Powerful and persistent are the descriptions of riders in the Asia Production 250cc as they continue to unveil hidden moves and enhanced abilities. No exception to this is Herjun Atna Firdaus of ASTRA HONDA RACING TEAM and Aiki Iyoshi of Motul Sniper Manual Tech who have both displayed spectacular performances in Round 3. Racing in Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit for Round 4 of the Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship however may pose two different set of experiences for these riders.

Along with his teammates, Herjun has been exemplary in his racing endeavours this season. Although he lost some points in Race 2 of Round 1, his on-going achievements has positioned him at the third spot overall to-date; 1 point shy from his teammate at the second spot. Throughout the races, he was seen relentless in his pursuit for a winning recognition despite the challenges within the race category. Last season, Herjun bagged the third spot overall with two wins and two podiums.

Commenting on his achievements, Herjun said, “Last year, I was a rookie in the AP250 race category. However, with the help of my teammates, I am able to scale up to greater heights this season. For the upcoming race at Mandalika, I have a strong feeling that it would be an awesome one. Perhaps, also with the upper hand of having the experiences racing there. I joined the ATC 2021 and raced at Mandalika which gave me some insights to the layout. Briefly, Mandalika circuit has many high-speed corners and also windy points which makes it interesting yet challenging. Not forgetting, having the support of my family and friends which serves as a motivational factor. The team at Astra Honda also gave us the opportunity to do testing as an early preparation. With all these in hand, my target would be to win for both races.”

Fighting for the same opportunity and coming out strong in Race 2 of Round 3 was Aiki Iyoshi who managed to untangle himself from the chaos at the last lap before sprinting ahead towards the second spot on the podium. The Japanese lad who strides aboard the striking green Kawasaki Ninja 250 may have somewhat struggled in the first two rounds but round three was definitely the much-needed booster to alleviate him further.

Commenting on the race, Aiki said, “This season has been a tough one, frankly. But in race 2 of Round 3, I made it to the podium although I know I could have done better. I wasn’t really satisfied with my performances but all I could do is move forward to achieve better outcomes. Racing in Mandalika would be my first so from the practice sessions onwards, I will have to work on my riding techniques and find the right setup. The goal is to leave a mark during the race therefore, it is going to be a lot of hard work. Speaking about his machine, he went on to say, “I am confident with my machine and it works well at the corners. So, attacking the opponent at the corners would be the best bet to move upwards. I know that closing the gaps with the other riders is a challenging task but my goal is to utilise the strengths of the machine where possible. I foresee a fierce battle at Mandalika but the aim is to be on the podium and I will do everything I can to achieve it from FP up till the end of the race!

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