Chalermpol Polamai of Petronas Sprinta Yamaha Thailand built on his overall lead in the fourth round of the Asian Road Racing Championship, capitalising on teammate Decha Kraisat’s crash in the final lap, to win the second race of the 600cc Superbike category at the Madras Motor Race Track here on Sunday.
Decha’s ouster also propelled K. Rajini of Red Rooster Racing to third place, making it the first occasion of an Indian rider finishing in the top three of an Asian GP.
“I never thought I would be the first Indian to get on the podium in the Asian GP. A lot of credit goes to the team and especially the engineers who gave me a good bike to start with,” said a delighted Rajini later.
Jump in placings
The Indian gained 27 points from two races — he had finished fifth in the first race of the category — improving his overall placing to nine from eighteen.
For Polamai and Decha, it was a case of one man’s meat being another man’s poison. Decha led from pole and restricted Polamai to second place in the first race of the Superbikes.
In the second race, the 2007 champ looked set for a double when he was overtaken by Polamai in the 15th lap, soon after which he seemed to err on the side of excess acceleration and hurtled off the chicane.
Unaware of Decha’s mishap, Polamai looked back several times to check on his lead, and coasted to a win.
“Once I got the lead, I focused on maintaining it till the end of the race. Decha was riding fast and I didn’t think I would win…but he crashed out,” said Polamai, who leads the season standings with 165 points. Decha and Malaysian Md. Zamri Baba sit on second and third positions with 143 and 116 points respectively.
Rosli powers through
In the first outing of the Underbone 115cc category, Mohd. Affendi Rosli of Suzuki Harian Metro SCK Racing started fourth and powered through the pack early in the race to take the chequered flag ahead of Indonesians Denny Triyugo and Florianus Roy.
The second race of the category witnessed a Malaysian sweep, as Mohd. Iskandar Raduan held Rosli to second place, with Hafizh Syarin Abdullah rounding up the top three.
Pole leader Indonesia’s Yudishtra and Japanese rider Kasuji Uezu swapped the top two positions in the two races of the Honda MRF UAM Asia Cup.
Yudishtra’s compatriot Md. Satira and India’s K. Jagan pottered to third place in the first and second races respectively.
The results: Fourth Round: Super Bikes: 600 cc (16 laps): Race 1: 1. Decha Kraisat 28:18:478, 2. Chalermpol Polamai 28:24:365, 3. Md Zamri Baba 28:42:861.
Race 2: 1. Chalermpol Polamai 28:26:695, 2. Md Zamri Baba 28:48:584, 3. K. Rajini 29:00:374;
Underbone 115 cc (10 laps): Race 1: 1. Mohd Affendi Rosli 20:39:326, 2. Denny Triyugo 20:39:685, 3. Florianus Roy 20:39:846;
Race 2: 1. Md. Iskandar Raduan 20:38:718, 2. Mohd Affendi Rosil, 20:38:7853. 3. Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah 20:39:181;
Honda-MRF UAM (10 laps): Race 1: 1. Yudishtra 13:30:230, 2. Katsuji Uezu 13:30:251, 3. Md. Satira 13:30:270.
Race 2: 1. Katsuji Uezu 13:35:840, 2. Yudishtra 13:35:921, 3. K. Jagan 13:41:746.