West Leads ARRC Supersports 600 following Round 1

Anupab Sarmoon leads the Asia Production 250cc

Md Helmi Azman takes the Underbone 150cc lead


The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship opened at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, with six victors crowned from the six races run, promising an exciting season ahead.

The FIM ARRC opened at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand
The FIM ARRC opened at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand – Image by TWMR Photo

It was Anthony West who took the Supersport 600 lead, while Anupad Sarmoon topped the Asia Production 250cc points tally after Round 1. Md Helmi Azman was the Underbone 150cc leader.


Supersport 600 Qualifying

Now racing in his second full season of the SuperSports 600cc category, Keminth Kubo got off to a flying start at Round 1 of the 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship in qualifying.

Equipped with a brand new Yamaha R6, the Thai rider aced the first day of free practice session with a best time of 1’38.902s. Keminth’s best time was posted from the third free practice session. Most of the riders were unable to post quick times during the morning practice. A heavy rainfall the previous night had resulted in a slippery track surface that left most of the competitors fighting for grip.

Ratthapong Wilariot and Keminth Kubo
Ratthapong Wilariot and Keminth Kubo – Image by TWMR Photo

Seasoned campaigners Decha Kraisart and Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi were second and third fastest respectively – 1’38.933s and 1’38.934s. Ratthapong Wilairot also demonstrated his flair for the R6 when he posted fourth fastest with 1’38.944s.

Defending champion Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and his team mate Ahmad Yudhistira opted for consistency over speed and were fifth and sixth fastest respectively.

Tomoyoshi Koyama, Yuki Ito, Anthony West, and Thitipong Warokorn completed the top 10 after a long hot day of free practice.

Combined Qualifying

  1. Keminth Kubo (THA) YAMAHA Racing Asean 1:38.902
  2. Decha Kraisart (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM +0.031
  3. Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (MAS) Musashi Boon Siew Honda +0.032
  4. Ratthapong Wilairot (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM +0.042
  5. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS) Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing +0.303
  6. Ahmad Yudhistira (INA) Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing +0.318
  7. Tomoyoshi Koyama (JPN) Musashi Boon Siew Honda +0.569
  8. Yuki Ito (JPN) YAMAHA Racing Asean +0.823
  9. Anthony West (AUS) Webike IKAZUCHI Racing +0.965
  10. Thitipong Warokorn*** (THA) Core Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team +1.025
    …22 Patrick Li (AUS) Webike IKAZUCHI Racing +6.321

Supersport 600 Race 1

Wildcard rider Thitipong ‘Tingnote’ Warokorn ended a 3-year winning drought for the Kawasaki camp when he took Race 1 by storm. The last time a Kawasaki had won at Chang International Circuit, was Katsuaki Fujiwara who netted the first SuperSports 600cc win at the ARRC’s inaugural race in Buriram, Thailand.

Thitipong ‘Tingnote’ Warokorn - Image by TWMR Photo
Thitipong ‘Tingnote’ Warokorn – Image by TWMR Photo

Thitipong, racing for the Core Kawasaki Racing Team, started the race from P6 but began breaking away when he took the lead on Lap 4. Though still hampered by injuries sustained in a separate training incident, Thitipong set a punishing pace at the front of the group, effectively leaving Australian rider Anthony West and defending champion Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman scrambling for the remaining two spots on the podium.

By Lap 14, Thitipong had stretched the lead to 3.9 seconds. As the chequered flag came down on Lap 18, Thitipong crossed the finish line in 29’59.235s. 4.274s behind the wildcard, Ant West pipped Azlan to second place. Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi finished fourth while Ahmad Yudhistira ended his race in fifth.

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman leads Anthony West - Image by TWMR Photo
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman leads Anthony West – Image by TWMR Photo

Further down the finishing order, Ratthapong Wilairot, Tomoyoshi Koyama, Taiga Hada, Keminth Kubo and Andi Farid Izdihar rounded out the top-10. Also finishing within the points, were debutant Azroy Hakeem Anuar, Yuki Ito, Irfan Ardiansyah, Ramdan Rosli and Kasma Daniel Kasmayuddin.

A strong performance was expected from the vastly experienced Decha Kraisart. However, the long-time Yamaha Thailand Racing Team rider crashed out on Lap 7.

