New to motogp.com?Register here
The next and third round of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup sees the grid ready to take on the legendary venue of Suzuka – one of the most fabled and famous motorsport venues in the world. Lining up as part of the Asia Road Racing Championship on June 2nd – 4th, the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup heads to the venue this year in place of Zhuhai International Circuit in China. Last year at this stage of the season, China saw Ai Ogura and Yuki Kunii come out on top – and 2017 sees the weekend instead take place on home turf.
The Japanese riders also may have a small advantage, with many having competed at the track at national level – but that could play into the hands of their rivals, who will have a big point to prove in the charge to take the Cup this season.
Crucially, the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup reaches the halfway point for 2017 after Race 2 at Suzuka, and the grid will be keeping one eye on the points as well as on the win. Race 1 is on Saturday June 3rd, before Sunday marks 50% of the season with Race 2.
The standings as Suzuka dawns:
Deniz Öncü leads the Championship with 61 points heading into round three after a double in Thailand and a fight back in Qatar, but the Turkish rider has big competition only five points behind: home hero Ryusei Yamanaka of Japan. Two more Japanese riders, Yuki Kunii on 44 points and Haruki Noguchi on 42, are the next men in the standings, very much close enough to prove real threats.