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Race 1 winner Deniz Oncu took his second victory in the second race of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup in 2017, following up a stunning first win on Saturday to cross the line ahead once again on Sunday. Japanese riders Ryusei Yamanaka and Haraki Noguchi completed the podium.
After drama ahead of the formation lap for Race 1 podium finisher Azroy Anuar as the Malaysian was wheeled into pitlane, the front row of the grid headed through T1 in reverse order, with Japanese rider Yamanaka taking the hole shot. It wasn’t long before Race 1 winner Deniz Oncu got back in the mix to take over at the front, however, with another long front group forming to fight it out for Race 2 – and Anuar was given a ride through penalty that took the Race 1 podium finisher straight out of contention.
After a stint out front for Indonesian Lucky Hendriansya, Yamanaka and compatriots Yuki Kunii and Haraki Noguchi took over at the head of the train by 10 laps to go – with Race 1 winner Deniz Oncu and brother Can Oncu soon up into the mix. After position swapped and changed for another few laps, it was an Oncu 1-2 going into the final lap.
Deniz was then able to repeat his Race 1 plan and pull out a marginal gap – just enough to see him stay calm and survive an attack at the final corner, crossing the line to take his stunning second win of the weekend, ahead of Yamanaka. Haraki Noguchi locked out the podium in third as Japanese riders completed the podium.
Double WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea again went down to parc ferme to congratulate winner Deniz Oncu, as he did in Race 1 - no stranger to doing the double over a race weekend.
Can Oncu just lost out on the podium to cross the line in fourth, ahead of Yuki Kunii and Indonesian Gerry Salim, who completed the top six. Koji Hirama had an improved second race to take P7, the last in the initial front freight train to cross the line as the IATC provided incredible racing once again.
Indonesia duo Irfan Ardiansyah and Lucky Hendriansya took eighth and ninth, as Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi flew the flag for home nation Thailand once again to complete the top ten, slightly further back in Race 2 but with a solid finish.
Erfin Firmansyah, Koki Suzuki, Takuto Suzuki, Australian Reid Terrence Battye and Thai entry Passawit Thitivarak completed the top fifteen.
Haziq Hamdan crashed at Turn 3 with 9 laps to go for a DNF, with Maxi Hattori and Azroy Anuar also suffering retirements.
Alberto Puig, Talent Promotion Director: “It was a nice race and we had an interesting battle. It was interesting because it was a race with a quick and close front group and not many crashes. We haven’t got it completely under control but we’ve controlled the important situation with the kids. I think it was a strong race with a lot of overtaking. Evaluating this weekend we can’t say it’s been the best, but it’s gone very well.
“Deniz has a lot of potential, and it’s rare that the same rider wins the first two races. That shows that Deniz is all-in and he wants to win. That should make the rest of the grid react – we’ll see in Qatar.”
The IATC now moves on to Losail International Circuit in Qatar to race alongside MotoGP™ from the 23rd March, with Deniz Oncu heading the standings after a stunning opening weekend – as yet undefeated in the 2017 Cup and sure to do anything to keep it that way.