ARRC 2019 kicks off at Sepang with new Asian Superbike class

Broc Parkes second to Warokorn in Asian Superbike standings

Words & Images by Barry Russell

For the first time in five years the Malaysia-based Asia Road Racing Championship held a round at Sepang and for the first time ever used the 5.542 kilometre full track. This was also the start of a new era for ARRC. Having run with Supersport 600 as the premier class since 2000, it has taken its long-awaited step up to superbikes.

ARRC Rnd Wet Race ARRC Sepang
Sepang played host to the ARRC opener, with weather both wet and fine

The move began with a tyre test at Buriram in December and continued with an official test for two days ahead of the weekend’s 2019 season opener. Rules for Asian Superbike (ASB) 1000 are essentially FIM Superstock, but with specially developed control tyres from Dunlop and the ability to fit bigger radiators to cope with hot weather at several of the countries ARRC visits. Those are, in fact, the only significant differences from ASBK regs, too.

ARRC Rnd Broc Parkes Race ARRC Sepang
Broc Parkes competes in the Asian Superbike class in 2019

Australian interest in the series received a boost when it held its second round of 2018 at Tailem Bend as a double bill with ASBK Round 3. It also had Anthony West as a championship contender until the Queenslander was sidelined by a still unresolved dope testing controversy with the FIM.

ARRC Rnd Wet Race ARRC Sepang
Wet conditions effected some races over the weekend

There had been high hopes that Glen Allerton would join ASB 1000, following his participation in the Buriram test, but these faded, leaving Broc Parkes and Patrick Li as Australia’s Superbike representatives. Broc adds this to his World Endurance Championship duties with YART for 2019, while Patrick will also race in ASBK.

ARRC Rnd Grid Girls ARRC Sepang
ARRC Round 1, Sepang

New Zealander, Liam Taylor MacDonald, who rode as a wildcard in West’s former team in 2018, is contesting the Supersport 600 championship. The team has re-grouped as Victor Racing, which is named after the former team owner who died suddenly in December. Liam joins Patrick and Indonesian star, Ahmad Yudhistira, for this season.

14-year-old Travis Hall also returned to the mad and bad Underbone 150 class with Hi Rev SCK Honda, after acquitting himself well in 2018.

ARRC Rnd Travis Hall Sepang ARRC
Travis Hall

Sepang Testing

Asian Superbikes Testing

Joining series regular Yuki Ito in the Yamaha Racing Asean team, Broc Parkes put down an unmissable marker for Asia’s fastest riders by topping test times in all but the first of five sessions at Sepang during last week’s official pre-season test on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Showing the speed and consistency expected of one of the world’s top endurance racers, Parkes put in his best time of 2:06.075 in the relative cool of Wednesday’s early morning session, leaving his team-mate to fend off the rest of the field.

ARRC Rnd Broc Parkes ASB Grid Race ARRC Sepang Copy
Broc Parkes impressed in testing prior to Round 1

Ito was able to get within seven tenths of the Australian to claim the second fastest time, ahead of Kawasaki Thailand’s Thitipong Warakorn and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, who, having changed from last season’s supersport Kawasaki, quickly got the hang of the ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW  S1000RR to record a best lap of 2:06.950.

While test times pointed to Round 1 glory being decided between these four riders, there was plenty of room for improvement elsewhere in the field. The CBR1000RR of Honda Asia Dream’s Zaqwan Zaidi did well at such a fast circuit to record a fifth best overall time of 2:07.107, while Yudhistira was sixth, and the fastest privateer on the Victor Racing Yamaha.

ARRC Rnd Grid Girl ARRC Sepang
2019 ARRC Round 1 – Sepang

Yamaha Thailand’s pairing of 2018 Supersport 600 champion, Ratthapong Wilairot, and 2016 AP 250 champion, Apiwat Wongthananon, both looked well short of their potential. Chaiwichit Nisakul took his first steps on the international stage for Kawasaki Thailand after good showings in the last two seasons in the Thai Superbike series and made good progress.

European manufacturers had never joined ARRC before, so there was plenty of interest being shown in the ONEXOX BMWs and in a distinctive pair of Ducati Panigales being campaigned by Access Plus Racing Philippines for Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto and Swiss rider, Jonathan Serrapica.

