May 16, 2018
Galang Hendra Storms to Fantastic Fifth at Imola
At Round 3 of the 2018 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at a sun-drenched Imola, Galang Hendra Pratama showcased his talent to the world as he charged from 14th on the grid to take a stunning fifth-place finish after battling for the podium the entire race.
New technical regulations were brought in for Imola aimed at making the championship more of a level playing field with the different capacity bikes to keep in line with the unique ethos of the championship. These new regulations were further adjusted over the course of the weekend, giving the bLU cRU riders the perfect chance to showcase their potential on Sunday riding their Yamaha YZF-R3s against the other manufacturers machines with larger capacity engines.
Galang Hendra Pratama (Yamaha Pata | Semakin di Depan | Biblion Motoxracing Team) has been a sensation in his rookie year in the WorldSSP300 championship. Finishing 16th in Aragon and having been the fastest bLU cRU rider in almost every session in 2018 he, unfortunately, crashed out of the race in Assen while battling in the podium group and the 19-year-old Indonesian was determined to bounce back at Round 3. The man from Yogyakarta hit the ground running in FP1, finishing Friday's free practice in 5th overall after setting a 2:09.029, which was incredibly over a second quicker than the pole record from 2017 and it saw him maintain his 100% record of automatically making it through to SP2 on Saturday. In SP2, he tried to follow other riders in an effort to continue learning the track, but could not quite match his practice pace, setting a 2:09.635 which was good enough for tenth. Unfortunately, he was one of a number of riders to receive a grid penalty for riding slowly on the racing line and he was penalized nine positions but due to the fact lots of others had also received penalties, he lined up for Sunday's race in 14th on the grid.
When the lights went out he enjoyed a superb start and from the back of the fourth row and blasted his way up to eighth by the end of the first lap. Galang fought to catch the lead group, battling bravely with more experienced riders and showing just how good he is around an infamously technically challenging track he had never ridden before Free Practice 1. When it came to the last lap, he gave it everything to secure his maiden podium, at one point being forced onto the grass in the frantic seven-rider fight, but even this could not slow him down. The man from Yogyakarta passed a number of riders with some superb and brave overtaking maneuvers in the final few corners, trying everything he could to stand on the rostrum for the first time in his rookie season, before crossing the line in a superb fifth place. This saw Galang record his WorldSSP300 first points-scoring finish, putting him 14th in the championship standings and leading the way in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge.
Round 4 of the 2018 WorldSSP300 Championship will take place at Donington Park in the UK on the 25th-27th of May.
Galang Hendra Pratama (5th)
"The new regulations have made it a more level playing field and I am happy because this is the first time for me riding at Imola and I made it directly through to SP2. It is a very difficult track to learn as it is very technical and in SP2 I tried to set a fast time in a group as I am still learning the track, but all the riders in front of me were riding slowly on the racing line and I could not set a very fast time. Therefore, I am very happy to have finished in fifth during the race! I had a great start and my R3 felt really good. I stayed calm and focused during the race to catch up with the podium group and on the final lap, I managed to pass a number of riders to finish in fifth. I am looking forward to Donington where I will once again give it my best, never give up and show the Semakin di Depan spirit once more!"