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After top-10 high, Rajiv settles for 12th place in Race 2, Senthil crashes out

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Press Trust of India Adelaide
A double points finish eluded Idemitsu Honda Racing India but Rajjiv Sethu ensured that the team does not return empty-handed from Race 2 of the Australia round in ARRC with his 12th place finish here Sunday.
Rajiv added four points to his six from Race 1, taking the total to 10 in Asia production 250 class in the second round of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) at Bend Motorsport Park.
However, it turned out to be a nightmarish race for young Senthil Kumar, who crashed in the opening lap itself due to technical snag in his bike.
While Senthil was among points on his debut in Malaysia, the young Chennai rider was left dejected after technical issues, possibly related to engine, brought about a premature end to his race.
A crash on the second turn in the opening lap, involving Race 1 winner Fadly Andy Muhammad, caused chaos after Rajiv began from his best-ever 12th position on the grid.
While Andy flipped multiple times after jumping off his bike, the melee did not affect Rajiv much as he was riding in the middle group.
While he soon gained a place to get to 11th place in Lap 2 and maintained the position for five laps, Yamaha's Toreq Muhammad Faerozi overtook him in Lap 7.
Another crash happened and in order to avoid collision, Rajiv had to slow down but he recovered quickly to continue improving his lap time.
Rajiv tried hard to move forward but Faerozi and Muhammaed Muzakkir remained strong in their positions to deny the Indian his second consecutive top-10 finish.
"The start was good but it was more of a juggling after the crash. For five laps, I could stay with the front bunch and timing was also quick. It's a positive from this race though the overall result is disappointing for me," said the 21-year-old.
"I lost a bit of time due to high-side (avoiding crash). The next round will at my second home (Thailand) and I am sure there is a surprise in store."

Senthil said he could not figure out what happened to the bike.
"The formation lap and the start was good but it stopped in the middle of the opening lap. The temperature was also new for me. I am improving with every race and there should be a better outing in the next round," said the soft-spoken 18-year-old.
Japan's Aiki Iyoshi won the race ahead of Thailand's Muklada Sarapuech and Busari Tatchakorn.
After Andy crashed out, Muklada appeared cruising but in Lap5 Iyoshi passed her and maintained the lead throughout.
Parbhu Nagaraj, who heads the Motorsport operations for Honda, said Rajiv did extremely well to recover and the team coach --- was also happy with the way he approached the race.
"Rajiv's lap timings have improved considerably. He was clocking 2:09 and it his best. Senthil too was unfortunate today but since he has also competed in Thailand during the Thai talent Cup, the familiarity with the track will help him.
"We are yet to find out what exactly is wrong with the bike. We are still investigating," Nagaraj said.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 10:20 AM IST

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