A nasty crash for Patrick Li in the final session, which left him with two upper left arm fractures, ruled him out of the opening round and Victor Racing looking for a replacement rider.

Supersport 600 Testing

With ASB 1000 replacing SS 600 as ARRC’s premier class, a field of ambitious under-25s began a fight for supremacy at Sepang during the test. Yamaha Thailand’s Peerapong Boonlert, another endurance racing exponent, with two Suzuka 4 Hour wins to his name, put in a best lap of 2:11.105, which was 0.279 faster than Malaysia’s Helmi Azman, the 2018 UB 150 champion, was able to manage for Musashi Boon Siew Honda.

ARRC Rnd Peerapong Boonlert Heat ARRC Race Sepang
Peerapong Boonlert

Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin, Andi Farid Izdihar, Azroy Hakeem Anuar and Adam Noroddin were all within one second of Peerapong, while Ramdan Rosli led another five riders, including 2018 AP 250 champion, Rheza Danica Ahrens, who got within two seconds around the 5.542 kilometres of Sepang’s full circuit.

With Peerapong and Helmi already showing the swagger of potential champions and Andi, Azroy, Kasma Daniel and Ramdan Rosli having already proved their SS 600 mettle when it was the senior class, podium places promised to be be as hard fought as ever.


ARRC Round 1

Free Practice

After a rest day on Thursday, business for 2019 got underway with free practice on Friday. With rubber from the official test still fresh on Sepang’s abrasive asphalt, there were relatively few disruptions to rankings, though times generally improved and the differences between contenders got smaller.

Asian Superbikes – Round 1

The pace advantage enjoyed by Yamaha Racing Asean’s Broc Parkes during the test shrank to a few hundredths come practice at Round 1, as Azlan Shah continued to get the measure of his ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW. The Malaysian posted his best time of the day in FP1, becoming the first rider to dip below 2:06 with a lap of 2:05.688. Although Parkes topped FP2 after a tumble by Azlan, it was not until the final outing of the day that the Australian edged back to the top by clocking 2:05.608.

ARRC Rnd Ahmad Yudhistira Victor Racing ASB Race ARRC
Ahmad Yudhistira

Thitipong Warakorn showed strongly for Kawasaki Thailand to finish the day third, while his long-time Thai sparring partner, Apiwat Wongthananon, improved through the day to record 2:06.387, which was good enough for fourth. Rider of the day, though, was Ahmad Yudhistira, who showed strongly in each session to end up fifth on Victor Racing Team’s privateer Yamaha.

Zaqwan Zaidi toiled hard all day for Honda Dream Asia to finish sixth from an out-of-sorts Yuki Ito, Ratthapong Wilairot, Farid Badrul Hisham on the second ONEXOX BMW and Chaiwichit Nisakul. Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto was the better of the two Access Plus Ducatis, while Rajini Krishnan, standing in for the injured Patrick Li, managed a best lap of 2:09.978 to leave the second Ducati of Jonathan Serrapica in 13th.

Qualifying

In qualifying under conditions that were blisteringly hot, even by Sepang’s standards, Thitipong for Kawasaki Thailand and Azlan on the XOXO TKKR SAG BMW were strong from the get-go. As they approached the all important final ten minutes, Thitipong went 0.266 clear of early leader Azlan with a lap of 2:05.505.

ARRC Rnd Thitipong Warakorn ASB Race Wheelie ARRC Sepang
Thitipong Warokorn

Parkes, whose practice pace had been eluding him due to a chatter problem, crashed into the gravel with seven minutes left, while down in sixth place. Azlan pushed again, but was unable to get closer to the Thai rider. Zaqwan Zaidi made the best of his Honda Asia-Dream machine to record 2:06.323.

Another impressive session by Ahmad Yudhistira on the Victor Racing Yamaha saw him lead row two from Chaiwichit Nisakul and Parkes, while Yuki Ito was seventh ahead of Apiwat Wongthananon and Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto on the Access Plus Ducati.

Race 1

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman won a titanic race long duel with Thitipong Warakorn to take the first win in the new ASB 1000 class and the first ever win for a BMW motorcycle in the 23-year history of the Asia Road Racing Championship. Broc Parkes opened his 2019 ARRC account by finishing third.

