SuperSports 600cc championship leader Anthony West is one step closer to lifting the 2018 Asian crown as he took a win on his first outing at the Madras Motor Race Track.
The Webike IKAZUCHI Racing rider started the 16-lap race from pole position after posting a new lap record with 1’40.585s. West was noticeably nervous at the start of the race as the rain clouds began forming in the skies above Chennai. The expected torrential downpour held off although a brief shower left the 600cc riders with tricky racing conditions.
As was his norm, West started the race conservatively, content to keep pace in third place behind a fast-charging Taiga Hada and Tomoyoshi Koyama. The Yamaha rider made an early bid for the lead on Lap 7, but lost two spots on Lap 9 when he lost traction from his rear tyre.
However, West was able to craft a comeback in the remaining rounds. By Lap 14, the former World Superbike and GP rider had the lead firmly in his grasp. West logged his third win of the season with 27’35.304s and effectively extends his lead margin to 35 points.
West’s path to the Asian title was made easier when his main contenders suffered a bad outing at the Madras Motor Race Track. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman crashed out on Lap 7, taking with him, Thai rider Decha Kraisart. Yuki Ito, another title contender, finished eighth.
Meanwhile, the two riders who escorted West up the podium, Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi who finished second and Taiga Hada who was third, are not on the short list for the top honours this year. Nevertheless, Hada’s achievement brought plenty to celebrate for team Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10. The Chennai race was considered as the home race for the team.
Astra Honda Racing Team’s Andi Farid Izdihar and Tomoyoshi Koyama rounded up the top 5. Rookies Azroy Hakeem Anuar and Kasma Daniel Kasmayuddin were equally impressive as they finished sixth and seventh respectively.