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Sasaki takes first win of the year at Sepang

Sasaki takes first win of the year at Sepang

An exciting race between Norrodin and Masaki saw the leader’s authority imposed in the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup.

A great victory by Japan’s Ayumu Sasaki in the first race of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, running alongside WSBK this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit.

Sasaki started from pole in the morning after achieving the fastest time in Qualifying, over seven tenths of a second faster than Masaki in second and 1’1 quicker than Rasol, looking as though it would be a comfortable victory for the Japanese rider come race day

But it was not to play out like this. As the lights went out both Kunimine and Malaysian Norrodin were up towards the front with Ogura, Masaki and Atiratphuvapat going getting off to the fastest start.

The race pace was slower than anticipated, the leading group featuring more and more competitors as they caught the leading trio. Sasaki, after trying to escape and seeing it was impossible to do so, chose to let the others fight it out for the lead, watching and saving his tires for the end. This tactic was also being used by Norrodin.

The group of six riders produced a great battle, with constant changes at the front meaning it would all come to the last lap. This was the moment that Norrodin chose to stand as the leader, but it was clear that Sasaki did not want to miss the chance of taking his first win of the year. With the action reaching a crescendo at the last corner, Sasaki crossed the line first, winning ahead of Norrodin and Masaki. This he becomes the fifth different winner from five races so far in the Cup.

Sasaki retains the lead in the standings with 101 points, Masaki is 33 behind with Thailand’s Chantra a further 40 back, missing this round through injury.

Director of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Alberto Puig: “Well, It was a good race. The pace was not so fast, this is point number one, but the battle was good. We knew that Sasaki, Masaki, also Adam and Kunimine could be in the top group, but I’m happy to see that guys like Ogura and Yamanaka have made a big improve since the last race in Qatar. This big step makes me very happy. We are going well overall. Of course, we always knew that it is not easy but when you have young kids like these two guys making improvements, you understand that maybe we are in the correct path.”

The second Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup race is scheduled for 12:00 LT (GMT +8) tomorrow. You can follow all the action live through this link.

Tags:
SAATC, 2015

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