ARRC Rnd Azlan Shah ASB Winner Race ARRC Sepang
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman

Thitipong managed to get every one of his Kawasaki’s horses into the rear Dunlop’s contact patch and rocketed into turn one clear of Azlan, managing to stretch his lead to a few bike lengths. Behind Azlan, Yamaha Thailand’s Apiwat got the better of Parkes and Zaqwan to move into third.

Zaqwan broke down and Ito crashed on lap five and Parkes, having found his rhythm, got back in front of the Thai. By the seventh lap of 12, Thitipong and Azlan were separated by half a second with a 2.7 second buffer back to Parkes.

Apiwat subsequently dropped back and was caught and passed by Yudhistira. Azlan closed up on Thitipong and passed him cleanly into turn 15 on lap 10. The Thai rider had no answer for the late pace of the BMW and dropped back to finish just short of two seconds behind.

ARRC Rnd Azlan Shah Thitipong Warakorn Race Parc Ferme ARRC Sepang
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and Thitipong Warakorn

Another 5.5 seconds back, Parkes came home in a safe third, seven seconds ahead of Yudhistira who continued an excellent weekend’s work for Victor Racing by taking fourth place from Apiwat. Farid Adrul Hisham was sixth, well clear of the two Access Plus Ducatis of Alberto and Serrapica.

Asian Superbikes – Race 1

  1. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman MAS BMW 23:21.172
  2. Thitipong Warokorn THA KAWASAKI +1.965
  3. Broc Parkes AUS YAMAHA +5.616
  4. Ahmad Yudhistira INA YAMAHA +8.134
  5. Apiwath Wongthananon THA YAMAHA +0.370
  6. Farid Badrul Hisham MAS BMW +6.683
  7. Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto PHI DUCATI +18.899
  8. Jonathan Serrapica SUI DUCATI +29.163
  9. Ratthapong Wilairot THA YAMAHA +21.762

Race 2

Zaqwan Zaidi took full advantage of rain in ASB 1000 Race 2 that neutralised his Asia Dream Honda’s power deficit to take a cleverly earned victory.

Apiwat Wongthananon and Yuki Ito were the boldest riders at the start, getting away as most of the others took their time to acclimatise to the first rain of the 2019 season. Azlan, Thitipong and Parkes were notably judicious in the opening laps.

ARRC Rnd Thitipong Warakorn Kawasaki Thailand ARRC Sepang
Thitipong Warokorn

Zaqwan moved towards the front steadily as the ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW of Farid Badrul Hisham shot past everyone  and took a lead of around four seconds before the wet track overcame his ambition and dumped him into the gravel. Ahmad Yudhistira looked as though he had got the measure of the Victor Racing Yamaha before he too made a horizontal entry to the DNF roster.

Race 1 winner, Azlan Shah, looked unhappy from the start and retired to the pits at half distance. By then, Zaqwan was within striking distance of Ito and Apiwat had faded to fifth, having been passed by Kawasaki Thailand’s Chaiwichit Nisakul and Thitipong. A cautious Broc Parkes was circulating in sixth.

ARRC Rnd Zaqwan Zaidi Thitipong Warakorn Chaiwichit Nisakul ARRC Sepang Race
Md Zaqwan Zaidi leads Warakorn and Nisakul

Zaqwan pulled closer to Ito on Lap 9, passed him cleanly at the end of the tenth lap and made his way towards the horizon. Thitipong passed his team-mate and then on past Ito. Chaiwichit threw away what had been a commendable day’s work moments later by crashing out.

Zaqwan cruised to the win by 3.6 seconds, Thitipong took another second place and Ito held on for third. 20 seconds further back, Apiwat held off Parkes to finish fourth, while a further half lap behind, Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto, Ratthapong Wilairot and Rajini Krishnan were the only other finishers.

ARRC Rnd Zaqwan Zaidi Makoto Tamada Parc Ferme Race ARRC Sepang
Md Zaqhwan Zaidi

Thitipong’s brace of second places give him 40 points and means that he will go to round 2 in Australia as the early championship leader, 13 clear of Parkes and 15 clear of the two race winners, Azlan and Zaqwan.

