitsu Honda Racing India team racers earning crucial points and ending the season with a promise of giving a tougher fight in the upcoming 2019 season.
In what has been a cracker of a season for India’s first solo team, Honda Racing India team by T. Pro Ten10, the riders — Rajiv Sethu, Anish Chetty and Japan’s Taiga Hada –managed to get the team to a decent start.
With Rajiv and Hada notching points in both races and Anish’s consistent improvement in the last round this weekend, Indian motorsport is surely coming of age internationally too.
Sharing an overview of the Honda’s solo Indian team’s debut season at ARRC, Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said: “It’s a proud moment for us and a great push to Indian motorsport. Not only are our boys getting opportunity to battle with Asia’s best professional riders and notching up points. In his rookie season, Anish won points in Australia. In Rajiv’s case, the improvement is remarkable.”
Compared to his 46th position in the overall AP 250 championship last year, Rajiv has jumped 19 spots and won 7 points for the first time in 2018.
In SS600 class too, Hada has amassed 79 points for the India team.
On Sunday, the Indian duo of Rajiv and Anish started 19th and 25th on the grid in the AP 250 category.
With top 7 racers fighting for the podium with less than 1 second gap, Andy came first, followed by Astra Honda Racing team rider Rheza (2nd) and Anupab completing the podium.
Sharing his learnings and experience in AP250, Rajiv said: “With the solid technical support behind me, my performance has really improved. Not only did I jump 19th positions in the championship over last year, but also win as many as 7 points in 3 races this season, which is a first for me.”
“Now I will put in my best effort to try to win the SuperSport165 in Indian National Championship,” he added.
For Bangalore youngster Anish, who made his international racing debut this season, the last race of the Asia Road Racing Championship was a good one.
Despite a poor start which cost him 10 dear seconds in lap 1 itself, Anish aggressively pushed to close with the rider before him by the 6th lap.
The battle then continued till the last lap last corner, where Anish made a move to finally finish 20th.
“ARRC was a steep learning curve and has tremendously improved my riding style, cornering speed, bike and tyre understanding.”
“After battling with Asia’s best, my target now is to add to my lead and seal my
maiden Pro-Stock title in Indian National Racing Championship and the 2018 CBR 250R
championship too,” he added.
In SS 600 category, Japan’s Hada snapped another couple of points as he improved from his 17th spot to finish the final round of ARRC on 12th.
With this, Hada has now accumulated 78 points for the team and is ranked 9th in the overall 2018 SS600 championship.