Lachlan Taylor scores Asia Talent Cup berth
With the dawn came the hopeful Malaysian riders, taking their first steps on the path to a possible ride in the 2015 competition.
A group of 26 of the brightest local stars, including the younger brother of Moto3 rider Zulfhami Khairuddin, registered for their chance to take to the Sepang International Karting Track on the specially prepared Honda Underbone machines. With perfectly clear skies above, the youngsters divided into two groups and began their acclimatisation to the track and machines, with a few small crashes in the early laps it was soon clear that the standards were high
They needed to be fast as at 11am the Malaysian group was whittled down by half as the best riders from day one joined the fray for their second chance to impress the ACT director Alberto Puig.
On day one a group of hopeful riders from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and New Zealand had taken part and the best from that group made it through to the second day. On day two the best Malaysian riders showed their skills in the morning and then further sessions took place with only selected riders participating.
The second Tuesday group was whittled down to a final selection of just 30 from the original group that began the day. Then it was really crunch time, with just two more 10 minute sessions on the track to hone their lines the riders had to give it their all and some gave a bit too much with more spills as bikes and riders hit the deck. But the times kept coming down and the riders kept improving, which in turn meant that the final deliberation would be a fraught affair.
With the final runs of the day done the heavens opened as Puig deliberated long and hard over his decision of which riders to take forward to the next stage of the 2015 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup.
A nervous silence gripped the crowd of expectant riders as the final word came after almost two hours of talks that nine riders would join the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup in 2015, including the first rider from Australia, Lachlan Taylor. Tears of heartache were mingled with tears of joy as the two very intense days of testing came to an end and the journey into 2015 began. Another Australian is still in with a chance with Tom Edwards being named as a reserve rider. Congratulations to all that had a go and to those that didn’t make the cut, better luck next time and no doubt you will be smarter for the experience.
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