Danish and Pratama take glory in Thailand

Race 1 went to the final corner while it was a different story in the weekend's second race at Chang International Circuit

Race 1: Danish snatches last gasp Buriram win to retake title lead

Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Race 1 from the OR Thailand Grand Prix didn’t disappoint as the victory battle went right to the wire. Emerging with the 25-point haul was Hakim Danish as the Malaysian claimed his third win of the season to retake the Cup standings lead, with Veda Ega Pratama and Gun Mie rounding out a podium split by just 0.2s at the chequered flag.

Shinya Ezawa was the overall standings leader heading into Race 1 on Saturday afternoon, but the Japanese rider needed a good start from P8 on the grid – and that’s exactly what he didn’t get. Last weekend’s race winner had to take avoiding action at Turn 3 on the opening lap after Amon Odaki crashed out unhurt from the lead group. This left Ezawa with a mountain to climb from P15.

A lead group of four quickly emerged with Pratama, polesitter Carter Thompson, Mie and Danish showing great pace to pull clear of the chasing pack. Ezawa quickly progressed from P15 up to P5, but by the time he was at the spearhead of the second group, his hopes of a podium were over.

And, as expected, the fight for victory came down to the wire. Four riders battled it out for the race lead but it was Pratama looking strong at the front on the final lap. Expecting the move to come at Turn 12, Danish then pulled a blinder to dive up the inside at Turn 10 as we witnessed three riders all go side-by-side into the final corner. Danish timed the cutback to perfection to claim the win by just 0.046s over Pratama, as Mie held off Thompson for the final spot on the podium.

Marianos Nikolis passed Ezawa at the final corner to pick up P5 and demote the latter to P6, as Farres Putra, Jakkreephat Phuettisa, Reykat Fadillah and Thanakorn Lakharn rounded out the top 10 ahead of Race 2 on Sunday morning. It’s an 09:00 local time kick off the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup field in Buriram, with 11 points now separating Danish and Ezawa in the title chase!

Race 2: Pratama pulls out seven seconds for stunning Race 2 win

What a masterclass! Race 2 at the OR Thailand Grand Prix saw Veda Ega Pratama pull the pin in the latter stages to take a stunning first Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup win, the Indonesian crossing the line over seven seconds clear of the duel for second. That duel saw Gun Mie classified in P2, with Australian Carter Thompson crossing the line ahead but demoted for track limits on the last lap. Still, it's the number 6's first podium after a run of bad luck and trouble, finally getting some payback for his pace.

With a damp track and a dry line emerging, it was an extra challenge on Sunday morning. Off the line it was polesitter Thompson vs points leader Hakim Danish for the holeshot, with the number 13 taking it. From there though it was initially a group fight, before mid-race saw Pratama make a break for it. Once the number 7 had taken the lead and established a small gap, it only got bigger. The only rider banging in the 1:51s with a host of fastest laps, Pratama's advantage grew and grew to the flag, eventually seeing the Indonesian rider take victory by over seven seconds.

The duel behind saw Mie and Thompson also able to gap those on the chase, with the two seven seconds off Pramata but with five in hand over the next group. The duel was on, and although Thompson made a pass stick on the final lap, he ventured onto the green - and with that came a demotion of one position. For Mie that means a valuable 20 points for second, and for Thompson any initial disappointment will be overtaken by the Australian finally getting that rostrum finish after getting so close before, and so close on Saturday.

It was an intriguing battle behind, with Shinya Ezawa and Hakim Danish both in a group fight for fourth and the points lead potentially at stake. Ultimately, Ezawa was able to take that fourth and cut the gap to just seven points at the top, with Danish forced to settle for seventh.

Between the two, Jakkreephat Phuettisan took an impressive fifth on home turf to equal his best result of the year, and Aan Riswanto bested his previous best by two positions to take sixth. Reykat Fadillah continued his solid points finishes with eighth place, and after a stunner of a save on the final lap. Thanakorn Lakharn took P9 on home soil, with Diandra Trihardika completing the top ten. Elsewhere, Amon Odaki was classified 14th after a scrappy race and run off, and Hamad al-Sahouti was forced into pitlane with a puncture.

That's a wrap on Buriram. Now the field have a little time to reset ahead of the penultimate round, with Sepang a few weeks away yet. Who will take the spoils in Malaysia? Join us from the 21st to the 23rd of October to find out!