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Sethu grabs 2 points in rain-hit race at ARRC

Suzuka Circuit (Japan) : Enduring challenging conditions, Rajiv Sethu finished 14th in the crash-filled Race 2 of the 4th round of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), adding two points to Honda Racing India’s kitty, here on Sunday.

As many as nine riders losing traction and crashing out on Suzuka’s slippery tarmac in Asia Production 250 class (AP250) Race 2 on Sunday.

Starting 13th on grid, Sethu made a good start and climbed to seventh position before last corner of lap 1. His helmet visor started fogging up leading to near zero visibility.

From there on, Sethu gradually dropped to 16th position and pushed on to return to top 15 in lap five, got pushed back in lap six but recovered.

By penultimate 7th lap, Sethu had returned to 15th. In the last lap, Sethu spotted an opening and overtook the rider before him to finish 14th.

“A great start pushed me to seventh but second lap onwards it was very difficult to ride due to visor fog. I could not see corners and water patches ahead and started dropping positions.

I decided to open my visor in lap 3 but the water back-splash of riders before me held me back,” Sethu said. “By lap 5, rain stopped for a bit and I pushed hard with rider bunch.

Taking the slipstream advantage, I made a move in the last corner of race and finished 14th. Zhuhai will a new track for all riders. Whoever learns fast will make gains and I will push harder there.”

Shrugging off his 28th finish in Race 1 yesterday, Senthil finished 20th. At the front, it was once again an Indonesian hat-trick on podium.

After Muklada crashed out in lap 1, Rafid, who started Race 2 from pole position, too lost his front and crashed in lap six.

Astra Honda’s Awhin Sanjaya won by a 4 second gap and the battle for 2nd raged on till chequered flag finally settled with Astra Honda rider Irfan Ardiansyah finishing second and Andy Fadly third.

Honda Racing India is now ranked ninth with 25 points. Snapping three more points, Sethu is in top 15 riders and rookie rider Senthil is placed 25th with two points.