The Thai star came out on top in a phenomenal five-rider battle that went to the final corner as Ezawa and Odaki stand on the Race 1 rostrum in Buriram
Jakkreephat Phuettisan is an Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup race winner as the Thai rider comes out on top of an unbelievable fiver rider fight for home turf victory at the Chang International Circuit. The race was won – and lost – at the final corner as Shinya Ezawa and Amon Odaki claimed P2 and P3, with Zen Mitani and Veda Pratama less than a second away from the win in P4 and P5 respectively.
For the third time in four rounds, Pratama stuck his machine on pole and got a great launch as the lights went out. Once Ryota Ogiwara had served his two Long Lap penalties, a group of five riders quickly formed at the front and for the entire race, the lead and podium places were changing lap by lap, corner by corner.
Pratama was keen to make sure he was the leader at any given moment and heading onto the final lap, the Championship leader was doing exactly that. But Phuettisan, Ezawa, Mitani and Odaki were right in the hunt. Pratama led out of Turn 11 but both Phuettisan and Ezawa were up the inside into Turn 12 – the final corner.
Phuettisan got the move done as Ezawa and Pratama made contact at the apex. Ezawa came out of the small clash better as Pratama did well to keep himself on the bike, but it was a moment that cost the five-time 2023 winner a podium. Phuettisan took the chequered flag in P1 to win his first ATC race, as Ezawa and Odaki won the battle for the final two podium spots.
Importantly for his title chances, Mitani capitalised on Pratama’s Turn 12 drama to claim two points back on the latter, with the points difference now sitting at 55 points. That means Pratama can’t win the 2023 title on Sunday in Thailand, but he’ll be aiming to bounce back in Race 2.
Riichi Takahira edged out the recovering Ogiwara as the Japanese duo picked up P6 and P7, as Marianos Nikolis, wildcard Kiattisak Singhapong and Reykat Fadilah completed the top 10.
Race 1 was an absolute stunner, what does Race 2 have in store? Find out at 09:45 local time (GMT+7) on Sunday morning!