The first event of the season is a two-day test in Malaysia as the class of 2023 prepares for lights out
It’s almost time for the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup to go racing! The start of the season is just around the corner, but first there’s a two-day test for the class of 2023 to get acquainted – or reacquainted – with their bikes and crew before the lights go out.
The venue for the test is the iconic Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, and there the field will have two days to get in the groove and settle into their journey on the Road to MotoGP™. The ATC will also return to the venue for two rounds – the season opener alongside Malaysia Superbike and then the penultimate round alongside MotoGP™ – so every kilometer counts!
There’s a 20-strong grid ready to take on a new-look calendar this season, with nine riders returning to the ATC – seven from the class of 2022 and two from 2021 – joined by 11 newcomers chosen at the Selection Event at Sepang International Circuit last October. There are seven countries represented in 2023: Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar and Thailand.
The spotlight will be on 2022 runner up Shinya Ezawa of Japan and fellow Cup challenger Veda Pratama of Indonesia as they head into the year as favourites, with testing giving us a first glimpse of who may have the upper hand. The competition will be fierce as ever, however, with 2022 rookie race winner Amon Odaki returning, as well as the likes of podium finishers Hamad al-Sahouti from Qatar and Reykat Fadilah of Indonesia. Odaki also proves that rookies really can challenge at the front – and win – so there’s everything to play for amongst the 11 new riders joining the grid.
Who will start the season on top? We’ll find out this weekend as the ATC heads out at Sepang on the 12th and 13th of August for their first track action of the season, so stay up to date across social media and asiatalentcup.com as the season opener appears on the horizon!