Six points separate Danish and Ezawa heading into a season finale showdown
Home hero Veda Ega Pratama claimed Race 1 victory in the Idemitsu Asian Talent Cup in commanding fashion at Mandalika by more than seven seconds at the end of the 16-lap race in Indonesia as he took advantage of a fierce battle for second place behind him. In terms of the title fight, Hakim Danish will head into the final race of the season with a six-point advantage over Shinya Ezawa as he took second place after a three-way scrap for the podium places behind Pratama.
The tone of the race was set in the early stages with a lead group of seven riders but this fractured as the race progressed before Pratama broke away completely to claim his second win of the season, this time by more than seven seconds. It was a relatively straight forward race for the Indonesian rider as he claimed victory on home soil, while three riders fought it out for second place behind Pratama including two title contenders.
Carter Thompson took home second place after a thrilling fight on the last lap with Danish and Ezawa. Australian rider Thompson ran wide through Turn 15 and into Turn 16 but kept it on track, opening up the right-hand hairpin which proved crucial in the fight. Ezawa and Danish were side-by-side on a tighter line than Thompson but both ran wide, which allowed Thompson to pass both of them for second place. With Danish beating Ezawa into third place, the Malaysian rider heads into Sunday’s season finale with a six-point advantage over his title rival.
Ezawa claimed fourth place but lost ground in the title fight. Gun Mie, who needed to win and have results go his way to stay into title contention, was in fifth place at the end of the race, 11 seconds down from Pratama, and dropped out of title contention. Mie was also involved in a three-rider fight for fifth place, as he fended off Aan Riswanto and Jakkreephat Pheuttisan who finished in sixth and seventh respectively.
Amon Odaki took eighth place with the Japanese rider finishing almost four seconds down on Pheuttisan ahead of him, but he had a relatively comfortable margin of just over a second to Rei Wakamatsu in ninth place. Marianos Nikolis rounded out the top ten of Race 1 in Indonesia as he finished four seconds behind Wakamatsu at the end of the 16-lap race.
There was late race drama for Putra and Swain as the pair crashed at Turn 10, with both riders okay following the crash.
The 2022 Asia Talent Cup finishes on Sunday in Indonesia but the Cup winner is still to be decided! There are just six points in it between Danish and Ezawa heading into Race 2 which gets underway at 15:00 Local Time (GMT+8) tomorrow.