Race 1 Results

  1. Thitipong Warokorn*** (THA) Core Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team
  2. Anthony West (AUS) Webike IKAZUCHI Racing 4.274
  3. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS) Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing 4.654
  4. Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (MAS) Musashi Boon Siew Honda 5.471
  5. Ahmad Yudhistira (INA) Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing 5.544
  6. Ratthapong Wilairot (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 5.700
  7. Tomoyoshi Koyama (JPN) Musashi Boon Siew Honda 8.225
  8. Taiga Hada (JPN) Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10 8.420
  9. Keminth Kubo (THA) YAMAHA Racing Team Asean 8.463
  10. Andi Farid Izdihar (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 8.562
    …DNF Patrick Li (AUS) Webike IKAZUCHI Racing

Supersport 600 Race 2

The 4.554km Chang International Circuit had always brought out the best from Anthony West. This latest outing had been no different. After taking second place in Race 1, West capped off a successful weekend with a convincing victory in 29’59.201s in Race 2.

Anthony West - Image by TWMR Photo
Anthony West – Image by TWMR Photo

The Australian was initially caught up in a 6-man pack at the front of the group. But when Azlan ran wide on Lap 15, the Malaysian’s subsequent efforts to make up for lost ground gave West the chance to shake off the group. Racing astride the new Yamaha R6, West crossed the finish line with a 1.9-second margin.

Decha Kraisart took second place while Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman managed to make the cut for the podium when Zaqhwan Zaidi and Ratthapong Wilairot crashed out at the last corner.

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman - Image by TWMR Photo
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman – Image by TWMR Photo

Ironically, as the ARRC heads down under to The Bend Motorsports Park in Australia for the very first time, West, the championship leader will be missing from the grid due to a long-standing commitment in the WSSP.

Nevertheless, West leads the 600cc title hunt with 45 points. Azlan is second overall with 32 points and Thitipong Warokorn third with 25 points.

Fellow Australian Patrick Li had a rough weekend, with two DNF results leaving him with no points to his name.

Race 2 Results

  1. Anthony West (AUS) Webike IKAZUCHI Racing
  2. Decha Kraisart (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 1.900
  3. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS) Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing 2.433
  4. Yuki Ito (JPN) YAMAHA Racing Team ASEAN 2.872
  5. Tomoyoshi Koyama (JPN) Musashi Boon Siew Honda 6.388
  6. Andi Farid Izdihar (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 7.637
  7. Keminth Kubo (THA) YAMAHA Racing Team ASEAN 8.899
  8. Azroy Hakeem Anuar (MAS) Musashi Boon Siew Honda 9.217
  9. Taiga Hada (JPN) Idemitsu Honda Racing India by T.Pro Ten10 10.743
  10. Irfan Ardiansyah. (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 10.981
    …DNF Patrick Li (AUS) Webike IKAZUCHI Racing

Supersport 600 Standings following Round 1

  1. Anthony West AUS 45
  2. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman MAS 32
  3. Thitipong Warokorn*** THA 25
  4. Decha Kraisart THA 20
  5. Tomoyoshi Koyama JPN 20
  6. Yuki Ito JPN 17
  7. Andi Farid Izdihar INA 16
  8. Keminth Kubo JPN 16
  9. Taiga Hada JPN 15
  10. Md Zaqhwan Zaidi MAS 14

Asia Production 250cc Qualifying

Just one day into the 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, and Asia Production 250cc debutant Mario Suryo Aji has earned a new nickname from Asian racing fans – Super Mario. Officially the youngest rider to ever race in the Asia Production 250cc class, the Astra Honda Racing Team rookie pulled off a double-stunner during the free practice sessions.

The Asia Production 250cc also kicked off
The Asia Production 250cc also kicked off

Not only did he post the fastest time in the intermediary class – 1’53.106s – but he also created a new circuit record in the process. This was the first time a debutant had entered the competitive race category and created such big waves.

Anupab Sarmoon, heavily tipped as the hot favourite for the title this season, was second quickest with 1’53.250s. Former Moto2 rider Rafid Topan Sucipto was third fastest with 1’53.389s.

The Asia Production 250cc field - Image by TWMR Photo
The Asia Production 250cc field – Image by TWMR Photo

Mario’s performance has again put much pressure on his senior team mate Rheza Danica Ahrens, viewed by many as the successor to Gerry Salim’s title. Rheza was fourth fastest at the end of the free practice sessions with 1’53.466s followed by Muklada Sarapuech fifth fastest.

