Thailand ARRC: Arunagiri, Ahamed miss out on podium
Indian riders Prabhu Arunagiri and KY Ahamed came close to finishing on the podium in the second round of Asia Road Racing Champion in Thailand this weekend.
Competing in the Suzuki Asia Challenge, Arunagiri made a rocketing start from 10th on the grid, catapulting himself into the lead of the race.
However, due to the high slipstream effect, Arunagiri was unable to hold the top spot and got shuffled down the order.
But the Indian managed to keep himself in the lead group, which consisted of 10 riders - all separated by within a second.
This allowed him to put on a counter challenge in the final few laps of the race, where he briefly took the lead of the race.
Unfortunately, a poor final lap proved to be costly and Arunagiri had to settle for seventh place.
Ahamed was also in the mix during the entire 7-lap race, finishing just 0.540s behind race winner April King H. Mascardo in fourth place.
Indonesia’s Nur Al Fath Sam Ahmad was classified second, while Punchana Kulrojchalalai completed the podium positions.
During the second SAC race, Arunagiri and Ahamed were once again fighting for top positions, with the former starting the final two laps in the lead of the race.
However, the two riders were caught by a multi-bike pile-up at the final corner, preventing any chance of a podium finish.
The duo managed to get back on their bikes and cross the finish line in 10th and 11th places respectively, but were left to rue a weekend where a podium finish was definitely on the cards.
At the front, Japan’s Tetsuya Fujita managed to avoid the mayhem to take the top step on the podium, while Aaron Gunawardena and Ahmad Saugi Muchtar finished second and third respectively.
After the first two rounds of the championship, Arunagiri sits eighth in the standings with 32 points, while Ahamed holds the 12th spot with 18 points to his name
Points for Sarath
Over in ARRC’s flagsgip Supersport 600cc category, Sarath Kumar finished 14th in the opening race, equalling his best finish from the opening round.
The second race, however, turned out to be harder for the former 125cc world championship rider, and he finished a lap down in 17th place.
Sarath is still recovering from two separate injuries sustained over last year, which inevitably has had an impact on his performance.
He currently sits 17th in the standings with six points.
At the front of the pack, championship leader Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman triumphed in Race 1, beating Chalermpoi Polaimai and former MotoGP rider Anthony West.
In the second race, it was West who took the victory, coming on top in a three-way fight that also included Kamaruzaman and Decha Kraisart.
Crash brings early end to Sethu’s weekend
Meanwhile, Rajiv Sethu suffered a huge crash during the third practice on Friday, severely damaging his Honda bike.
With no spare chassis available, Sethu was forced to watch the rest of the weekend from the sidelines.
“It is a disappointing weekend for me,” he said. I had a big crash in the last turn and damaged my bike a lot.
“Since it’s a new bike in the market we don't have an extra chassis to continue racing. So I won't be racing here this weekend. It's a very bad feeling for me this something I didn't expect.”
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