Danish takes 2022 Asia Talent Cup title with podium finish
Hakim Danish became the first Malaysian rider to win the Cup.
The 2022 Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup went down to a final race showdown between Hakim Danish and Shinya Ezawa in Race 2 at Mandalika, with Malaysian rider Danish claiming a second-place finish to win the Cup and make history. He was behind Veda Ega Pratama, who did a home double, at the chequered flag with a thrilling Race 2 bringing down the curtain on the 2022 campaign.
Danish initially lost ground on the opening lap of the race after running wide at the final corner, but rival Ezawa faced a similar situation on Lap 2 at Turn 1, with the pair running close together on track. Danish made a move for the lead on Lap 4 on Carter Thompson at Turn 1 before trying to break away to win the Cup with a victory in Indonesia. However, despite his efforts, he had to run with Pratama who was looking to secure third in the standings as well as take a second win on home soil. With Ezawa in a battle for third place, Danish was able to roll off allowing Pratama a Mandalika double with Danish crowned the 2022 Asia Talent Cup winner with second place.
Behind Pratama and Danish was a 10-rider scrap for the third and final place on the podium, involving Cup hopeful Ezawa. It was Ezawa who took third place, some 10 seconds down on Danish ahead and almost 15 seconds behind race winner Pratama. In what turned into an incredible fight for third, Reykat Fadillah took home fourth and missed out on a second podium of the season by just 0.163s. Farish Hafiy completed the top five, a further tenth down on Fadillah.
Sixth place went to Aan Riswanto who was just a tenth behind Hafiy and narrowly missed out on a spot in the top five, while Carter Thompson, who finished second in Race 1, was seventh; only 0.096s behind Riswanto in what a tense battle for the podium was. Gun Mie took eighth place with a two-tenths margin to make up to Thompson at the end of the 16-lap race, while Jakkrephat Pheuttisan and Marianos Nikolis rounded out the top ten. 11th place went to Thanat Laoongplio who was just outside the top ten positions but firmly in the podium hunt.