IDEMITSU Honda Racing India team rider Rajiv Sethu grabbed one point while his rookie team-mate Senthil Kumar finished 20th in round 5 of FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) here Saturday.
Starting strong, Rajiv shed 1.115 seconds over his yesterday's best lap time to qualify Top 14 with best lap time of 1:55:006. Senthil too improved his lap timing by 1.605 seconds, which put him 19th on starting grid.
The afternoon race 1 saw Rajiv gain three positions at the start itself. By lap 3, Rajiv bettered his fastest lap time to 1:54:450, narrowing his gap with lead rider to just 0:322 seconds.
However, the infighting between Top 13 riders all riding within 1 second gap impacted Rajiv. When Anggi Setiawan and Tatchakorn Buasri had bike contact in turn 7 of lap 6, Rajiv saved himself by lifting his bike in the corner.
But in the process, Japanese rider Aiki Iyoshi after him, made contact with Rajiv and pushed him off the track.
In a race where microseconds mattered, Rajiv fell back from the front bunch losing his slipstream advantage in the long straights but defended his position to finish 15th and add one point (19:21:788).
Despite a good start which pushed Senthil two positions ahead to 17th, a gear-shifting error in turn 4 eroded all his gains and pulled him down to 24th in lap 1 itself.
Thereafter riding with four riders, Senthil recovered to 20th position by lap 5, overtook by two riders in lap 7. He finally overtook them back in lap 8 and defended his position till end of the 10 lap race.