Adam Norrodin scores podium finish in Race 2 of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Rd 4 in Malaysia.
Clear and hot, the weather was the perfect incubator at creating a dramatic race for the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Rd 4’s second race of the weekend n Malaysia.
It seemed that Shafiq Rasol’s 2nd place finish the day before has fuelled the spirits of all seven in the Malaysian camp. All seven, including Nazirul Bahauddin who started further back in 21st, pushed hard, taking turns at giving the grid’s top flight Japanese riders a run for their money.
As soon as the lights went out, Shafiq Rasol and Helmi Azman led the charge and found themselves battling in the lead group.
Fighting against quick riders such as Ayumu Sasaki, championship leader Yuta Date, as well as Kaito Toba, the duo were on top form early on. Shafiq Ezzariq also pulled himself up the order into the lead group, followed closely by Adam Norrodin.
However, luck did not favour Shafiq Ezzariq, Fakhrusy Rostam, and Helmi Azman. Fakhrusy’s Sunday came to an early close after he high-sided and crashed out on Lap 1 at Sepang’s notoriously difficult final hairpin. The same spot also claimed a second victim, Helmi Azman, where the youngster low-sided and crashed out on the last lap.
Shafiq Ezzariq’s luck ran out halfway through the race. Despite pushing really hard, Ezzariq slid out at Sepang’s Turn 14 just before the back straight. From the emotions he showed in the pit after, it was clear that he had put in a lot of effort.
Nevertheless, the remaining Malaysians kept the fight on throughout the 14-lap race. A mistake cost Shafiq Rasol the chance of repeating yesterday’s success, and saw him settling for a 13th place finish.
Towards the final few laps, Adam Norrodin found himself battling against Toba, Ryo Mizuno, and pole-sitter Nakarin Atiratphuvapat. But her perserverance paid off after he crossed the line in third, receiving a warm welcome in the pits after. His brother, Ibrahim Norrodin, also proved his mettle after finishing the race in a respectable 9th place.
The race win was claimed by pint-sized Japanese rider Ayumu Sasaki, making a very good retribution following his DNF the day before. Sasaki managed to squeeze himself out of the lead group’s battle. Upon reaching the mid-race point, Sasaki had already created a significant gap, keeping his lead all the way to the chequered flag.
The final podium spot, on the other hand, was claimed by Race 1 winner Kaito Toba. “I had to change my suspension setup for today, but it was not so good. I also made a mistake while fighting in the early parts. From then on, I just concentrated by strategy at maintaining the highest position possible,” shared Toba.
Sasaki, on the other hand, was much more pleased. “At first, I tried to go deep while battling in the lead group during the start. The other guys were faster, and I just tried even harder,” said the tiny Japanese. He later iterated that after he cleared the battle, all that was left for him was to push hard, explaining the significant 4.062 second gap between him and Toba in second.He even added, “my favourite part of the circuit is Sector 3,” – Sepang’s highly technical but fast bits.
Using his racing experiences from the Spanish CEV series, Adam took full advantage of his second row starting position in fifth. “I did made a mistake at Turn 1 during the start, but from then on I tried my very best and kept on pushing,” the 16-year-old explained at how he got himself into the lead group’s fight.
He added, “As long as we set our targets and work hard at it, I am sure I and the other (Malaysian) riders can be competitive. I would be happier if all of us reach the next level altogether.”
As the weekend in Sepang concludes, it is clear that the seven Malaysians have shone brightly on home ground. The Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup will return for its final two races next month during the Malaysian MotoGP weekend.
But before that, the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup will head for its fifth round in Motegi, Japan, in less than three weeks time. Full results can be obtained by visiting the official Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup website.
Check out the extensive galleries below for more. Additionally, you could also see more photos on the official BR Facebook page as well.
2014 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Rd 4 – Sepang – Sunday – BR
2014 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Rd 4 – Sepang – Sunday – Aiena Zahira Daim
2014 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup Rd 4 – Sepang – Sunday – Mauro Talamonti