Asia Talent Cup 2018

Danial Sharil took two for two at the Thai Asia Talent Cup round, pushing into third in the overall standings come weekends end, with Australian Billy van Eerde leading the standings with a 7-point lead over Haruki Noguchi, with his 2-7 result.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Billy van Eerde DSC
Billy van Eerde & Jack Miller – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

Haruki Noguchi’s 3-6 result still leaves him within striking distance of van Eerde, with the two appearing closely matched as the Asia Talent Cup heads to Japan.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Senna Agius ZA
Senna Agius – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

Fellow Australians Senna Agius and Benjamin Baker took 16-18 and 15-17 respectively, with Agius 17th in the standings with 20 points, and Baker 22nd with 3.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Benjamin Baker ZA
Benjamin Baker – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

Race 1

Danial Sharil took his first ever Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup win at Chang International Circuit, attacking to perfection at the final corner in another classic contest that went down to the wire.

The Malaysian attacked Haruki Noguchi at the final corner to take the lead, and stayed just ahead of a last dash move from Bill van Eerde to take the chequered flag ahead by thousandths and move up to third in the Championship. Van Eerde, after qualifying in P19, stunned the field with his comeback and even extended his points lead at the top of the table, with key rival and polesitter Haruki Noguchi beaten back into P3.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Haruki Noguchi ZA
Haruki Noguchi- Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

It was Sharil who took the holeshot but from the head of the second row as the Malaysian rocketed up into P1. From there, however, he did have to look back – with a group fight first between the top six and then all the way throughout the top ten as the second group caught those squabbling up ahead. At times it seemed Noguchi could break away but the Japanese rider was chased down each time, and the slipstream around Buriram proved pivotal for those on the chase.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Danial Sharil ZA
Danial Sharil- Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

With 11 riders in the front group as the laps ticked down, it was anyone’s to win – and the final corner seemed like it could throw up some fireworks. That it did, with Sharil attacking Noguchi after a manic final lap and the Japanese rider heading a little wide – leaving room for van Eerde. The Australian, who earlier in the race overtook a group of riders in one, had already showed he needed no second invitation – and he took the gap at full gas to get into the drag race to the line against Sharil.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Billy van Eerde ZA
Billy van Eerde – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

Neck and neck, it seemed the Australian could pull off the nigh on impossible and go from P19 on the grid to the top step, but Sharil had a good exit too and made the most of it – crossing the line 0.021 ahead to take his first victory. Van Eerde’s second place extended his lead, however, with Noguchi left to lock out the podium.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Adenanta Putra ZA
Adenantra Putra – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

Adenanta Putra took a solid P4 finish as Lucky Hendriansya completed the top five following a penalty, with Kopchai Sae-liw in sixth on home turf. Sho Nishimura, Warit Thongnoppakun and Naoki Yamaka completed the front group and top nine, with the top ten rounded out by Takuma Matsuyama.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Agung Fachrul Takuma Matsuyama ZA
Agung Fachrul & Takuma Matsuyama- Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

One key name missing from the fight was Mario Aji, as the Indonesian was an early crasher and put a dent in his title hopes. Fellow crashers included Tachakorn Buarsi, a front row starter on home turf who befell some late race heartbreak but still took P13, as well as Japanese rider Toshiki Senda.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Podium DSC
Race 1 Podium, van Eerde, Sharil, Noguchi – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

Race 1 Results

  1. Danial SHARIL – MAL – 29’01.212
  2. Billy VAN EERDE – AUS – 29’01.233
  3. Haruki NOGUCHI – JPN – 29’01.361
  4. Adenanta PUTRA – INA – 29’01.703
  5. Lucky HENDRIANSYA – INA – 29’01.362
  6. Kopchai SAE-LIW – THA – 29’01.889
  7. Sho NISHIMURA – JPN – 29’02.046
  8. Warit THONGNOPPAKU – THA – 29’02.105
  9. Naoki YAMADA – JPN – 29’02.349
  10. Takuma MATSUYAMA – JPN – 29’15.664
  11. Ibrahim PAWI – MAL – 29’16.250
  12. Agung FACHRUL – INA – 29’22.152
  13. Tachakorn BUARSI – THA – 29’30.551
  14. Troy ALBERTO – PHL – 29’33.424
  15. Benjamin BAKER – AUS – 29’37.376
  16. Senna AGIUS – AUS – 29’37.851

Race 2

Danial Sharil made it a race weekend to remember at Buriram as the Malaysian did the double and took victory in Race 2.

