Buriram (Thailand), Dec 1 : Despite a top 15 finish by both the Indian riders of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India, the solo Indian racing team in the Asia Production 250cc (AP250) class at the 2019 Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) faced a tough Sunday at the Chang circuit here.
With 30 riders from 20 teams battling for the AP250 championship in the final race, FIM 5 position penalty on exceeding track limits in turn 12 of the 10th and final lap turned the fortunes of five riders.
Despite being the first to cross the chequered flag, Md Muzakkir was pushed back to sixth position, while Astra Honda's Lucky Hendiransya's 7th place finish in the race was amended to 12th.
Similarly, Indian riders Senthil Kumar and Rajiv Sethu too lost 5 positions from their 11th and 13th place finish to move to 16th and 18th positions in the final results, respectively, leading to no points for Honda's solo Indian team despite a double top 15 finish.
Starting 16th, Rajiv's good start took him to 10th spot ending lap 1, but lap 3 erased his gains, pulling him back to 16th. Thereon, Rajiv made a fantastic recovery to 15th by lap 4, 13th by lap 5 and climbed up to the 11th position by lap 6 when the top 12 riders were fighting in a 1.8 second gap.
By lap 8, Rajiv overtook 2 riders to enter into the top 10. A wide cornering in turn 12 of 10th lap saw Rajiv finish 13th in race 2, only to bear the brunt of 5 positions penalty which put him on 18th place on the official race 2 result.
Post the positions flux after penalty, AP Honda Racing Thailand's rider Piyawat Patoomyos emerged the winner, followed by Vorapong Malahuan (2nd) and Awhin Sanjaya (3rd).
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