Buriram [Thailand], March 27(ANI): With the onset of Asia's most coveted Asia Road Racing Championship, the Honda Racing India team's rider Rajiv Sethu bagged laurels for the country. Showcasing his skills here at Chang International Circuit, the team's seasoned rider Rajiv Sethu maintained his steady position till the last lap of the Asia Production 250 class and scored valuable points in Race 1 of the 2022 season of ARRC.
Dropping down from 13th place start to the 16th at the end of Lap 3, Rajiv was decisive and sharp and worked his magic on the track. Overtaking the competitors, Rajiv quickly climbed to 14th place and continued the momentum till penultimate lap. A crash between the 2 competition riders in the last lap confirmed his 13th place, thus bagging valuable 3 points for the team.
While Rajiv's teammate Senthil Kumar quickly climbed 2 positions to 14th in lap 2 from 16th position start on the grid. But he, unfortunately, suffered a crash due to opening the throttle early at turn 12 of lap 4.
"I was both excited and nervous to step on the track for the race today. My strategy for today's race was to maintain the pace till the end and gain points for the team. I am confident that I will benefit from my experience and training added in these 2 years going ahead in the championship. I am looking forward to tomorrow's race where I am confident of better results, " said Honda Racing India rider Rajiv Sethu.
"Starting my second season after a long break was a little daunting for me. However, as I rode on the track, I regained my confidence. Although today's race met an untimely end with a crash at the end of lap 4 I am excited to get back on the bike and race to win laurels for the team and my country tomorrow, " said Honda Racing India rider Senthil Kumar.
"It was a good start for the Honda Racing India Team after a hiatus of almost 2 years. Stepping on the track after a long break, both Rajiv & Senthil adjusted to the track today. Rajiv finished day 1 well and secured 3 points for the team. He can push to the top bunch if he plays his cards right tomorrow. Being his second year at ARRC, Senthil is still learning. Charged with today's results and learnings, we are challenging ourselves to better our results even more in tomorrow's race of 2022 ARRC round 1, " said Senior Vice President of Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Private Limited Prabhu Nagaraj
Race 1 of AP250 class saw battle start from the word go and ended at the chequered flag with Honda riders getting 2 positions on the podium. Leading the bunch was Astra Honda Racing's Rheza Danica Ahrens (1st) followed by Piyawat Patoomyos (2nd) of Honda Racing Thailand.
Parallelly in the ASB1000cc class, Malaysian rider Mohammad Zaqhwan Zaidi of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA team fought intensely till the end and won the first gold of the 2022 Asia Road Racing Championship.
The development of next-generation millennial riders of India too got a push today. Honda's Indian teen rider duo of Sarthak Chavan and Kavin Quintal racing in the Thailand Talent Cup (Honda's development program for Asian riders run on NSF250R) secured 11th & 12th positions respectively in Round 1 qualifying. Making a strong push in race 1, Sarthak Chavan finished the race at 12th position. While Kavin Quintal did not participate in the race due to poor health. (ANI)