Danish claims 2022 Asia Talent Cup as Pratama wins a home double

Sunday, 13 November 2022 10:48 GMT

Hakim Danish became the first rider from Malaysia to win the Asia Talent Cup, while Indonesia’s Veda Ega Pratama wowed the home crowds with two wins

The Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup went down to a thrilling conclusion at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit, on the bill with the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. The title was on the line and started with three contenders – Hakim Danish, Shinya Ezawa and Gun Mie – before Danish made history in Race 2 as he took the 2022 title. In terms of race wins, home hero Veda Ega Pratama was unstoppable on both Saturday and Sunday as he won two races on home soil.

RACE 1: Pratama leads the way

Home hero Veda Ega Pratama claimed Race 1 victory in the Idemitsu Asian Talent Cup in commanding fashion at Mandalika by more than seven seconds at the end of the 16-lap race in Indonesia as he took advantage of a fierce battle for second place behind him. In terms of the title fight, Hakim Danish will head into the final race of the season with a six-point advantage over Shinya Ezawa as he took second place after a three-way scrap for the podium places behind Pratama.

The tone of the race was set in the early stages with a lead group of seven riders but this fractured as the race progressed before Pratama broke away completely to claim his second win of the season, this time by more than seven seconds. It was a relatively straight forward race for the Indonesian rider as he claimed victory on home soil, while three riders fought it out for second place behind Pratama including two title contenders.

Carter Thompson took home second place after a thrilling fight on the last lap with Danish and Ezawa. Australian rider Thompson ran wide through Turn 15 and into Turn 16 but kept it on track, opening up the right-hand hairpin which proved crucial in the fight. Ezawa and Danish were side-by-side on a tighter line than Thompson but both ran wide, which allowed Thompson to pass both of them for second place. With Danish beating Ezawa into third place, the Malaysian rider heads into Sunday’s season finale with a six-point advantage over his title rival.

Ezawa claimed fourth place but lost ground in the title fight. Gun Mie, who needed to win and have results go his way to stay into title contention, was in fifth place at the end of the race, 11 seconds down from Pratama, and dropped out of title contention. Mie was also involved in a three-rider fight for fifth place, as he fended off Aan Riswanto and Jakkreephat Pheuttisan who finished in sixth and seventh respectively.

Amon Odaki took eighth place with the Japanese rider finishing almost four seconds down on Pheuttisan ahead of him, but he had a relatively comfortable margin of just over a second to Rei Wakamatsu in ninth place. Marianos Nikolis rounded out the top ten of Race 1 in Indonesia as he finished four seconds behind Wakamatsu at the end of the 16-lap race.

There was late race drama for Putra and Swain as the pair crashed at Turn 10, with both riders okay following the crash.

RACE 2: the Cup is decided, Pratama doubles up

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 was a tense battle for the podium. 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.