Ayumu Sasaki clinches first win in Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup
As the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup continued in Malaysia on Sunday, it was Sasaki who clinched a first ever victory on Norrodin’s home patch. In the meantime, championship leader Date crossed the line sixth which tightened up the championship battle.
At just 13 years of age (turning 14 in early October), Ayumu Sasaki took the chequered flag in the second Sepang race as the Cup ran alongside the Malaysian Super Series.
This weekend’s conditions are the toughest the young riders have experience to date, with scoring ambient temperatures of 37 degrees as the track hit highs of 50 degrees. Sasaki quickly hit the front from fourth on the grid, with the local Malaysian riders once again doing battle as Rasol (second on Saturday) and Azman made the most of their Sepang International Circuit track knowlegde.
On the eighth of the 14 laps, Toba led the way Sasaki continued to stake his claim for the top spot, finally passing before stretching out a comfortable four-second advantage over those fighting for second place. A rostrum for Toba added to his victory of one day earlier, while Adam Norrodin delighted the home crowd as he stepped up onto the podium.
Championship leader Date’s absence from the podium was his first of the season, having finished sixth this afternoon, which means his championship lead is reduced to only four points over Toba and 26 ahead of today’s winner Sasaki.
Following a tough weekend of racing in every sense of the word, Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Director Alberto Puig commented, ‘This race was faster than yesterday’s, as we expected. The top riders particularly upped the pace and it was a good battle. I think Sasaki was very clever, pushing to open up a gap when he saw that Toba had problems. I enjoyed the fighting in the race and of course it was also great to see another Malaysian rider on the podium. Obviously, the only downside was the falls and injuries and I wish the best to those who have suffered injuries. Our next stop is Motegi, where we expect the Japanese talents to fly. It is going to be a vital race in the championship.
The Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup riders will continue to turn Performance into Potential as the action continues at Motegi on 12 October, this time in front of the MotoGP paddock on a World Championship Grand Prix weekend.
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