The Asia Production 250 drama began on the grid in Race 2, when Gerry Salim’s Astra Honda suffered a mechanical failure and was pushed from the front row of the grid and back into the pit box at Chang International Circuit.
Takehiro Yamamoto got a better start than he had in Race 1 and followed Yamaha Thailand’s Anuparb Sarmoon into Turn 1 before powering into the lead on the long haul up to Turn 3, chased by the rest of the pack. He held onto first place until the beginning of lap 2, crossing the line ahead of Rheza Danica Ahrens, Anuparb and Galang Hendra Pratama.
By lap 3 Yamamoto, Rheza and Anuparb had broken clear of Pratama, who began to fall back into the clutches of the second group, which was being led by Awhin Sanjaya and Tomoyoshi Koyama.
By the fifth lap Yamamoto and Anuparb had put several bike lengths between themselves and Rheza, but the Astra Honda man clawed his way back, hitting the front on lap eight. These three were so evenly paced that the only thing to choose between them was the speed of the Hondas on the fast sections. To make up for his top speed disadvantage, the clever Anuparb altered his lines to ensure he was exiting the turns faster than his rivals so he could get the slipstream he needed to stay in contact. On the last lap the Thai lost his momentum avoiding a mistake by Rheza and Yamamoto took the opportunity to open a big enough gap to avoid a last corner scramble for the chequered flag. Behind him, Anuparb pushed his R6 up the inside of Rheza to force him off line, but went wide himself in the process, conceding second place to the Honda.
Ten seconds further back the second group was led home by Awhin from Yusuke Nakamura, Pratama, Koyama, Peerapong Boonlert and Vorapong Malahuan who again outperformed for AP Honda on the single cylinder CBR.
It was a champion’s performance by the Sidrap Honda Ikazuchi rider who, over the full season has an excellent chance to win the 250cc crown for a second time.