IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup
Round 03 Malaysia
Nishimura Wins Dramatic Race 1 at Sepang
Sho Nishimura extended his lead in the IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup standings after a dramatic Race 1 at Sepang International Circuit, with the first showdown cut short by a Red Flag after a mutliple-rider incident with five laps to go.
- A shortened race in Malaysia sees the Japanese rider extend his lead, with Munandar and Matsuyama completing the podium
Sho Nishimura has extended his lead in the standings after a dramatic Race 1 at Sepang International Circuit, with the first showdown of the weekend cut short by a Red Flag after a mutliple-rider incident with five laps to go. Indonesian Afridza Munandar and Japanese rider Takuma Matsuyama, who remains second in the Championship, completed the podium.
It was Shoki Igarashi who took the holeshot from third on the grid, slotting into the lead ahead of Matsuyama as polesitter Nishimura lost out slightly off the line. But it wouldn't stay that way for long as the number 11 machine of Matsuyama soon attacked and took the lead, initially then pushing to try and break away but Nishimura able to pull him back in. And so it became a group of four fighting at the front, with Munandar up in the mix.
Warit Thongnoppakun was on the chase, however, with the Thai rider managing to chip away at the gap and join the foursome in the lead. Could he get into a podium position and take his second rostrum finish? As it transpired, he wouldn't get the chance as some serious drama was about to hit the second group.
A multiple-rider crash saw Hildhan Kusuma, Adenanta Putra, Tatchakorn Buasri and Abdul Mutaqim all go down, and soon after the Red Flag was shown, bringing the race to an early end. That meant that last time over the line decided the winner – and it had been close. By an infinitesimal 0.060 the win goes to Nishimura, with the Japanese rider just ahead of Munandar., and Matsuyama completes the podium. Thongnoppakun and Igarashi complete the top five.
Because the results are taken from the last time over the line, it's Putra classified sixth, ahead of home hero Syarifuddin Azman as the Malaysian put in a top performance on home turf. Herjun Firdaus takes P8, with Hildhan Kusuma and Piyawat Patoomyos completing the top ten. Buasri and Mutaqim were 11th and 12th and the last two in a tight freight train of seven riders within a few tenths before the key incident. Riders were all 'ok' after the crash, although Buasri and Mutaqim were sent for further checks.
Australian Harrison Voight took P13 and some points after a top qualifying, with Ryosuke Bando and second Malaysian Idil Mahadi completing the scorers.
Munandar Takes Control of Chaotic Race 2 in Malaysia
- Indonesian impresses to head compatriot Putra, with drama for Championship leader Nishimura
Afridza Munandar took a commending second win of the season at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, staying clear of a chaotic fight at the front in the final laps to take home 25 points and take over second in the standings. Compatriot Adenanta Putra followed him home, with Thai rider Warit Thongnoppakun taking his second rostrum of the finish in third after escaping some final corner drama.
Sho Nishimura took the holeshot from pole, but Takuma Matsuyama was quick to attack back and the two headed up a five-rider fight at the front, with Thongnoppakun, Shoki Igarashi and Adenanta Putra in the mix. There was a small gap back to Tatchakorn Buasri on the chase, and eventual winner Afridza Munandar was soon challenging too.
With Matsuyama streaking away at the front, it was Munandar who sliced through to start reeling the number 11 in with a show of intent and he did just that; the freight train at the front then appearing again and 12 riders within 1.8 seconds.
With eight laps to go, big drama hit for Matsuyama. Running off and then making contact with another rider on track, the number 11 fell from the front fight and the initial pacesetter was out. That left Munandar in the lead at the front of the group, with Nishimura in second and home hero Syarifuddin Azman having sliced through into third.
As the group kept chopping and changing and the laps ticked down, however, it was Thongnoppakun who managed to escape the melee to stay with Munandar and the duo began to pull away. Heading onto the final lap, the Indonesian had half a second in his pocket and that would prove a crucial gap.
Although those behind managed to close in, no one could attack Munandar into the final corner – and the final corner was where the attack happened. Azman, gunning for a home podium, tried a move on Nishimura but the Malaysian tagged the back of the Japanese rider, taking them both down and out of podium contention.
Munandar crossed the line in clear air, Thongnoppakun was able to avoid the drama and, despite losing time, made his way back on track to gun it to the line – but he was beaten to it as Adenanta Putra pipped him to the post, the podium decided in dramatic fashion.
Harrison Voight took his best finish yet in fourth after a good weekend for the Australian, ahead of Hildhan Kusuma who completed the top five. Tatchakorn Buasri took P6 ahead of Piyawat Patoomyos, with Abdul Mutaqim crossing the line in eighth.
Jacob Roulstone headed the next group and beat home hero Idil Mahadi to ninth, with Luke Power, Rei Wakamatsu, Kadir Erbay and wildcard Shinji Ogo completing the finishers. Igarashi and Herjun Firdaus suffered DNFs.
It’s a long wait for the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup until the next round alongside MotoGP™ at Buriram now, but it’s still Sho Nishimura who leads the way despite Day 2 at Sepang not going his way.
IDEMITSU Asia Talent Cup 2019
Round 03 Malaysia: Sepang International Circuit
|1||Sho Nishimura (Japan)|
|2||Afridza Munandar (Indonesia)|
|3||Takuma Matsuyama (Japan)|
|4||Warit Thongnoppakun (Thailand)|
|5||Shoki Igarashi (Japan)|
|6||Adenanta Putra (Indonesia)|
|7||Syarifuddin Azman (Malaysia)|
|8||Herjun Firdaus (Indonesia)|
|9||Hildhan Kusuma (Indonesia)|
|10||Piyawat Patoomyos (Thailand)|
|11||Tatchakorn Buasri (Thailand)|
|12||Abdul Mutaqim (Indonesia)|
|13||Harrison Voight (Australia)|
|14||Ryosuke Bando (Japan)|
|15||Muhammad Idil Fitri Bin Mahadi (Malaysia)|
|16||Luke Power (Australia)|
|17||Rei Wakamatsu (Japan)|
|18||Jacob Roulstone (Australia)|
|19||Kadir Erbay (Turkey)|
|1||Afridza Munandar (Indonesia)|
|2||Adenanta Putra (Indonesia)|
|3||Warit Thongnoppakun (Thailand)|
|4||Harrison Voight (Australia)|
|5||Hildhan Kusuma (Indonesia)|
|6||Tatchakorn Buasri (Thailand)|
|7||Piyawat Patoomyos (Thailand)|
|8||Abdul Mutaqim (Indonesia)|
|9||Jacob Roulstone (Australia)|
|10||Muhammad Idil Fitri Bin Mahadi (Malaysia)|
|11||Luke Power (Australia)|
|12||Rei Wakamatsu (Japan)|
|13||Kadir Erbay (Turkey)|
Race 1 Start
Sho Nishimura, Afridza Munandar, Takuma Matsuyama, Shoki Igarashi
(Left) Takuma Matsuyama, Sho Nishimura, Afridza Munandar
(Left) Adenanta Putra, Afridza Munandar, Warit Thongnoppakun