In fact, all the ten fastest riders in the class were only separated by a single second. Kanata Jaiman, Peerapong Boonlert, Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi, Andy Muhammad Fadly and AwhinSanjaya piled into the second half of the top ten.

Asia Production 250cc Qualifying results

  1. Mario Suryo Aji (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team
  2. Anupab Sarmoon (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 0.144
  3. Rafid Topan Sucipto (INA) Yamaha Yamalube KYT TJM WR Super B1at 0.283
  4. Rheza Danica Ahrens (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 0.360
  5. Muklada Sarapuech (THA) A.P. Honda Racing Thailand 0.425
  6. Kanatat Jaiman (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 0.521
  7. Peerapong Boonlert (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 0.694
  8. Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi (THA) A.P. Honda Racing Thailand 0.736
  9. Andy Muhammad Fadly (INA) Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing 0.762
  10. Awhin Sanjaya (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 0.794

Asia Production 250cc Race 1

Yamaha Thailand Racing Team’s Anupab Sarmoon, a fourth-season contender in the Asia Production 250cc class, drew on every ounce of his experience to come up tops in the first race of the season.

Anupab Sarmoon takes the win - Image by TWMR Photo
Anupab Sarmoon takes the win – Image by TWMR Photo

The Asia Production 250cc class had always been notorious for its no-holds-barred dogfight at the sharp end of the grid. With 13 riders battling for P1 in a 10-lap melee to the finish line, the polesitter found himself fending off attacks at every corner from the likes of Muklada Sarapuech, newcomer Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi, Indonesia’s Rheza Danica Ahrens, and Andy Muhammad Fadly.

With no particular rider dominating the 10-lap race, the notorious last corner at the Chang International Circuit became the deciding factor of the race. Anupab nimbly avoided a particularly aggressive move from Muklada Sarapuech who had earlier succeeded in forcing Mario Suryo Aji off the racing line.

The Yamaha rider then neatly held his lines to the finish line to pick up his first win of the season with 19’14.601s. Muklada was second across the chequered flag followed by MarioSuryo Aji.

Md-Hafiz-Nor-Azman
Md-Hafiz-Nor-Azman – Image by TWMR Photo

However, Muklada’s actions from Turn 9 to Turn 10 had prompted an immediate investigation into the results. Consequently, race officials penalized the AP Honda Thailand rider and she dropped five positions to P7. Muklada was further fined with a 3-point championship points deduction for unsporting behaviour.

Mario was promoted to P2, followed by his team mate Rheza Danica Ahrens in third.

Asia Production 250cc Race 1 results

  1. Anupab Sarmoon (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM
  2. Mario Suryo Aji (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 0.362
  3. Rheza Danica Ahrens (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 0.560
  4. Peerapong Boonlert (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 0.656
  5. Rafid Topan Sucipto (INA) Yamaha Yamalube KYT TJM WR Super Battery 0.774
  6. Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi (THA) A.P. Honda Racing Thailand 0.895
  7. Muklada Sarapuech (THA) A.P. Honda Racing Thailand 0.220
  8. Richard Taroreh (INA) YAMAHA Racing Indonesia 1.176
  9. Kanatat Jaiman (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 1.288
  10. Andy Muhammad Fadly (INA) Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing 1.394

Asia Production 250cc Race 2

AP Honda Racing Thailand’s Muklada Sarapuech continues to make waves. The 2015 Asia Dream Cup Champion made history again in Round 1 of the 2018 Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand when she became the first female rider to win the Asia Production 250cc class.

Anupab Sarmoon in the lead - Image by TWMR Photo
Anupab Sarmoon in the lead – Image by TWMR Photo

Muklada, who received two sanctions after Race 1, put in a clean and faultless performance in Race 2 as she weaved, dodged, feinted and parried against the rest of the field.

The AP Honda Thailand rider led the group across the start/finish line from Lap 2 to Lap 6. The pressure sent her off the track limits on Lap 7. But this time, Muklada was careful to rejoin without gaining any advantage. That single mistake had sent Muklada from third to eleventh. With only two laps to go, Muklada overtook three riders to reach P7 on the penultimate lap, and another five riders to take the win with 19’11.671s.

