Tamada showed speed from day 1. He was able to improve his lap time without making any changes to his suspension settings. The series from this year, allowed riders to choose from two different rear tires. Tamada chose the softer compound to start off the qualification session. He marked his personal best at 1’30.738 in his first time attack lap, and was improving in every sector in his second time attack. However, his front tires slid at the final corner of the time attack, and unfortunately fell. He was able to come back to the pit box by himself. The team made effort to fix the machine as soon as possible, and was able to fix it for Tamada with 10 minutes left in the session. However, Tamada had no choice but to use the medium compound, and wasn’t able to improve his lap time. However, with only one lap of time attack, he was able to secure a second row, 5th grid qualifying position.
Tamada was confident with his setup for the race, but a sudden rain during the Asia Dream Cup race, changed everything. It would have been easier if the rain kept falling, but the rain stopped before Tamada’s race one. The track was still wet at the start of the race, but it was obvious that the track would be drying up during the race. Tamada, and most of the riders in the front chose the dry tires. Tamada dropped to P15 at the start, with the machine not being stable with dry tires on a very wet surface. As the surface dried up, Tamada took pace, but the leaders were already far beyond for him to catch up. He finished in Race 1.
Race 2 was a similar situation with a sudden rain before the race. Although it was still raining at the start, Tamada, and most of the riders chose the dry tires again. This being the second race in the same condition, Tamada was not going to make the same mistake. Although he dropped to seventh at the start, Tamada was in pace with the race leaders, and was ready to push. But in the second lap, a rider that couldn’t brake fast enough hit Tamada from his behind. This resulted in Tamada crashing and retired from the race.
(photo by Shigeto Kawakami)