A close race soon ensued. With the top nine riders sticking close together in the front pack, the lead changed hands multiple times before Japanese ace Hiroki Ono slipstreamed his way to the lead position in the closing laps of the race, claiming his third consecutive Asia Dream Cup victory of the season with a total race time of 19:08.656s.
The early lead went to a charging S. Sasitharen who threaded his way past the front row to take the hole shot. However, Sasitharen could not break away and was soon reeled in by the group. Denny Triyugo, Apiwat Wongthananon, and Iswandi Muis took turns taking the lead. Ono wisely held back, content to allow the others. By the middle of the race, there was an all-out battle between the top riders including Apiwat, Fitri and Sasitharen. In the intensity of the race, Fitri crashed out but was able to return to the pit for minor repairs before heading back out on the track again.
It was only until Lap 9 that Ono snuck up from behind to steal the lead from an unsuspecting Apiwat. Struggling to keep up half a pace from Ono, Apiwat had to be content to finish 2nd with 19:08.689s. Meanwhile, Iswandi Muis was elated with his third place finishing with a time of 19:09.156s.
Denny Triyugo of Indonesia and Hikari Okubo completed the top-5 with race times of 19:09.158 and 19:09.160 each, only 0.002 seconds and 0.004 seconds shy of a podium result.
Hiroki Ono (JPN)
"It was a really tough race. This is my first time in Indonesia and I find the race to be very exciting."
Apiwat Wongthananon (THA)
"I led the race for many laps but I was frustrated because I kept making the same mistakes at the last corner. I intend to correct that during the next race because I really want to win this."
Iswandi Muis (INA)
"First time at the podium so I am very elated. For Race 2, I want to make improvement to my riding and try to fight for the top step of the podium."
RACE 1 DIARY
Lap 1 - S. Sasitharen grabs the holeshot from grid 5
Lap 4 - Ono takes the lead followed by Malaysian rider Fitri
Lap 5 - Apiwat, Fitri and Sasi were fighting closely for the lead
Lap 6 - Fitri crashed out. Rider OK.
Lap 7 - Battle for the lead now between Apiwat and Hook. Fitri pits and continues with the race.
Lap 8 - Denny tries to take control of the race pace but was unable to break away
Lap 9 - Ono sneaks up from behind to steal the lead and manages to stay a half pace away from Apiwat
Lap 10 - Race End. Hiroki Ono, Apiwat Wongthananon and Iswandi Muis