A RACE OF FIRSTS FOR GALANG

Race 2 of the Asia Production 250cc was a race of many firsts. A first win for Galang Hendra Pratama, a first win for team Yamaha Racing Indonesia, and a first win of the season for the Yamaha marquee in the 250cc class.

A heavy drizzle at the start of Race 2 had the mechanics frantically changing to wet tyres on the starting grid. The original 12-lap race was further shortened to 10-laps.

Galang Hendra Pratama jumped into the holeshot but the 25-rider grid spent two tentative opening laps trying to get a better feel of the track conditions. The race soon settled into a consistent formation. Galang held the lead followed by Tomoyoshi Koyama and Anupab Sarmoon. On Lap 4, Anupab showed signs of being in trouble. He lost third position to Takehiro Yamamoto and then went further down the field when he was overtaken by Mukhlada Sarapuech.

At the midway point of the race, Galang, Koyama and Yamamoto were entrenched in first, second and third consecutively. The battle for P4, on the other hand, became more competitive with each passing lap. Thailand’s Mukhlada was engrossed in a four-way fight against Anupab Sarmoon, Andy Muhammad Fadly and Gerry Salim.

The 250cc championship leader had opted to ride safe in Race 2. Race 1 on Saturday had been disastrous for Gerry who crashed twice during the formation lap. Gerry had a chance to overtake Kawasaki rider Fadly on Lap 8 but uncharacteristically for the usually aggressive Gerry, he refrained from jumping at the opportunity.

The Astra Honda Racing Team rider waited until the last lap before he made his move. Within a few corners, Gerry had successfully gone past Fadly and Mukhlada.

Up in front, Galang Hendra Pratama cruised to the finish line in first place with 19’47.359s. Tomoyoshi Koyama finished the race in second with 19’48.264s and Takehiro Yamamoto was similarly unchallenged in third place with 19’56.097s.

Anupab Sarmoon managed to squeeze his way back into fourth position while Gerry Salim took fifth place.

The unexpected turn of events had barely made a dent to Gerry’s comfortable margin at the top end of the championship standings. It had merely prolonged the title chase. Gerry’s haul, 186 points, puts him 38 points in front of Anupab Sarmoon. All he needs to seal the deal in the final round is to race for another 13 points. Meanwhile, Anupab himself is under threat from Tomoyoshi Koyama. Koyama is third overall with 147 points.