Asian Superbikes – Race 2

  1. Md Zaqhwan Zaidi MAS HONDA 27:20.147
  2. Thitipong Warokorn THA KAWASAKI +3.559
  3. Yuki Ito JPN YAMAHA +3.654
  4. Apiwath Wongthananon THA YAMAHA +21.238
  5. Broc Parkes AUS YAMAHA +0.784
  6. Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto PHI DUCATI +36.801
  7. Ratthapong Wilairot THA YAMAHA +0.175
  8. K. Rajini Krishnan IND Yamaha +1.470
ARRC Rnd ARRC ASB Podium Race
Asia Superbikes Race 2 Podium – 1) Md Zaqhwan Zaidi, 2) Thitipong Warokorn, 3) Yuki Ito

Asian Superbikes following Round 1

  1. T Warokorn – 40
  2. B Parkes 27
  3. A S Kamaruzaman 25
  4. Md Z Zaidi – 25
  5. A Wongthananon – 24
  6. T Alberto – 19
  7. Y Ito – 16
  8. R Wilairot – 16
  9. A Yudhistira – 13
  10. F B Hisham – 10

Supersport 600 – Round 1

Like other riders on the first day, Yamaha Thailand’s Peerapong Boonlert made the best of cooler conditions in FP1 to post a best time of 2:10.610. That was good enough to keep him clear of a determined group of Malaysian riders who were able to edge closer to the Thai as the day went on.

ARRC Rnd Peerapong Boonlert Yamaha Thailand ARRC Sepang
Peerapong Boonlert

It was SIC Junior Team’s local hero, Adam Norrodin who got closest with 2:10.934 that put him top in FP3. Next best overall was Ramdan Rosli on 2:11.0027, who finished ahead of Azroy Anuar, Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin and the much fancied Helmi Azman, who found himself sixth at the end of the day, just in front of Astra Honda’s Andi Farid Izdihar.

Qualifying

In Supersport 600 qualifying SIC Junior Team’s Adam Norrodin got around Sepang’s full circuit in 2:10.021 to take pole position by 79 hundredths from Peerapong, as the Thai made his first mistake of the campaign with a crash towards the end of the session.  Hong Leong Yamaha’s Kasma Daniel was another 0.213 slower and completed the front row.

ARRC Rnd Helmi Azman Wheelie Race ARRC Sepang
Helmi Azman

Behind them, five hundredths of a second separated Kritchporn Kaewsonthi, Ahmad Afif Amran and Andi Farid Izdihar on the second row. Mushashi Boon Siew Honda’s Azroy Hakeen Anuar and Helmi Azman were joined on row three by Hong Leong’s Ramdan Rosli.

Race 1

Yamaha Thailand’s Peerapong Boonlert showed maturity well beyond his 20 years to win the first race of the season, despite being chased hard for eight out of ten laps by Hong Leong Yamaha’s Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin. Adam Norrodin made it an all Yamaha podium by finishing third.

ARRC Rnd Race Podium ARRC Sepang Copy
Supersport 600 Race 1 Podium 1) Boonlert, 2) Kasmayudin, 3) Norrodin

Peerapong got away well from the middle of the front row, but was out-dragged into turn one on the outside by Kasma Daniel. The Thai rider took the lead under braking first time around at turn 15 and the two blue Yamahas opened up a slight gap to Adam, who found himself having to deal with urgent advances from Andy Farid and Helmi.

Andy highsided out of the contest at half distance and Adam took advantage to open up a gap on Helmi who was being caught by his Musashi Boon Siew stablemate, Azroy.

ARRC Rnd ARRC Pit Walk Sepang
The pits at Sepang, ARRC Round 1

Peerapong kept his head and started to stretch away from the Malaysian on lap eight and began the tenth and final time around with a 1.3 second advantage. With Adam some 3.5 seconds adrift in third, Azroy sensed he could get the better of Helmi and slipped past his team-mate into fourth, a further three seconds back.

Hong Leong Yamaha’s Ramdan Rosli finished sixth from AP Honda’s Kritchaporn , Astra Honda’s Rheza Danica Ahrens, Ahmad Afif Amran and Liam Taylor MacDonald, who was the last of the ten finishers for Victor Racing.

