The Indonesian makes it four wins in four as the fight for victory goes down to the wire
What a race! Veda Pratama vs Amon Odaki went right down to the wire in Race 1 at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia as the home hero comes out on top by just two tenths to win for a fourth time in a row. Odaki crossed the line a close second with third place Zen Mitani picking up his fourth podium of the campaign.
Pratama grabbed the holeshot from pole position but Odaki was able to take the lead a couple of times on the opening two laps to disrupt the Indonesian’s early rhythm, while the race for victory quickly became a two-horse race between Pratama and Odaki, with two lead contenders going down at Turn 1 on Lap 2 – Shinya Ezawa and Ryota Ogiwara.
Pratama and Odaki were a second quicker per lap than the chasers throughout and on the penultimate lap, after the lead changed hands several times, Pratama was up the inside of Odaki at Turn 10. The #7 was wide, but because he’d parked his Honda machine directly alongside Odaki, the latter had nowhere to go. This meant Pratama had a 0.5s advantage heading onto the final lap. Job done?
Absolutely not. Odaki nailed the first and second sectors to reattach himself to Pratama’s rear wheel. A dive up the inside came at Turn 15 but reacting immediately, Pratama bit back at Turn 16. They were both wide, Odaki was out of the seat twice, but Pratama got the pass done. Despite a front-end scare at the final corner, Pratama claimed a home race victory to extend his standings lead, with Odaki agonisingly close in P2.
Impressive rookie Mitani won the race for the final podium spot in P3, the Japanese star finished ahead of Farish Hafiy and Jakkreephat Phuettisan – the latter completing the top five. Reykat Fadilah claimed P6 on home soil, with Marianos Nikolis, Indonesian wildcard Decksa Almer, Riichi Takahira and Chessy Meilandri bagging top 10s in Mandalika.
Race 2 from the Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit kicks off at 09:45 local time on Sunday morning.