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Young Asian talent get tips from Spanish master

THE riders who will compete in the third edition of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup completed two days of testing at Sepang this week.

Under the guidance of Spain’s former 500cc grand prix winner Alberto Puig and his team, 20 young riders completed two days of intense work in Malaysia.

For fifteen of them it was the first time running on a circuit such as Sepang while controlling the Honda NSF250R, with which they will compete the 12-event season.

Under Puig’s watchful eyes, the riders completed more than 50 laps per day with two clear objectives: security and speed.

The more experienced riders were those who dominated the timesheets. It was common to see Thaland’s Somkiat Chantra, or Japan’s Masaki or Indonesia’s Andi Izdihar top the standings after each outing on track. The fastest times of the test was set by Chantra who managed a 2min 17.901, just off the record he set last year.

Puig told MotoGP website: “You can never be fully satisfied because there is always room for improvement when it comes to children.

“At least we had very good weather, the riders were able to complete a lot of laps and we’ve even done a race simulation. There are many new guys and that always complicates things a little bit, some were a bit on edge, but this is normal. There has been a lot of progress from the first to the second day and we aim to continue to make improvements throughout the season.”

This season the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup brings together riders between the ages of 12 and 18 from countries such as Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, China, Turkey and Thailand.

All will compete in twelve races across six rounds distributed throughout the year. The events will be held in Qatar, Malaysia, China, Japan and Thailand which will open the season on the 12th and 13th of March, coinciding with the second round of the WSBK Championship.

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