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Gerry Salim takes first win at the first race in Qatar

Gerry Salim takes first win at the first race in Qatar

The third race of the season again saw a new victor. After Ogura and Chantra, Gerry Salim adds his name to the list of winner.

The start was uneventful, all of the 21 riders who completed Qualifying lining up on the grid. The only issue was with the wind, which whipped around the riders at 23km/h, winds known to cause issues for the small Moto3 bikes. With all the bikes in the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup mechanically identical, all riders were faced with the same hurdles to overcome.

The first lap saw Somkiat Chantra emerge as the leader with Ogura, Izdihar, Salim and Masaki behind in a sizeable group. But on lap 12 Somkiat Chantra had a moment and was dropped to third place.

Lap by lap the group of riders battled, some trying to break away but down the straight they were always drawn back into the group, the slipstream pulling them all together. The race slowly stretched into a race of two clear groups.

The pace of the race continued to increase and Ogura, Masaki, Yamanaka, Chantra and Izdihar seemed the only candidates for victory as the laps ticked down.

Slowly Gerry Salim was able to drag himself back into contact with the group and was eventually able to slide into second behind Ogura. The last corner was exciting as ever as all the riders hunted for a slipstream, Qatar producing another tight and tactical finish. Gerry Salim proved to be the smartest rider (31'27.084), playing the situation to perfection and crossing the line in first from Ogura (31’27.092) and Masaki (31’27.102) in third.

In total 20 riders finished the race, Tom Edwards suffering a crash early in the race without consequences.

The fastest lap of the race was Ryusei Yamanaka (2’13.446 at lap 2. A.speed 146.6 Km/h).

The Starting Grid changes for tomorrow after the penalty given to rider #19 R.Sugawara for irresponsible riding (goes 12 place 4th row from 9 place 3rd row).

Alberto Puig, Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Director, was satisfied: “Well, as in Thailand the first group is a step ahead of the rest. The conditions weren’t so easy because it was super windy and with this machine affects a lot, especially on the straight. So the lap time is not as good as we would like, but let’s see if tomorrow is not so windy. We saw a great and fair battle so the riders did a good race”

Race Conditions: Dry Air: 27° Humidity: 26% Ground Temp: 32°

The second race is scheduled for Sunday at 13:50 Local Time (GMT +3) and will again be 14 laps.

SAATC, 2016

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