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Ramadhipa takes maiden win in close-finish classic Race 2

10 March 2024

The Indonesian opens his win count in style, defeating Mitani and Takahira on Sunday

Kiandra Ramadhipa is an Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup race winner after winning a close-finish classic in Race 2 at the Lusail International Circuit. The Indonesian fended off Race 1 winner Zen Mitani, Riichi Takahira and Kiattisak Singhapong as a four-way fight for the win unfolds on Sunday. 

It was déjà vu as the lights went out as Ryota Ogiwara bagged the holeshot from the middle of the second row, with polesitter Mitani slotting into P2 – just as he did around 24 hours earlier. This time though, the duo couldn’t pull clear of the pack as a lead group of six quickly formed at the front. 

The lead was changing regularly before drama unravelled at Turn 1 after a handful of laps. Farish Hafiy was late on the brakes and as Ogiwara – the race leader – tipped his Honda towards the apex, the duo collided. Thankfully, both riders were on their feet but it was race over for the pair. 

This left four riders dicing for the win: Ramadhipa, Mitani, Takahira and Singhapong. As expected, the fight came down to the last lap and as Mitani and Takahira battled each other on the exit of Turn 10, Ramadhipa snuck through to the lead. After expertly executing the final sector, the #7 held off Mitani for the win, with Takahira claiming the final podium spot in P3. Singhapong was just 0.4s away from the victory but missed out on a rostrum in P4. 

Another brilliant battle played out in the race for P5 and winning it was Rikki Henry as the Australian rookie secured a fantastic top five finish. Sarthak Chavan, Levi Russo, Rama Putra, Alfonsi Daquigan and Archie Schmidt were in that fight and finished inside the top 10. 

So after the first two races of the season, Mitani leads the way on 45 points, seven clear of Ramadhipa. Takahira’s two podiums puts him nine points adrift as we now look forward to the Grand Prix of India for Round 2. 

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