The anticipated sixth consecutive win from Rheza Danica Ahrens did not materialize in Race 2 of the Asia Production 250cc category. The Astra Honda Racing Team’s rampage in the Asia Production 250cc class came to an abrupt end when both their top riders crashed out of Race 2 at the Madras Motor Race Track.
The Astra Honda Racing Team’s winning streak was finally routed when two out of their three riders crashed out in Race 2.
Rheza had a bad start from pole position, allowing Rey Ratukore to steal the holeshot. However, Rey was unable to fend off a revigorated Anupab Sarmoon who went out on Race 2 fitted with a brand new engine.
Rheza began making progress as he fought to stay relevant in the front group. By Lap 3, he had gone up to third while behind him, his reliable team mate Mario Suryo Aji crashed out. A lap later, Rheza picked up another spot, overtaking Rafid Topan to get in behind the leading Anupab.
Meanwhile, Andy Muhammad Fadly had gone from P13 to P4 within the space of five laps. As the race progressed, the front group became increasingly crowded instead of thinning out. On Lap 8, Rafid Topan, Anupab Sarmoon, Peerapong Boonlert, a very aggressive Andy Muhammad Fadly and Rey Ratukore began trading spots at each corner.
Fadly ran wide on Lap 10, which momentarily pushed him down to P5. Up in front, Lap 11 became a Rafid-Anupab battleground as things got serious in the closing stages of the race.
By the final lap, there was still no clear winner for the AP250 Race 2. Any one of the top five were capable of claiming the chequered flag. In the heat of the battle, Rheza low-sided out of the race while up in front, a daring Fadly took a bold outside racing line and almost caused a crash with Rafid Topan Sucipto as both determined riders bumped shoulders.
However, Rafid Topan was able to hold on to his advantage to take the first AP250 win of his career. Andy Muhammad Fadly’s second place was also his best finishing in the class to date. Anupab Sarmoon, who was clearly gunning for the win, had to be contended with third place.
The winning trio was followed by a mixed group of riders – Rey Ratukore in fourth followed by Peerapong Boonlert fifth. AP Honda Racing Thailand’s Tatchakorn Busari, replacement for the injured Muklada Sarapuech, finished a very impressive sixth while Awhin Sanjaya was the sole finisher for the Astra Honda Racing Team in seventh. Anggi Setiawan, Richard Taroreh and Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi completed the top 10.
More progress was seen further down the grid as Vietnamese rider Cao Viet Nam inches closer to the top 10. He finished 11th ahead of Malaysian rookies Daniel Syahmi, Hafiza Rofa, and Mohd Khairul Ikhwan Ajis. Team One For All’s Takashi Suzuki picked up the final point from the race.