Ogura wins Race 1 in Zhuhai

17 Sep 2016

As the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup riders returned to action at the Zhuhai International Circuit in China on Saturday it was Japanese youngster Ai Ogura who won Race 1, ahead of Indonesia’s Andi Izdihar and Thailand’s Somkiat Chantra.

Ogura repeated his 2015 Race 2 win at the Chinese circuit, after a fiercely fought contest which had seen a group of seven riders battling at the front.

That group of frontrunners included pole sitter Gerry Salim, who had set a new circuit record for Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup riders in qualifying earlier in the day, along with the three riders who would eventually reach the podium, in addition to Kazuki Masaki, Yuki Kunii and Ryusei Yamanaka.

On the ninth lap of 17 around the 4.319km Zhuhai track Masaki crashed out of the lead, with Ogura then taking control to lead all but one of the subsequent laps.

On the last lap of the race six riders remained involved in the fight for victory, but Yamanaka crashed out of contention with Kunii also losing time in the incident as his podium hopes were dashed. Ogura stayed cool to cross the line first, for a well deserved second win of 2016, with Izdihar and Chantra joining him on the rostrum.

The result means Chantra still leads the standings, now on 122 points, with Izdihar moving up into second place with 113 points and Ogura now in third place on 103 points.

In QP earlier in the day Salim’s new circuit record for the competition at this track gave him his first pole of the season, with Izdihar and Chantra qualifying in second and third respectively. Also on Saturday Australian rider Tom Edwards was declared unfit to compete after a crash in FP2 on Friday.

Reviewing Race 1 in China, Alberto Puig, Director of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, commented: “In terms of speed the race was seven seconds faster than last year and this is very positive, as this is the first time this season that we are faster. The front group was nice, with seven or eight riders fighting but unfortunately we were missing some of the guys due to the crashes. It was a fast race and there was a big difference between the first group and the second group. The front riders are pushing incredibly hard and we are happy with them.”

The eighth race of the 2016 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup takes place at 1.10pm local time at the Zhuhai International Circuit on Sunday (18th September), with two more rounds to come before the end of the season at Twin Ring Motegi (Japan) and the Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia).