It was a tale of domination at the front once again, but the squabble for second was another classic ATC thriller
Taiyo Furusato has had quite the start to 2021. After dominating Race 1, the Japanese rider followed it up on Sunday with another stunner from pole, able to pull away from the off and underline his stunning pace so far at Losail International Circuit. Behind him, the battle for second raged and it was Kanta Hamada who won out, with Hakim Danish forced to settle for third but nevertheless impressing as he made it two podiums from two.
Furusato nailed the start once again, getting away from pole to take the holeshot as Danish, this time, got a pretty good get away to slot in behind. It was initially Danial Sharil who was on the chase though, the number 21 pushing to the max with a few twitches in the early stages as he tried to tag onto the back of the number 15 in the lead.
Lap by lap though, Furusato was able to pull away. The Japanese rider even had a look behind just to check he had the breathing space as he got the hammer down, adding even more to his Race 1 statement pace. The battle behind then became an almighty war for the podium as one group of four was caught by another, with an eight-rider freight train fighting it out in a constant concertina.
As Furusato started his victory lap, the battle for second put the hammer down out of the final corner and, as ever, it all came down to the drag to the line. Experience won out once again, with Hamada just taking it as Danish lost out by a couple of hundredths. For Hamada it's a welcome return to the front after not having yet made a dent in the top five in testing or Race 1, and for Danish it backs up the promise shown by the Malaysian on Saturday as he continues to impress.
Rei Wakamatsu, after putting in the work to catch the group ahead, was forced to settle for fourth but that's good points on the board after getting wiped out in Race 1. Gun Mie was just thousandths further back in fifth, ahead of Danial Sharil and Carter Thompson. A slightly bigger gap - tenths rather than hundredths - then opened up ahead of a duel between Sharul Sharil and Masaya Hongo, won by the Malaysian. Rookie Australian Marianos Nikolis completed the top ten.
Herlian Dandi, Tetsuya Fujita, Tom Drane, Thurakij Buapa and Watcharin Tubtimon completed the points in that order, theirs an equally well-fought fight that went down to the wire.
One name missing from the top finishers despite his pace was Fadillah Aditama, as the Indonesian had another difficult day, this time crashing out at the final corner, but rider ok. He'll be wanting more return on his speed in Round 2, which gets underway at the same Losail International Circuit next weekend. Can Furusato keep his momentum rolling or will those on the chase close the gap? We'll find out from the 2nd to the 4th of April!