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Thai rider Akarin Atiratphuvapat rounded up a great weekend for his country, as he won the second race of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup.

The weekend culminated in two wins for local riders during the opening round of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram. Yesterday it was Somkiat Chantra who claimed the win, today it was his compatriot Nakarin Atiratphuvapat’s turn.

The race began with the man who took pole position yesterday, Malay Azman, making a break in the early stages. Atiratphuvapat, who had made it clear that he was ready for his first win in the cup, headed the group of riders that began to chase down the leader. Due to the similarities with the Honda NSF250R, it is very difficult to escape the pack in this series, even more so on a circuit with such long straights, such as the Chang International Circuit. Soon, the group had caught the leader, and there were 10 riders battling it out at the front putting on an incredible show of racing with continuous overtaking.

Atiratphuvapat, who yesterday missed out on the podium due to a mistake on the last lap, was behind the winner from yesterday Chantra, and the young Japanese rookie Masaki, who set a new lap record at the circuit.

The key moment occurred on the 13th (of 16) lap, when Chantra fell, taking Norrodin with him. This crash caused a small gap in the leading group to appear, and gave Kunimine a slight lead at the front. Once again, the nature of the series meant that the rider could not keep the gap at the front, and he was hunted down to leave 8 riders battling it out for the race win on the last lap.

Sasaki went on the attack, after setting another new lap record, but today was Atiratphuvapat’s day, as he managed to overtake the Japanese rider two corners from the end to take his first win in the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, with Masaki taking third.

After the first two races, Ayumi Sasaki leads the overall standings with 40 points, thanks to two second-places in Buriram. In second place is Atiratphuvapat with 36, and Masaki is in third with 29.

The Director of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, Alberto Puig, believes that: “For Thai riders it has been very important to win at home, and they have taken a big step forward. Last year the series was dominated by the Japanese guys, now others are maturing, it is a clear sign that things are changing in Asia. Riders from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, are increasing their levels. Step by step we are getting what we wanted."

The second round of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup takes place next weekend at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, as part of the opening round of the 2015 MotoGP™ World Championship.

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