Rajiv Sethu, the IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider, qualified in the 15th position but crashed out in the second lap in Round Six of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) at Sepang International circuit, Malaysia.
Team-mate Senthil Kumar finished 17th after having qualified in the 22nd place.
Sethu clocked a strong 2:27:617 lap time during the AP 250 class qualifying. This put him among the top 15 riders who were competing in the 2-second gap. Starting the afternoon’s race from the fifth row, Rajiv persevered on aggressively. Unfortunately, he suffered a fall at Turn 11 soon after, cutting short his dream of a top-10 finish.
Commenting on his race, Sethu said: "I made a good start and maintained my spot in top 15 even when 20 of us were fighting in front bunch. However, I made a cornering mistake while pushing hard in turn 11 of lap 2. This resulted in a highside and crash thereon. Today was a setback for sure. But the only saving grace is that I got off with just a minor sprain and can ride [on Sunday]."
For the 18-year-old Senthil, it was a day of progress. Working hard in the morning qualifier, Senthil clocked his personal best lap time of 2:29:612. He climbed five 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 two laps, Senthil successfully maintained his position — 0.162 seconds ahead of Sawapong.
Honda riders took the top three positions. Indonesia's Irfan Ardiansyah finished first, Muklada Sarapuech second, and Rafid Topan Sucipto third.
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