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Rajiv secures maiden top-10 finish at ARRC, Senthil finishes 17th

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Press Trust of India Adelaide
Young Indian rider Rajiv Sethu savoured his first ever top-10 finish at the Asia Road Racing Championship while Senthil Kumar gained a place to end 17th in Race 1 of Round 2 here Saturday.
With this six-point effort, Idemitsu Honda Racing India's Rajiv has already got 14 points in his kitty from three races, while in the entire 2018 season he earned just seven points.
Starting 12th on the grid in the Asia Production 250 class, Rajiv immediately gained two places to reach 10th, but was soon back to his original starting position behind Irfan Ardiansyah at the Bend Motorsport Park.
In the fourth lap, he again overtook two riders to claim the 10th position and was largely held to that position by Mohamed Muzakkir, who never let the Indian pass him.
The 21-year-old from Chennai again lost a place when Mohammed Bahauddin Nazirul Izzat passed him with just two laps to go.
However, the gritty Indian held his nerves to re-enter the top-10, going full throttle. He showed some good skills and maintained the position for his best ever result.
"It was a good start for me, I managed to get to P5, P6 but then I had a contact with Irfan which slowed me down. The handles of our bikes got stuck. I am not happy with the result but yet we as a team have achieved one target," said Rajiv, after the nine-lap race, which he finished in 19 minutes and 40,936 seconds.
"Compared to last year, I am feeling much better. The podium finishers are far more experienced since they have raced in 600cc class, so they can handle this 250 bike easily. I am sure I will be in podium contention this season."

Senthil, on the other hand, had a nervy start as he fell back to the grid. He recovered the lost places in every lap to finish 17th after starting from 18th.
"I overtook three riders at the start but was blocked by another, pushing me to the mud. I lost lot of time. I need to be more calm and less aggressive in the opening lap," said Senthil, who clocked 20:18.113.
At the top, it was a three-way battle between Fadly Andy Mohammed, Iyoshi Aiki and Muklada Sarapuech.
They switched the leading position consistently before finishing in that order as Andy took the chequered flag in 19 minutes, 15.688 seconds.
It's the first win of the season for Andy, who had finished the second in both the races in Round 1, while Muklada enjoyed his second podium in three races so far.

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First Published: Apr 27 2019 | 9:50 AM IST

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