2019 Asia Talent Cup

Round 6 – Malaysia

After an incident at Turn 10 on Lap 1 of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup race on Saturday, Indonesian rider Afridza Munandar sadly passed away, with Race 1 Red Flagged immediately and subsequently cancelled.

Asia Talent Cup ATC Rnd Malaysia memory of Munandar DSC
Riders mourn the passing of Afridza Munandar with Race 2 run to commemorate him

Following the incident, Talent Promotion Director Alberto Puig gathered the IATC riders to ask how they would like to proceed – cancel further track action for the weekend or have Race 2 take place.

Every rider voted to race on Sunday, with Race 2 therefore going ahead, and held in memory of Afridza Munandar, with a minute of silence observed in remembrance of Munandar on the grid. The decision was also made to honour him by retiring his number, 4, from the ATC.

Asia Talent Cup ATC Rnd Malaysia Pits DSC
Race 2 was held on Sunday, with a minute of silence

Race 2

Syarifuddin Azman won the final race of the season in Race 2 of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup at Sepang International Circuit, putting the Malaysian flag the top step of the podium on home turf.

Asia Talent Cup ATC Rnd Malaysia Podium DSC
Race 2 Podium – 1) Syarifuddin Azman, 2) Sho Nishimura, 3) Adenanta Putra

The man he beat to it was Sho Nishimura, who took second place after a race-long duel and secured himself the title of 2019 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion as key rival Takuma Matsuyama crashed out early.

Third place saw Indonesian Adenanta Putra emerge from a huge battle to take an emotional podium as the riders went racing in memory of Afridza Munandar.

Asia Talent Cup ATC Rnd Malaysia Start ZA
Sho Nishimura took an early lead

Off the line it was Nishumira who got the best initial start, but Azman was the latest on the brakes as the Malaysian sliced through to take the holeshot. That left Nishimura in second and Matsuyama shuffled down to third, but the first drama hit before the end of the lap.

Asia Talent Cup ATC Rnd Malaysia Adenanta Putra ZA
Adenanta Putra

Locked on to the back of Nishimura, Matsuyama looked like a man on a mission before it suddenly all went wrong, the number 11 overcooking it and sliding out of third – as well as likely ending his chances at lifting the Cup.

Nishimura and Azman disappeared into the distance in an impressive duel, the Malaysian more than able to keep the pace of one of the eventual Cup winner. More than that, he was also able to attack and held the lead heading onto the final lap – before Nishimura struck back at Turn 1.

Asia Talent Cup ATC Rnd Malaysia Sho Nishimura ZA
Sho Nishimura

It didn’t last long. A few corners later the Malaysian swept back around into the lead, and that left Nishimura with the work to do. As Azman stretched his legs even further in the lead, the number 3 machine in second instead started looking behind him.

And for Azman, that was enough to reward his impressive ride with a first win of the year. Nishimura’s second, meanwhile, was enough to reward him the title of 2019 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Champion.

Asia Talent Cup ATC Rnd Malaysia Syarifuddin Azman ZA
Syarifuddin Azman

The mammoth fight for third was won by Putra as he fended off fellow Indonesian Herjun Firdaus, with Australian Jacob Roulstone impressing in fifth. A number of riders fell out that fight after some drama at the final corner though, with Tatchakorn Buasri, Shoki Igarashi, Harrison Voight and Kanta Hamada all failing to finish.

Asia Talent Cup ATC Rnd Malaysia Harrison Voight ZA
Harrison Voight recorded a DNF

Sixth went the way of Piyawat Patoomyos as he got the better of Hildhan Kusuma, with Warit Thongnoppakun taking eighth and the last of that big fight for the podium to finish. Luke Power and Kadir Erbay duelled it out to complete the top ten in that order.

Nishumura takes the crown and Matsuyama is the runner up after a close season of competition in the IATC, with the two Japanese riders having had a big share of the wins between them.

Asia Talent Cup ATC Rnd Malaysia Jacob Roulstone ZA
Jacob Roulstone put in a strong performance for fifth

We complete the year thinking of and racing for the late Afridza Munandar, who was confirmed as classified third overall after an emotional season finale. His award was collected by mechanic Daniel Parrado in his memory.

Asia Talent Cup Race 2

Pos. Rider Nat. Gap
1 Syarifuddin AZMAN MAL
3 Adenanta PUTRA INA 5.863
4 Herjun FIRDAUS INA 6.322
5 Jacob ROULSTONE AUS 6.429
6 Piyawat PATOOMYOS THA  6.439
7 Hildhan KUSUMA INA 6.441
9 Luke POWER AUS 28.36
10 Kadir ERBAY TUR 28.575
11 Idlan RADUAN MAL 37.623
Not classified
Tatchakorn BUASRI THA

Asia Talent Cup Standings 2019

Pos. Rider Nat. Points
2 MATSUYAMA Takuma JPN 169
3 MUNANDAR Afridza INA 142
4 PUTRA Adenanta INA 123
5 BUASRI Tatchakorn THA 118
6 AZMAN Syarifuddin MAL 112
8 FIRDAUS Herjun INA 91
9 PATOOMYOS Piyawat THA 78
10 IGARASHI Shoki JPN 70
12 KUSUMA Hildhan INA 41
13 VOIGHT Harrison AUS 39
14 MUTAQIM Abdul INA 38
16 BANDO Ryosuke JPN 25
17 POWER Luke AUS 24
18 KIUCHI Shota JPN 16
19 ERBAY Kadir TUR 16
20 HAMADA Kanta JPN 13
22 THURAKIJ Buapa THA 11
23 RADUAN Idlan MAL 5
24 OGO Shinji JPN 4