Sepang Circuit : , Sep 21 (IANS) IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team's riders Rajiv Sethu and Senthil Kumar's first race outing in Round 6 of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) at Sepang International circuit didn't go as per plan, but the team returns on Sunday with top 10 and 15 finish target yet again.
Saturday's morning qualifier saw Rajiv Sethu clock a strong 2:27:617 lap time. This put him in the top 15 riders who were competing in the 2 second gap. Starting the afternoon's Race 1 from the 5th row, Rajiv suffered a fall at Turn 11, cutting short his dream of a top 10 finish today.
For the 18-year-old Senthil, Saturday was another day of progress at Sepang circuit. Working hard in the morning qualifier, Senthil clocked his personal best lap time of 2:29:612. Senthil showed his mettle in the afternoon race, climbing 5 positions from 22nd on the starting grid to finish 17th. With a strong home turf advantage for Malaysian rider Shahrol Yuzy and Thai rider Sawapol Nilapong hot on his heels, Senthil decided to defend his position. Despite the to and fro between them in the last 2 laps, Senthil successfully maintained his position to finish 17th - 0.162 seconds ahead of Sawapong.
Speaking on the race, Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President -- Brand and Communications, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd said: "Not having a good qualifying position, the challenge was to recover this in the afternoon race. We were confident that with a good start, Rajiv would catch the bunch in lap 2. It's very unfortunate that he had a highside, but given his minor injury, I look forward to a good fight in tomorrow's race. Overall, Senthil is consistently bettering his lap time in every track outing."