Making a significant mark on international soil, the IDEMITSU Honda Racing India – a solo Indian team in FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) finished the 2022 season on a positive note. Showcasing consistent performance and brining laurels to the country, India’s ace rider Rajiv Sethu finished the final race of Asia Production 250cc (AP250cc) class of ARRC in top 10. After 18th position start on the grid, Rajiv moved up by a position in lap 1 itself. Taking advantage of the wet race and few crashes, he continued to gain positions and reached at 10th spot in Lap 8. From thereon, he maintained positive momentum and crossed the chequered line at 10th position, thus adding 6 points in his kitty.
Meanwhile, it was a day of struggle and then a massive recovery for Senthil Kumar who after his 7th position start went out of track in Lap 2. But Senthil showed his determination and came back on track with more power and a challenging spirit. Competing fiercely with the international riders, Senthil finished today’s race at 14th position, achieving 2 points.
After the final round, Rajiv Sethu closes the 2022 championship with 37 points finishing in the top 15, while Senthil closes it with 13 points. Overall Honda Racing India closed 2022 season in Top 10.
Expressing his views on the performance of Indian riders, Mr. Atsushi Ogata – Managing Director, President & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India said,“Racing is in Honda’s DNA. For us Motorsport is not just an event, it’s a culture which helps us to enhance our quality and meet the overall vision of the brand. Today, I was thrilled to experience the riding performance of our Indian riders, especially the young ones. After a gap of two years due to COVID-19, our riders were confident and motivated to take on all the challenges and displayed exemplary performances throughout the season. The zeal of our riders and the progress of the team on the international platform show that we are on the right track in promoting motorsports in India and supporting to develop future international champions from India. I thank all the team members for their outstanding contributions and wish them good luck for the next season.”
Speaking on riders’ performances and overall results, Mr. Prabhu Nagaraj, Operating Officer – Brand & Communication, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India said “We are satisfied & happy with this year’s performance. Despite the challenging environment, our riders delivered their best results and achieved a better position for the team in this season. In 2022, not only Rajiv and Senthil but our young guns in Thailand Talent Cup have also shown some good performances. First time our riders have not only finished in Top 10 but also have clinched a podium in this season of Thai Talent Cup. Ending this season of races with high spirit, our team will return with new young talent in future as well.”
Quote of Honda Racing India rider Rajiv Sethu:
“Today was the final race and I had no option other than delivering my best. With the wind and rainy weather, all our proportions and mathematics got changed. My focus was not to rush but maintain a steady position in the race. From my previous experience and training, I countered all the challenges and achieved points and positions for the team. Taking all the learnings home, I shall be practicing more and creating new strategies to mark another achievement for the team.”
Quote of IDEMITSU Honda Racing India rider Senthil Kumar:
“It was a tough and exciting race for me. The weather was not in favour which created hurdles for all the riders. My agenda was to avoid any mistakes and be on track to gain points for the team. I am happy with my today’s performance as I was able to compete well with all the challenges as well as the other experienced riders. We will be returning next season with enhanced strategies for better results.”
Indian rider at Thailand Talent Cup (TTC):
Exemplifying the best performance on international soil, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team rider Kavin Quintal records his best-ever finish in the 2022 Thailand Talent Cup (Honda’s development program for Asian riders). Starting today’s race from the 8th position on the grid, Kavin maintained a steady momentum and waited for the right moment, thus finishing the race at 7th (one position gain from his start). The Chennai lad earned 14 points (Race 1 – 5 points; Race 2 – 9 points) in the final roundand closes the season with a total of 41 points – a remarkable achievement by an Indian rider in the Thailand Talent Cup.
Kavin’s teammate Mohsin P (20-year-old) too showed confidence in the race. Starting race 2 of Round 6 from 16th on the grid of 18 riders, the Kerala boy persevered through the stiff competition and closed at 13th position with a total time of 28:30.428, securing 3 points in his second outing on international soil.