Muklada Sarapuech and Kanatat Jaiman - Image by TWMR Photo
Muklada Sarapuech and Kanatat Jaiman – Image by TWMR Photo

Rafid Topan Sucipto crafted a great comeback by finishing second followed by Kanatat Jaiman in third. Peerapong Boonlert, the fastest rider in Race 2, ended the race in fourth. Race 1 winner Anupab Sarmoon crossed the finish line in fifth.

As the season opener drew to a close, Anupab Sarmoon holds the championship lead with 36 points. Muklada is tied in second with Rafid Topan – each with 31 points apiece.

Asia Production 250cc Race 2 results

  1. Muklada Sarapuech (THA) A.P. Honda Racing Thailand
  2. Rafid Topan Sucipto (INA) Yamaha Yamalube KYT TJM WR Super Battery 0.182
  3. Kanatat Jaiman (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 0.185
  4. Peerapong Boonlert (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 0.435
  5. Anupab Sarmoon (THA) YAMAHA Thailand Racing TEAM 1.293
  6. Awhin Sanjaya (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 1.414
  7. Andy Muhammad Fadly (INA) Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing 1.572
  8. Richard Taroreh (INA) YAMAHA Racing Indonesia 1.618
  9. Rheza Danica Ahrens (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 1.783
  10. Mario Suryo Aji (INA) Astra Honda Racing Team 1.084

Asia Production 250cc  Standings following Round 1

  1. Anupab Sarmoon THA 36
  2. Muklada Sarapuech THA 31
  3. Rafid Topan Sucipto INA 31
  4. Peerapong Boonlert THA 26
  5. Mario Suryo Aji INA 26
  6. Kanatan Jaiman THA 23
  7. Rheza Danica Ahren INA 23
  8. Richard Taroreh INA 16
  9. Awhin Sanjaya INA 15
  10. Andy Muhammad Fadly INA 15

Underbone 150 Qualification

Mohd Helmi Azman came out tops in the Underbone 150 qualifier as Round 1 of the 2018 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship got underway.

With Moto3 slicks fitted onto the Underbone bikes for the first time, the SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing Team rider was able to bank on his previous Asia Talent Cup experience to get ahead of the competition. Helmi posted 2’01.998s, the only rider to lap under the 2’02.

There was plenty of competition in the Underbone 150cc field - Image by TWMR Photo
There was plenty of competition in the Underbone 150cc field – Image by TWMR Photo

“Because I was already familiar with the tyre characteristics, I was able to perform the moment I got on track. There was no need for me to experiment with different settings or lines,” said Helmi who seemed to have fitted in comfortably with his new team. Prior to this weekend, Helmi had been vacillating between several options before finally settling on the SCK outfit.

Helmi’s closest competitor, fellow Malaysian Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa, clocked 2’02.206s. Also within the 2 minute 2 seconds range, were Gupita Kresna Wardhana (third fastest with 2’02.236s) and Mohd Izzat Zaidi fourth with 2’02.786s. Mohd Adib Rosley ended the qualifying session with 2’03.046s and rounded up the top five.

Defending champion, Mohd Akid Aziz, got off to a rocky start but managed to make the top-10 cut for the SuperPole when he qualified eighth fastest with 2’03.273s.

Indonesian ace, Wahyu Aji Trilaksana, was also one of the faster riders on the grid with 2’02.230s but unfortunately his results were excluded due to a technical infringement.

Underbone 150 Qualification Results

  1. Md Helmi Azman (MAS) SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing Team
  2. Wahyu Aji Trilaksana (INA) YAMAHA Racing Indonesia 0.985
  3. Md Amirul Ariff Musa (MAS) Yuzy Honda Vietnam Racing Team 1.142
  4. Md Izzat Zaidi (MAS) RCB Yamaha Y Y Pang Racing 1.384
  5. Gupita Kresna (INA) Yamaha Yamalube SND Factory 1.444
  6. Ahmad Fazli Sham (MAS) ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team 1.706
  7. Nattawut Rungkigsawas (THA) SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing 1.784
  8. Md Akid Aziz (MAS) UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team 1.838
  9. Md Haziq Md Fairues (MAS) UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team 1.950
  10. Md Adib Rosley (MAS) RCB Yamaha Y Y Pang Racing 2.475

Underbone 150 Race 1

In the Underbone 150cc category, RCB Yamaha YY Pang rider Mohd Izzat Zaidi inherited a surprise win when the three leading riders crashed out ahead of him at the infamous Chang International Circuit last corner.

