16-year-old Billy Van Eerde today won the 2018 Asia Talent Cup Championship after an unbelievable weekend of racing at Sepang.
It came down to the line and Billy was actually beaten to the flag by championship rival Haruki Noguchi. However, the Japanese rider had a coming together on the straight with Malaysian rider Danial Sharil.
An investigation immediately after the race then judged Noguchi to have been guilty of irresponsible riding and docked him 27-seconds, which promoted Billy to the race win, and with that enough points to be crowned Asia Talent Cup Champion.
Billy only joined the Asia Talent Cup for the first time this year, while many of his competitors, including Noguchi have had multiple years in the tightly contested category on controlled Honda NSF250R motorcycles.
I don’t think it is out of place for me to say that all of us that are regularly involved in Australian Road Racing are immensely proud of Billy’s achievement today, and feel lucky to have seen his progression from the start as he made his transtion from dirt track in the ranks of ASBK Supersport 300 on a KTM.
I reckon it is also fair to say that quite a few of shed a tear this evening as we watched the realisation dawn on Billy that he had won the championship.
Alberto Puig (Talent Promotion Director)
“As always this Cup is about evolution during the year and some guys make more of an evolution than others, van Eerde started step by step but has been progressing, as have many other riders, and finally he was the Champion and we have to congratulate him. I think this incident in the last race made it a little it strange, but in the points he’s the Champion and that’s what counts. Overall we’re happy with the year, we’re satisfied we had another season of the Cup because it’s always complicated.”
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