Chennai : Home riders, Chennai’s Rajiv Sethu and Bengaluru-based Anish Damodara Shetty, enjoyed a fairly satisfactory outings during the three practice sessions as the fourth round of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship got underway at the MMRT, here on Friday.
Competing in the Asia Production 250cc class, the India team-mates Sethu, 20, and Shetty, 23, did generate hopes of strong results over the next two days when they go through the qualifying session followed by two races.
Shetty, in his debut season in the championship, was quicker than Sethu in two of the three sessions with a best of 01:51.2, while the Chennai youngster finished the day clocking 01:51.5.
Sethu, who is still seeking his first points this season, said: “The three practice sessions went quite ok, though I still need to pull out better timings tomorrow for the qualifying. I had a good second session and my immediate goal for this weekend is to try and finish in top 10.”
For Shetty, it has been a case of hitting the ground running and still managed to earn two points in the second round in Australia. “It has been a steep learning curve for me. There has been so much to learn in such a short time! I have never ridden such a powerful bike which is much more powerful than the Honda CBR 250 which I ride in the National championship. The AP 250s are twin cylinder machines and much quicker than the CBR250,” said the techie from Bengaluru.
On his practice sessions today, Shetty said: “I had some issues with the suspension early on, but after some changes, I had a good second session when I posted my best timing for today of 1:51 (one minute, 51.2 seconds). We made some changes ahead of the third session and I had to get used to them. For tomorrow, I hope I can go quicker.
The quickest rider in the AP 250cc class was championship leader Rheza Danica Ahrens (Indonesia), winner of four the six races over three rounds so far and whose best over three sessions was a 01:48.03.
Meanwhile, the premier SuperSport 600cc class dished out exciting action with promise of more to come over the next two days. Twice champion (2014 and 2016) Md Zaqhwan Zaidi, the 23-year old Malaysian, posted the quickest timing of the day with a blistering 01:41.306 on his Honda, ahead of championship leader Anthony West (Australia), riding the Yamaha at the MMRT for the first time, who posted his best lap of 01:41.388.
In the other practice sessions, Aravind Balasubramaniam topped the time sheets in the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup organised by MMSC (CBR250), clocking 02:02.205, while Yashas RL was the quickest in the TVS RR310 One-Make Championship with 02:02.4.
Malaysian Md Akid Aziz on a Yamaha took the top spot in the Underbone 150 qualifying with a 01:51.970.