Malaysia ARRC: Sethu sets top 10 pace in practice
Honda Racing India rider Rajiv Sethu got off a great start in the opening round of the 2019 Asia Road Racing Championship, setting a time inside the top 10 in practice.
Sethu, who is competing in the Asia Production 250cc category, lapped the Sepang International Circuit in 2m26.858s during the first of three practice sessions.
That lap put him seventh in the combined timesheets and represented his highest ever finish in an ARRC practice session.
“Malaysia being a new track for me, it took some time to adapt to Sepang,” the Chennai native said. “For me the focus was on working on both bike setting with team and improving my riding style with [coach] Koyama-san’s expert guidance.
“The result was my top 7th finish in combined practice. With the full support of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team, I am now challenging myself to push more and finish in top 10 tomorrow. I target is to win points tomorrow itself and make India proud.”
Senthil Kumar, Honda Racing India
Photo by: Honda
Sethu’s teammate Senthil Kumar also made a positive impression on his debut in ARRC, finishing 17th in practice with a time of 2m30.288s.
Kumar, who has graduated to the category on the back of a successful season in Thai Talent Cup, is targeting points in his first ever race.
The 18-year-old feel there’s more to come from him, having lapped marginally quicker in pre-season testing than in Friday practice.
“For me, the first day was a big struggle,” Kumar admitted. “The machine was new, so was the track and the aggressive riding style of my competition.
“The hot and humid weather made riding even more physically challenging. But I am happy with my results today.
“In pre-test, I clocked my fastest lap time of 2:29:873. Today was all about experimenting to improve my technique and riding style.
“Honda has given me wings to realise my dreams to race at an MotoGP track internationally and I aim to go ahead full steam and finish in top 15 tomorrow.”
Senthil and Kumar will return on track on Saturday for the qualifying session, ahead of the first race of the weekend. Another eight-lap contest will follow on Sunday.
Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President – Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said: “With an aim to develop iconic Indian rider for India and the World, the IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team has returned stronger in 2019.
“Malaysia is a tricky round as the track is new to both the team and riders who are riding the CBR250RR.
“But our boys performance in pre-test and today’s practice has been very strong and encouraging.
“Rajiv’s first time entry in top 7 in practice and Senthil coming in top 17 is great news for the qualifier and race 1 tomorrow. We are now challenge ourselves in top 10 finish this season.”
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|Series||Asia Road Racing Championship|