That moves him even closer to the top in the title fight into a secure P3 overall, with the second contest of the weekend proving a bit more costly in the standings for key protagonists Bill van Eerde and Haruki Noguchi after a final corner fight. It was instead Sho Nishimura and home hero Tachakorn Buarsi who completed the podium, capitalising well in the last corner melee.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Sho Nishimura ZA
Sho Nishimura – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

Sharil took the holeshot from the second row, with the Malaysian heading what was a big group at the front once again, but this time from the off. Bill van Eerde also repeated his stunner of a start from Saturday and was knocking on the door to the top five early doors.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Danial Sharil ZA
Danial Sharil – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

It truly was a battle royal in the group, with Sharil and Noguchi the only riders who briefly looked like they may be able to make a break. The chasing pack soon reeled them in though, and the squabbling ricocheted through the top ten.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Haruki Noguchi ZA
Haruki Noguchi – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

By the final lap it was anyone’s game but Afridza Munandar thought it was his as he celebrated a little early before getting his head down again for another four kilometers of mayhem. Coming into the final corner for the last time it was Sharil who was steadfast once again, and the Malaysian was able to steer clear of the drama behind to take his second win.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Tachakorn Buarsi ZA
Tachakorn Buarsi – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

That drama came courtesy of Noguchi as the Japanese rider lunged up the inside of points leader van Eerde, but he headed wide and the Australian was forced out with him. Heading through the run off and losing drive to those behind them, it was Nishimura and Buarsi who slipped through to follow Sharil over the line and complete the podium. That made it more home glory for Thailand after an impressive showing from former Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion Somkiat Chantra in his Moto3 wildcard.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Lucky Hendriansya ZA
Lucky Hendriansya – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

Lucky Hendriansya took fourth after a solid race, with Mario Aji bouncing back from a tough end to Race 1 to take fifth – and gain some points in the Championship. Then came Noguchi and van Eerde in that order, with Munandar pushed down to P8. Kopchai Sae-liw put in a solid home race for ninth, with Adenanta Putra completing the top ten after running wide late on.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Kopchai Sae Liw ZA
Kopchai Sae-Liw – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

That’s it for Round 4 and now we head for the Twin Ring Motegi, with Noguchi trailing van Eerde by seven points as we touch down on home turf for the Japanese rider. Anything can happen and it certainly will as the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup returns in two weeks for the penultimate round of 2018.

Asia Talent Cup Rnd Thailand R Podium DSC
Race 2 Podium, Nishimura, Sharil, Buarsi – Asia Talent Cup Round 4 – Thailand, 2018

Race 2 Results

  1. Danial SHARIL MAL 28’57.845
  2. Sho NISHIMURA JPN 28’58.052
  3. Tachakorn BUARSI THA 28’58.135
  4. Lucky HENDRIANSYA INA 28’58.208
  5. Mario AJI INA 28’58.367
  6. Haruki NOGUCHI JPN 28’58.511
  7. Billy VAN EERDE AUS 28’58.664
  8. Afridza MUNANDAR INA 28’58.703
  9. Kopchai SAE-LIW THA 28’58.795
  10. Adenanta PUTRA INA 28’59.655
  11. Agung FACHRUL INA 29’09.429
  12. Takuma MATSUYAMA JPN 29’09.486
  13. Toshiki SENDA JPN 29’09.668
  14. Koji HIRAMA JPN 29’09.698
  15. Ibrahim PAWI MAL 29’15.733
  16. Nitipong SAENGSAWAN THA 29’18.234
  17. Benjamin BAKER AUS 29’18.580
  18. Senna AGIUS AUS 29’26.988
  19. Troy ALBERTO PHL 29’27.093

Asia Talent Cup Standings following Race 2

  1. VAN EERDE Billy AUS 144
  2. NOGUCHI Haruki JPN 137
  3. SHARIL Danial MAL 111
  4. AJI Mario INA 96
  5. NISHIMURA Sho JPN 91
  6. MUNANDAR Afridza INA 56
  7. BUARSI Tachakorn THA 55
  8. SAE-LIW Kopchai THA 54
  9. HENDRIANSYA Lucky INA 49
  10. FACHRUL Agung INA 47
  11. SENDA Toshiki JPN 45
  12. PUTRA Adenanta INA 43
  13. PAWI Ibrahim MAL 32
  14. THONGNOPPAKUN Warit THA 31
  15. MATSUYAMA Takuma JPN 28
  16. HIRAMA Koji JPN 20
  17. AGIUS Senna AUS 20
  18. YAMADA Naoki JPN 17
  19. KIUCHI Shota JPN 15
  20. ALBERTO Troy PHL 13
  21. SAENGSAWANG Nitipong THA 9
  22. BAKER Benjamin AUS 3

ASIA ROAD RACING