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A hard fought battle saw the Japanese rider come out on top with penalties shifting the podium finishers.
The fight for pole
The day started with the young riders of the cup battling in the qualifying session, 30 minutes to decide who would be the man on pole. Indonesia's Andi Izdihar was the fastest, followed by local rider Somkiat Chantra with almost the same time, while third was Ryusei Yamanaka. All three lined up on the front row while on the second row was Gerry Salim, Ai Ogura and Yuki Kunii. The session was run on a dry track.
After two free practice sessions for WorldSBK, it was the again the turn of the Advanced Shell Cup Asian Talent riders to enter the track for the first race of the two scheduled in Buriram.
With riders already on the grid and the lights about to change, Malaysian rider Izam Ikmal, located on the last row, threw up his arms indicating that his bike had a problem. Being located on the last row, his position did not affect the rest of the grid so the race has started normally.
The excitement did not fade throughout the race, with surprises continuing till the last lap and even down to the last corner. The first laps Izdihar in control but he was closely watched by Chantra and Kunii. There was always a group running with Izdihar, Chantra, Masaki, Ogura and Salim within touching distance. Ogura attacked Izdihar on lap 11 of the 16 scheduled but had a scare, losing positions and falling back to seventh.
Meanwhile Izdihar was leading the race safely, despite constant attempts from his followers, a constant struggle between Salim, Ogura, Chantra and Yamanaka close behind. With four laps to go Izdihar fell and despite having no negative physical consequences he was forced to retire. From that moment the race opened again, releasing his once followers and allowing them to attack Chantra, who was now in the lead. Neither Ogura nor Salim could pass. After the last corner it was Ogura first with Chantra second but the latter had left the track and gained an advantage during the race, thus he was sanctioned with the loss of two positions. Salim was then promoted to second and third awarded to Yamanaka. The race was run on a dry track.
The Assistant Director of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, Dani Ribalta, was satisfied: "Well, the first race of the Cup it's done. Looking the lap times there are quite slow comparing to the last year times. But the grip is not the same, there are new parts on the circuit like turn 3 and 7, so let's see if in the Race 2 the track is better. But now we are almost two seconds slower than we want to go because of the surface."
The second round of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup 2016 at the Chang International Circuit Takes place tomorrow, Sunday at 13:00 local time (GMT + 7).
Click here to view the video of the first race.