The Malaysian masters Mandalika to pull clear, with some drama shaking up the standings just behind
Hakim Danish has opened his Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup victory count in 2022, with the Malaysian proving the master of Mandalika to take a dominant first win of the weekend. The number 13 escaped ahead of a three-way fight to complete the podium that saw Shinya Ezawa take second and with it the points lead, with Reykat Fadillah third on home turf as Carter Thompson suffered last lap heartbreak and tumbled out.
There was drama elsewhere as Gun Mie, the only previous podium finisher at the venue in the field, crashed out early, with that leaving Amon Odaki, Thompson, Fadillah and Ezawa to fight it out for two places on the rostrum. But Odaki also slid out of contention, with Thompson's highside on the final lap ensuring the fight for second became a duel by the flag.
Odaki started from pole once again and this time got a good launch and took the lead, with Danish slotting into second and Mie losing out. But the number 5 got straight back into contention and then the number 13 took over in front, with that proving the decisive move. From there, Danish didn't look back.
Odaki was the rider on the chase but then made a mistake and dropped back into the clutches of the trio behind, making up for that only to see his hard work come to nought as he crashed out. That made it advantage Ezawa in the points and so it would remain, but not without some close racing on the way.
Thompson vs Fadillah was a highlight of the race before the Australian tumbled out late on, and despite Fadillah still seemingly ready to battle it out when left with Ezawa to duel for second, there was no further drama. Both brought it home for impressive podiums behind the runaway winner, Danish.
The fight for fourth was won by now-full time rider Hamad al-Sahouti as the Qatari made huge gains on race day after a tougher qualifying session in the wet, beating Rei Wakamatsu by a couple of tenths. Thai rider Thanat Laoongplio was only half a second further back in sixth. Mariano Nikolis came home in a lonelier seventh, with Aan Riswanto eighth on home turf ahead of Malaysian duo Farish Hafiy and Emil Izdhar, the latter of whom just completed the top ten as he pipped Australian Cameron Swain.
Farres Putra and Diandra Trihardika crashed on the final lap, riders ok.
That's it from Race 1 at Mandalika, but the ATC will be back on Sunday. Can Ezawa keep the lead? Will Odaki hit back? And can Danish dominate again on Sunday? Tune in for more in Race 2 at 9:00 (GMT +8)