Sasaki wins thrilling Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Motegi contest

12 Oct 2014

Race seven of nine in the 2014 Shell Advance Asia Talent cup was a struggle of titanic proportions, hard braking, creative lines and some tough passes kept the top riders bunched together to duke it out for the podium places.

There was drama from turn one as Fakrusy Rostam crashed on entry and narrowly avoided scuttling the pack of riders, although he did force Ryo Mizuno wide and into the gravel and in his haste to recover lost ground the Japanese rider would fall one lap later.

At the front it was an eight rider battle for the podium but it was almost always headed by championship rivals Yuta Date and Kaito Toba. They swapped positions all race long with Takuma Kunimine joining in on occasion to spoil the party.

There was another crash for Thai rider Muklada Sarapuech as she high sided her bike into the gravel, thankfully she is ok and will be back to race again soon.

With one lap to go it was Date who held a slim advantage but coming into the sharp 90 degree corner at the end of the lap Toba was hard on the brakes and having a look. One corner later at the final turn he made his move but he overcooked it and sent both himself and Date wide on the exit.

That compromised their run to the line and left a gap open. It was winner of the last race in Malaysia, Ayumu Sasaki, who made the most of it, coming though the fray to win by a bikes length from Shafiq Rasol who also made his way through a gap to take his 2nd podium of the season. Takuma Kunimine took third for his second visit to the top three while Toba and Date were left in fifth and seventh respectively.

That means that with just two races to go Date leads by just two points in the championship from Toba with Sasaki only eight points further back. It’s all to play for as the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup moves onto Malaysia and Sepang for the final round of the season, where the riders will step up their quest to turn their potential into performance.