From P6 on the grid to Race One victory was Veda Pratama’s story on Saturday afternoon at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan as the Indonesian rider claims a second win of the season by three-seconds. Zen Mitani and Amon Odaki scored podiums on home soil as a fantastic rostrum battle unfolded at Motegi.
On Sunday Veda Pratama went on to make it two wins from two, after drama unfolded in a damp second race between the Indonesian and Amon Odaki on the final lap. The returning Shinya Ezawa took P2 on home turf with Jakkreephat Phuettisan claiming a debut podium in P3.
Odaki was the rider who launched from pole position but it was a poor getaway from the #14, as drama unfolded mid-pack at Turn 1 with four riders unfortunately crashing, with Marianos Nikolis and Kakeru Okunuki unable to get going again.
At the front, a lead group of seven formed. In typical Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup style, the lead and podium positions changed corner by corner, before Pratama found himself at the front in the second half of the race. Little by little, Pratama broke clear of the chasers – all of whom were Japanese.
With Pratama racing away to victory, the podium fight for the remaining two steps on the rostrum went down to the wire. Mitani, Odaki, Shinya Ezawa and Riichi Takahira all fancied a top three finish, with Turn 11 providing the late-race action.
Odaki and Ogiwara were wide – and out of the saddle – allowing Mitani through to second, as Odaki recovered from his error to grab third on the run to the line.
Ezawa and Takahira were a close fourth and fifth, with Jakkreephat Phuttisan not far away from the podium fight in seventh.
Farres Putra, Hamad Al-Sahouti – after a one-place penalty for exceeding track limits on the final lap – and Chessy Meilandri rounded out the top 10.
Levi Russo was the top Aussie in 11th in race one, with Marianos Nikolis not completing the first lap due to that aforementioned early crash.
ATC Round Two Race One Full Video
Race One Results
Jorge Raphael GADING
Hafizd Fahril RASYADAN
Not finished first lap
It was a disastrous start to the day for Japanese rider Riichi Takahira as he crashed at Turn 3 on the first sightling lap, then once he’d got going from pit-lane at the start of the race, Takahira unfortunately crashed out again at the final corner.
At the front, there were as many as 11 riders in the victory chase at one point. Okadi, Zen Mitani and Ezawa were fighting at the front in front of their home fans, and so was Ryota Ogiwara, but once again with a handful of laps to go, Pratama made his way to the front.
A gap quickly appeared but Odaki reeled the #7 in and it all came down to Turn 11 at the bottom of the hill. Odaki was late on the anchors and shoved it up the inside of Pratama.
Odaki ran slightly wide but stayed on track, but as Pratama grabbed the tighter line to try and wrestle the place back, contact was made between the duo and Odaki went down.
Pratama went on to win by just over two-seconds as Ezawa and Phuettisan claimed podiums. Drama unravelled behind as Mitani and Reykat Fadilah went down on the final lap.
Hamad Al-Sahouti and Farish Hafiy rounded out the top five, with Ogiwara, Burapa Wanmoon, Hafizd Rasyadan, Farres Putra and Ahmad Darwisy completing the top 10.
Marianos Nikolis had a better second race, finishing 11th, just ahead of countryman Levi Russo in 12th.
The standings after round two now see Pratama with a clear lead on 95-points, Takahira second on 55 and Mitani third on 52-points. Ogiwara and Phuettisan round out the top five, Russo 15th on 13-points, and Nikolis 18th on five-points.
The Asia Talent Cup had a late start to the season this year and is only just now ramping up. ATC joins MotoGP at Mandalika on October 13, then Chang International Circuit on October 27, Sepang on November 10th ahead of the season decider at Lusail on November 17.
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