Gerry Salim may not be the only standout Indonesian talent in the Asia Production 250cc class for much longer. As Round 5 of the 2017 season opened at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai, India, the top four fastest times of the class were clocked by members of the Indonesian contingent.
Galang Hendra Pratama topped the timesheets with 1’50.112s. The Yamaha Racing Indonesia rider showed every indication that he has pulled out all the stops to put a crimp into Gerry Salim’s plans of ending the 250cc title chase with one round to spare.
However, the championship leader from the Astra Honda Racing Team was certainly not resting on his laurels. Gerry clocked 1’50.237s, trailing his Yamaha rival by only 0.125s.
Behind the leading duo, their team mates Rey Ratukore and Rheza Danica Ahrens duplicated the same Yamaha-Honda one-two tango. Rey of team Yamaha Racing Indonesia posted 1’50.267s while Rheza posted fourth fastest with 1’50.382s.
The results from the first day of practice showed every indication of a frantic qualifying session and an equally intense Race 1 ahead. The top eight riders on the grid lapped within the same second as the fastest rider. These included Thai trio Anupab Sarmoon, Muklada Sarapuech and Vorapong Malahuan, as well as 2015 AP250 Champion Takehiro Yamamoto.
Tomoyoshi Koyama and Peerapong Boonlert rounded out the top ten with 1’51.057s and 1’51.129s respectively.
Local rider, Sethu Rajiv was 17th fastest with 1’53.076s.