After a season’s worth of suspense and drama, young Indonesian rider Gerry Salim finally sealed the Asia Production 250cc title at the grand finale of the 2017 Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. The Astra Honda Racing Team’s latest racing star finished fourth in Race 1 and picked up just enough points to end the title chase with one race to spare.
The 10-lap race started with Yamaha Racing Thailand’s polesitter and title contender Anupab Sarmoon looking strong as he led the 33-bike grid into Turn 1. However, Tomoyoshi Koyama of team RAMA Honda was not about to let Anupab run riot over the race.
While the two riders swapped leads at the front of the pack, Gerry was riding under the radar in sixth. On Lap 6, Gerry’s team mate, Rheza Danica Ahrens caught up with the leading duo and turned the fight for the podium into a 3-way battle. Racing against two aggressive rivals, Rheza made up for his lack of experience with a gritty display of talent. The 19-year-old truly earned his racing stripes when he out-raced Anupab to the finish line.
After winning three podium finishes in 2017 so far, Rheza finally won his first ARRC race with 19’07.754s. Anupab finished second with 19’07.965s and Koyama third with 19’08.111s.
Behind the three leaders, Gerry left it up to the final lap before he attempted to break out of the middle group. From sixth on Lap 9, Gerry blazed his way up to fourth at the chequered flag with 19’14.884s.
With that, Gerry became the first Indonesian to win an ARRC title outside of the Underbone class. The 199 points he has to his name has given him a 31-point margin ahead of Anupab. This will leave Anupab and Koyama scrabbling for second overall in Race 2. Anupab is second overall with 168 points. Koyama is third with 163 points.