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Masaki closes the year with a win in Sepang

Masaki closes the year with a win in Sepang

Victory for Japan after a great battle with Kunimine and Malaysian rider Norrodin third.

Japan’s Kazuki Masaki was the winner of the 12th and final race of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, held today at the Sepang International Circuit. The race was a brilliant finish to an intense season that began back in March at the Chang circuit in Thailand.

It was a very physical race due to the intense heat and humidity of Sepang.  All this meant the initial pace was slow with Kunimine leading a compact group of 12 riders where the passing was frequent. Sasaki and Rasol stood at the front as Masaki recovered from a bad start.

In the sixth lap of the race a fall occurred in the middle of the group, Salim going to ground and causing crashes for Izdihar and Rostam. The incident broke the group up and comfortably left Kunimine in the lead with Masaki second with a group of five riders battling for third. The group included Atiratphuvapat, Norrodin, Sasaki, Rasol and Date.

The race looked set to follow the same script as yesterday when Kunimine escaped with a comfortable win, but Masaki started to accumulate fast laps and cut the time to leader rapidly, with him in three laps.

It was clear that it would be resolved in the last corner at Sepang. Masaki and Kunimine came into the final corner parallel with the advantage being handed to Masaki by just 0.061 second. In the battle for third it was local rider Adam Norrodin, with the Cup champion ending the year in a discrete seventh place.

The final championship podium of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup sees Sasaki leave as champion with Masaki second and Kunimine third.

Alberto Puig, Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Director: “It was a little bit different race to yesterday but not so much, a little bit faster. Masaki yesterday was not so strong but today he recovered, Kunimine again was very strong. Overall in the weekend he was the strongest rider. The crash in the middle of the race was a little bit scary but I think nothing serious happened, this is important. We finished the season, package was fairly good and now we have to think what to improve for the next year, what we did wrong, which riders will continue next season, which riders will not. We have a little bit of work this winter to increase the level next season.”

SAATC, 2015

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