Adelaide, April 26 (IANS) After delivering the best ever performance in round 1 of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship 2019 (ARRC) in Sepang, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India teams riders Rajiv Sethu and Senthil Kumar pushed hard in the Asia Production 250 qualifier at the Bend Motorsport Park here on Friday.
The 4.95 km long Bend track with its technical corners and fast-flowing sections proved to be a tough adversary after early morning showers. But the Indian duo continued to climb ranks in the afternoon AP 250 Qualifier.
Rajiv pushed hard to close the AP 250 qualifier in the Top 12 with the best lap time of 2:11:738. This was a significant improvement for Rajiv from his best practice lap time of 2:12:130. Shaving off seconds in each track outing, Rajiv has already reduced his gap with lead rider Andy to 3.1 seconds.
Meanwhile, learning continued for 18-year-old rookie Senthil, who gained his first ever wet race experience in the morning third practice. In his first Bend outing, Senthil closed in the top 18 with a best lap time of 2:13:876. Pushing harder, Senthil’s gap with the lead rider has now reduced to 5.250 seconds compared to his best practice lap time gap of 8.412 seconds.
Saturday’s race 1 will see reigning AP 250 champion Andy Muhammad Fadly from Indonesia, who stopped the clock with a best lap time of 2:08:626 lead the grid, followed by Japanese rider Aiki Iyoshi at 2nd and Muklada Sarapuech from Honda Racing Thailand at 3rd spot.