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Testing, testing: the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup gears up for 2020

10 Feb 2020

The first track action of the season sees the veterans and rookies share the track for the first time at Sepang International Circuit

The 2019 season came to a close at Sepang in November and now the Malaysian track hosts the opening action of this season too, with the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup heading for the venue for a pre-season test on the 11th and 12th February. 2020 sees five veterans joined by 15 rookies for another year of stunning competition and the test is the first chance they have to get ready for the 12-race, six-event calendar that awaits.

The 5.5km Sepang International Circuit is the perfect challenge for the riders to start getting up to speed on their Honda NSF250R Moto3™ machines, with the field facing a mixture of long straights and different corners as well as the tough, hot conditions they’ll tackle again later on the calendar. It’s also a circuit the IATC visits for two race weekends, so experience of the track is a valuable asset in itself – especially for those making their debuts.

Those rookies will face some stiff competition, however. The likes of returning riders Syarifuddin Azman and Herjun Firdaus – the former a race winner and latter a podium finisher last year – will be hoping to hit the ground running and stamp some early authority on the 2020 Cup, but it’s far from a done deal. There's also a wildcard taking part in the test, who has even more to prove. Will the veterans come out swinging? Or can the new faces on the grid spring an early surprise?