With the Asia Dream Cup title settled in favour of Hiroki Nakamura, the race for second overall position in the Honda developmental platform was disrupted when Indonesian rider Yassiin Gabriel Somma popped up onto the radar to score his first ADC win. The podium newcomer survived an 8-lap battle against nine other competitors to cross the finish line with a time of 16’56.097s, 0.089 seconds ahead of reigning champion Hiroki Nakamura.
The drama of the race started as soon as the lights went off when Koko Tadachi from the Philippines was penalized with a ride-through penalty for jumpstart. A couple of rows ahead of Tadachi, pole sitter Broc Pearson got off to a slow start and was quickly engulfed by the swarm as he dove into Turn 1. A lap later, the Australian rider’s hopes to boost his position on the rider’s standings was dashed when he crashed out of Turn 2. The pack shed a few more riders in the first half of the race. Bui Duy Thong and Tokio Shibuta crashed out on Lap 2 and 4 respectively.
As the race gained momentum, Indonesian riders Muhd Febriansyah and Yassiin displayed the most consistent performances within the front group. China’s Zhou Sheng Jun Jie was also prominent for the most part of the race but displayed some weakness in defending his race lines at the critical last corner.
In the end, smart positioning and race strategy brought Yassiin his first win of the season. Nakamura managed to slipstream his way into P2 while Muhd Febriansyah muscled his way up the riders’ championship ladder when he finished third with 16’56.186s.
“All that to-ing and fro-ing in the first seven laps eventually ended as a last corner battle. All the ADC riders know that very well but this time, I was able to get it exactly spot-on,” said Yassiin whose win has now placed him seventh overall in the Asia Dream Cup standings.
Hiroki Nakamura solidified his position at the top of the pile with 203 points followed by Febriansyah in second overall with 130 points.
Malaysia’s Hafiz Nor Azman was one of the casualties in the Lap 1 crash but managed to pick up his bike and limped to the finish line in 14th place. The two points he picked up kept him in third overall position with 124 points while Broc Pearson dropped down to fourth overall with 114 points.