The Indonesian makes it two wins in 2023 as a fascinating podium fight plays out between a bunch of home heroes.
P6 on the grid to Race 1 victory was Veda Pratama’s story on Saturday afternoon at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan as the Indonesian rider claims a second win of the season by three seconds. Zen Mitani and Amon Odaki pocket podiums on home soil as a fantastic rostrum battle unfolds at the Mobility Resort Motegi.
Odaki was the rider who launched from pole position but it was a poor getaway from the #14, as drama unfolded mid-pack at Turn 1 with four riders unfortunately crashing, with Marianos Nikolis and Kakeru Okunuki unable to get going again.
At the front, a lead group of seven formed. In typical Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup style, the lead and podium positions changed corner by corner, before Pratama found himself at the front in the second half of the race. Little by little, Pratama broke clear of the chasers – all of whom were Japanese.
With Pratama racing away to victory, the podium fight is what we focused on and it went down to the wire. Mitani, Odaki, Shinya Ezawa and Riichi Takahira all fancied a top three finish, with Turn 11 providing us with late-race action. Odaki and Ogiwara were wide – and out of the saddle – to allow Mitani through to P2, as Odaki recovered from his error to grab P3 on the run to the line.
Ezawa and Takahira were a close P5 and P6, with Jakkreephat Phuttisan not far away from the podium fight in P7. Farres Putra, Hamad Al-Sahouti – after a one-place penalty for exceeding track limits on the final lap – and Chessy Meilandri rounded out the top 10.