The Australian takes to the top step for the first time as he comes out on top in a three-rider battle - after Danish takes a tumble on home turf
Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Race 1 in Sepang didn't disappoint, with a three-rider battle to the line seeing Carter Thompson come out on top for his first ATC win. The Australian held off a last corner attack from Gun Mie as the Japanese rider was then relegated to third, with Rei Wakamatsu taking second.
Big drama earlier in the race hit for former points leader Hakim Danish as he crashed out from the race lead, rider ok after a check-up in the Medical Centre. Buriram winner Veda Ega Pratama then took a tumble as he was pushing to catch the fight for victory, leaving two key players taking home nil points from Saturday.
Thompson got the perfect start from pole to take the early lead, but Danish hit quickly to take over. He pushed to make a gap and looked to be controlling the race before crashing out, leaving Thompson, Mie and Wakamatsu battling for the win and not just the rostrum. That went down to the final corner after Thompson had taken the lead at Turn 1 on the final lap, with Mie heading round the outside but then overcooking it. Thompson cut back and hit the gas to the line, taking his first victory. Wakamatsu kept his powder dry in second, with Mie able to gather it back up and take third.
Shinya Ezawa was able to take a valuable fourth place and with it the points lead as Danish crashed out, with some clear air for the Japanese rookie too. Behind there was a group battle won by Amon Odaki in fifth, ahead of Marianos Nikolis right from the back of the grid. Farish Hafiy and Hamad al-Sahouti took P7 and P8, close on the chase.
Behind them, Reykat Fadillah took P9, with Diandra Trihardika and Farres Putra for close company.
That's a wrap on Saturday, with Race 2 a go on Sunday morning at 9:00 (GMT +8). Expect another pivotal showdown and tune in!