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A new dawn: 2024 is here as the ATC gets set for Qatar opener!

04 March 2024

The 10th anniversary season of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup is about to begin as Lusail plays host to the first two races of the season

After two days of testing at the Lusail International Circuit, the wait for a return to racing is nearly over. 2024 – the 10th anniversary year – brings fresh opportunities for the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup field as new faces join the more experienced guard in what promises to be another incredible campaign.

Last year’s bronze medallist Ryota Ogiwara – a double podium finisher in Qatar last year – was the pacesetter in testing and it’s the Japanese star who comes into 2024 as the highest-placed rider returning from 2023. A 0.8s advantage over compatriot Zen Mitani was a real marker laid down by the #16, as both 2023 race winner and Mitani head into the new season as two favourites for the crown.

However, the most eye-catching performance from the test was that of rookie Seiryu Ikegami. The Japanese rider finished P3, ahead of experienced compatriot Riichi Takahira in fourth, as Ikegami heads into the season-opener as one to watch very closely.

Elsewhere, last season’s P9 finisher Farish Hafiy enjoyed a solid start to his season in testing. The Malaysian is ready for his third ATC campaign and will be hunting a maiden win, as fellow returnees Sarthak Chavan and Levi Russo look to build on last year’s experience following a strong pre-season test too.
In total, 12 newcomers are eager to make their mark on the 20-strong grid, with seven countries represented as a new host of opportunities go up for grabs on the Road to MotoGP™: Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.

You don’t want to miss it! Race 1 of the year begins at 16:00 local time (UTC +3) on Saturday, with Race 2 kicking off at 14:35 on Sunday.

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