The final race of the season didn’t disappoint as the Indonesian and Japanese go head-to-head in Qatar, with Odaki claiming P3
For the ninth time in 2023, Veda Pratama was a race winner – but only just! A classic played out as the Lusail International Circuit hosted the season curtain closer, as we saw Ryota Ogiwara finishing just 0.010s behind the Indonesian. With a P3 finish, Amon Okadi sealed second in the Championship following a fascinating fight to the chequered flag.
As he often has done this season, Pratama got a great getaway from pole position. Ogiwara tucked in right behind with Jakkreephat Phuettisan third for a brief period having launched very well from the third row.
A lead group of four formed with the chasers not far behind, but it soon became apparent that it was a race for victory between Pratama and Ogiwara. Odaki and Shinya Ezawa, try as they might, didn’t have the pace to keep tabs on the top two.
As it did in Race 1, it all came down to the last lap – and the last corner. Ogiwara threatened to make a lunge up the inside but the #16 couldn’t make it stick. Now, it was all about the run to the line. Pratama just held on to take his ninth victory of 2023 as Ogiwara had to settle for a very, very close second.
In the podium battle, Odaki came out on top as that too came down to the final corner. Riichi Takahira was able to get in amongst it in the final two laps and the #9 was able to pip Ezawa to P4 at the line. Zen Mitani claimed P6 ahead of Farish Hafiy, with Marianos Nikolis, Phuettisan and Hamad Al-Sahouti rounding out the top 10 – the Qatari rider producing a fine comeback after stalling his bike on the grid, which forced him to start from last.
So that’s it for 2023. What a season it’s been in the Asia Talent Cup and what a Champion we have in Pratama. Congratulations to all the riders this year as we already look forward to what 2024 has in store.