JEFRI TOSEMA SURVIVED RACE OF ATTRITION TO EMERGE AS SECOND SUZUKI ASIAN CHALLENGE CHAMPION

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Indonesian rider Jefri Tosema became the second rider to win the Suzuki Asian Challenge when he survived his most difficult race of the season at the final leg of the 2016 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.

Going into Race 2, Jefri was almost a shoo-in as the second SAC winner. He held a 22-point lead ahead of compatriot Muhammad Sapril who had already declared that he was still recovering from a broken leg.

It would have been Jefri’s title to lose and the Indonesian came close to realizing that nightmare when he crashed out at Turn 2 on Lap 4.

“I was riding safe, hunkered into the group and I wasn’t sticking my nose out or taking any unnecessary risk. Unfortunately, they took a tumble in front and swept me along with them into the gravel,” said Jefri.

The gutsy Indonesian rider managed to get back on track while Eane Jaye Sobretodo of the Philippines grabbed the reins firmly in his hands to shoot into the lead. Jefri was left struggling to nurse a broken bike to the finish line.

More mayhem ensued at the last corner. Race leaders Eane Jaye, Aaron Alexander (Sri Lanka) and Akito Haga went in too deep at the last corner and slid out of the race. The race win went to Mario Borbon Jr with 16’02.876s, towing along Rizal Feriyadi in second place with 16’02.948s and Shinnosuke Sato in third with 16’03.685s.

Jefri limped across the finish line in ninth place, picking up seven valuable points to secure his title win with 159 points. Muhammad Sapril maintained his second overall position with 143 points while Malaysian Rozaliman Zakaria dropped to third in the rankings with 138 points.