The 2016 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup riders undertook their final qualifying session of the season on Friday at the Sepang International Circuit with Andi Izdihar taking pole with a time of 2'29.231.
The Indonesian rider, who sits fourth in the standings, will start the final two races of the season from pole as he looks to make up an 18 point gap on Cup leader Ai Ogura at the final round. Ogura qualified in second place, just ahead of Gerry Salim, with additional title contenders Yuki Kunii, Somkiat Chantra and Ryusei Yamanaka qualifying fourth to sixth respectively.
It is the second pole of the year for Izdihar, the only rider to have achieved two pole position results in a season which has seen five different riders at the head of the grid over the six rounds of the 2016 Cup.
The qualfying session took place on wet tyres in difficult conditions after heavy rain preceding the outing and was concluded two and a half minutes before the end, due to a crash at turn 9 for Alif Utama #17 which brought out a red flag.
FP1 earlier in the day was run in wet conditions at midday local time, but in the tropical heat of Malaysia the track had dried by the start of FP2 by just after 4pm. The riders therefore started FP2 on slicks but soon came in to change to wets in a session which was cut short after seven minutes due to heavy rain. QP was then extended by eight minutes only for the red flag to come out again.
Track Conditions QP
Air Temperature: 26.5ºC
Track temperature: 30.1ºC
Wind: 1.2 North
Alberto Puig, Director of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, reviewed the last qualifying session of the season, saying, “In fact we we were lucky because the heavy rain was between FP2 and the qualifying practice. With those difficult conditions the most important thing is make as many laps as you can and try to give 100%. The lap times are good so we are satisfied after a difficult day.”
The 13-lap Race 1 at the final round of the 2016 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup takes place at 4.30pm local time on Saturday, followed by the last race of the season on Sunday, also at 4.30pm.
You can follow all the action LIVE from Race 1 via this link.
You can follow all the action LIVE from Race 2 via this link.