The Indonesian riders in the Asia Production 250cc class enjoyed tremendous success on their first outing at The Bend Motorsport Park, host to Round 2 of the 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. Rheza Danica Ahrens and Mario Suryo Aji from the Astra Honda Racing Team, along with Andy Muhammad Fadly from the Kawasaki camp, ended the day triumphant with a clean sweep of the Race 1 podium.
Poleman Rheza Danica Ahrens fell under pressure from the start of the race, particularly from Mario Suryo Aji. In the absence of team orders, the two team mates swapped leads for the bulk of the 9-lap race. The blistering pace set by the two lead riders pushed them ahead of the chasing pack. As the chequered flag came down, Rheza slipstreamed past Mario at the last minute to secure his first win of the season with 19’18.357s. A mere .079s behind, Mario stormed home for his third P2 position of the season with 19’18.436s.
Astra Honda Racing Team’s third rider, Awhin Sanjaya who started the race third on the grid, lost touch with his team mates and found himself in the thick of the battle for P3 against Andy Muhammad Fadly and Anupab Sarmoon. Under intense heat for the last spot on the podium, Awhin overcooked the last corner and crashed out of the race, denying the Astra Honda Racing Team the coveted 1-2-3 finish that they had been working towards.
A much improved Andy Muhammad Fadly took full advantage of Awhin’s crash to bring his Kawasaki home in third place with 19’18.357s.
Championship leader Anupab Sarmoon and compatriot Muklada Sarapuech ended the race in P4 and P5 respectively.
Other riders in the top 10 included Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi, Anggi Setiawan, Rafid Topan Sucipto, M. Faerozi and Ahmad Afif Amran.