Honda Racing India eye top 10 finish in Zhuhai qualifiers

Zhuhai (China), Aug 9 (IANS) With Round 5 of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) starting on Friday, the three free practices gave the IDEMITSU Honda Racing India teams riders Rajiv Sethu and Senthil Kumar their first taste of the Zhuhai circuit in southern tip of China.

Barring the solo Chinese wildcard entry in Asia Production 250cc class, the track is new for all 25 Asian riders from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taipei and India.

The three time ARRC rider of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India, Sethu enters Zhuhai buoyed by his double win in Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship last weekend. His best lap time of 1:56:121 was 2.3 seconds off from the Indonesian lead rider Lucky, putting him 17th out of total 26 riders.

"Zhuhai is a great opportunity for me to surge ahead in the championship," said Sethu. "But I wasn't comfortable with my bike handling FP1 and FP2 which made me slower in my lap times. In FP3, I went off-track due to late braking and couldn't ride for much time. Tomorrow, the plan is to improve the bike handling and shave off more than 1 second off my time. My aim is to compete with top riders and be in Top 10 in morning qualifier and grab points for India in the afternoon race 1."

Meanwhile, his rookie team-mate Kumar too got faster by 1.655 seconds between FP1, FP2 and FP3 and finished 22nd with lap time of 1:57:269.

The fastest on track was the Indonesian trio from Astra Honda Racing Team -- Lucky Hendriansya (1:53:758), followed by Irfan Ardiansyah (1:54:000) and Rafid Topno (1:54:016).

--IANS

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