Adroitly sidestepping the carnage, a delighted Izzat sprinted to the finish line in 16’40.311s followed by Mohd Affendi Rosli in second place and Wahyu Aji Trilaksana in third.

Mohd Izzat Zaidi inherited a win following a late race stack saw the top three go down - Image by TWMR Photo
Mohd Izzat Zaidi inherited a win following a late race stack saw the top three go down – Image by TWMR Photo

However, both Affendi and Wahyu will be facing penalties in the form of a 3-point championship points deduction for unsporting behavior in Race 1.

Defending champion Mohd Akid Aziz finished out of podium position in fourth place followed by polesitter Mohd Helmi Azman.

Seasoned underbone riders Amirul Ariff Musa and Ahmad Fazli Sham were sixth and seventh respectively. Indonesian youngster Syahrul Amin came in eighth. Mohd Haiekal Akmalwas ninth. Most impressive was first-time competitor Huynh Minh Sang, a Uma Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team wildcard from Vietnam.

Underbone 150 Race 1 Results

  1. Md Izzat Zaidi (MAS) RCB Yamaha Y Y Pang Racing
  2. Md Affendi Rosli (MAS) Team One For All 0.789
  3. Wahyu Aji Trilaksana (INA) YAMAHA Racing Indonesia 7.286
  4. Md Akid Aziz (MAS) UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team 9.201
  5. Md Helmi Azman (MAS) SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing Team 9.974
  6. Md Amirul Ariff Musa (MAS) Yuzy Honda Vietnam Racing Team 12.535
  7. Ahmad Fazli Sham (MAS) ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team 14.714
  8. Syahrul Amin (INA) Yamaha Yamalube SND Factory 15.322
  9. Md Haeikal Akmal (MAS) ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team 15.874
  10. Huynh Minh Sang (VIE) UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team 15.963

Underbone 150 Race 2

Race 2 of the Underbone 150cc became embroiled in more controversy as race winner Wahyu Aji Trilaksana faced further sanctions for his repeated risky final lap race tactics.

Md Helmi Azman in the lead - Image by TWMR Photo
Md Helmi Azman in the lead – Image by TWMR Photo

In Race 1 on Saturday, Wahyu was sanctioned with a 3-points deduction from his total points haul for intentionally swerving into the path of the other competitors. At the final lap of Race 2, Wahyu executed the same move again.

The FIM Asia jury which is comprised of members from different Asian countries, sanctioned Wahyu with a 20-second penalty to be added to his race time.

Consequently, Wahyu went from first to ninth in the finishing order.

Md Affendi Rosli - Image by TWMR Photo
Md Affendi Rosli – Image by TWMR Photo

Mohd Helmi Azman from team SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing picked up his first ARRC win with 16’42.183. Newcomer Syahrul Amin of Yamaha Yamalube SND Factory was also promoted to second with 16’42.351. Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa went up to third with 16’42.351s.

Helmi now leads the Underbone 150cc title chase with 36 points, followed by Mohd Izzat Zaidi with 33 points and Affendi Rosli with 30 points.

Underbone 150 Race 2 Results

  1. Md Helmi Azman (MAS) SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing Team
  2. Syahrul Amin (INA) Yamaha Yamalube SND Factory 0.168
  3. Md Amirul Ariff Musa (MAS) Yuzy Honda Vietnam Racing Team 0.229
  4. Md Affendi Rosli (MAS) Team One For All 0.297
  5. Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam (MAS) SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda Racing Team 0.442
  6. Ahmad Fazli Sham (MAS) ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team 1.243
  7. Md Haeikal Akmal (MAS) ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team 1.961
  8. Md Izzat Zaidi (MAS) RCB Yamaha Y Y Pang Racing 13.490
  9. Wahyu Aji Trilaksana (INA) YAMAHA Racing Indonesia 19.960
  10. Gupita Kresna Wardhana (INA) Yamaha Yamalube SND Factory 0.314

Underbone 150cc Standings following Round 1

  1. Md Helmi Azman MAS 36
  2. Md Izzat Zaidi MAS 33
  3. Md Affendi Rosli MAS 30
  4. Syahrul Amin INA 28
  5. Md Amirul Ariff Musa MAS 26
  6. Wahyu Aji Trilaksana INA 20
  7. Ahmad Fazli Sham MAS 19
  8. Md Haeikal Akmal MAS 16
  9. Md Akid Aziz MAS 14
  10. Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam MAS 11