Supersport 600 – Race 1

  1. Peerapong Boonlert THA YAMAHA 21:53.239
  2. Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin MAS YAMAHA +1.255
  3. Muhamad Adam Mohd. Norrodin MAS YAMAHA +3.695
  4. Azroy Hakeem Anuar MAS HONDA +2.272
  5. Md. Helmi Azman MAS HONDA +0.087
  6. Md. Ramdan Rosli MAS YAMAHA +5.187
  7. Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi THA HONDA +2.607
  8. Rheza Danica Ahrens INA HONDA +6.82
  9. Ahmad Afif Amran MAS YAMAHA +0.963
  10. Liam Taylor MacDonald NZL YAMAHA +26.004

Race 2

Yamaha Thailand’s Peerapong Boonlert crowned a week during which he had set the pace for ARRC’s new-look Supersport class during pre-season testing and practice by winning Race 2 with a margin of two seconds. There was plenty to take in behind him, with heated battles for the remaining podium places.

ARRC Rnd Peerapong Boonlert Kasma Daniel SS Race ARRC Sepang
Peerapong Boonlert and Daniel Kasmayudin

Adam Norrodin got away well from pole position to lead into turn one from Kasma Daniel and Peerapong, but ran off and dropped to last place. Hong Leong Yamaha’s Kasma Daniel tried to give chase, but was distracted by pressure from the Hondas of Andi Farid Izdihar and Helmi Azman. Meanwhile Adam commenced his charge back through the field.

By lap eight of ten, Kasma was just ahead of Helmi and Andi, who was coming within range of the recovering Adam. Kasma ran wide at the exit to turn 14, to let all three of them through and Adam went past Helmi into third at the end of lap nine.

ARRC Rnd Peerapong Boonlert SS Race ARRC Sepang
Peerapong Boonlert

Andi held on in second, while Kasma came back to drop Helmi to fifth and then got past Adam at the final corner to finish third. Helmi claimed his second fifth place of the weekend, four seconds clear of Ramdan Rosli and Azroy Hakeem Anuar.

The 50 points Peerapong collected gives him an advantage of 16 over Kasma Daniel to take to Australia at the end of April.

ARRC Rnd Peerapong Boonlert Decha Kraisart Parc Ferme SS ARRC Sepang
Peerapong Boonlert

Supersport 600 – Race 2

  1. Peerapong Boonlert THA YAMAHA 21:57.152
  2. Andi Farid Izdihar INA HONDA +1.986
  3. Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin MAS YAMAHA +0.333
  4. Muhamad Adam Mohd. Norrodin MAS YAMAHA +0.185
  5. Md. Helmi Azman MAS HONDA +0.434
  6. Md. Ramdan Rosli MAS YAMAHA +4.046
  7. Azroy Hakeem Anuar MAS HONDA +0.149
  8. Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi THA HONDA +7.929
  9. Passawit Thitivararak THA HONDA +0.417
  10. Rheza Danica Ahrens INA HONDA +3.915
  11. Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam MAS YAMAHA +8.995
  12. Liam Taylor MacDonald NZL YAMAHA +17.694

Supersport 600 standings following Round 1

  1. P Boonlert – 50
  2. K D Kasmayudin – 36
  3. M Norrod – 29
  4. Md Azman – 22
  5. A Anuar – 22
  6. A Izdihar – 20
  7. Md Rosli – 20
  8. K Kaewsonthi – 17
  9. R Ahrens – 14
  10. L MacDonald – 10

Asia Production 250 – Round 1

Nobody told Astra Honda’s latest prodigy, Lucky Hendriansia, that it’s difficult to race in ARRC’s AP 250 class.  At the start of his first outing in the series, the young Indonesian finished ahead of championship favourites, Andy Fadly and Muklada Sarapuech, as well as his two senior team-mates, Irfan Ardiansyah and Awhin Sanjaya.

ARRC Rnd Lucky Hendriansia Andy Fadly Escape AP ARRC Sepang
Lucky Hendriansia, Andy Fadly

Lucky set his best time of 2:25.530 in the relative cool of the first morning session, just ahead of Irfan, Muklada and Fadly, who later topped FP2 with a time of 2:25.617. The pace of these four was around half a second beyond the chasing pack which was led by Fadly’s Manual Tech KYT team-mate, Aiki Ayoshi, another rider who was making an impressive debut.

Just behind the Japanese was Awhin and, impressively, Sethu Rajiv, who was finding some form at the start of his third season in the class for Idemitsu Honda India. Rajiv was seventh on combined times, ahead of Rey Ratukore, Muzzakir Mohamed and Yamaha Thailand’s Suttipat Patchaeetron.

Qualifying

AP Honda’s Muklada took ownership of 250 qualifying posting a best lap of 2:24.783 to secure pole by 0.105 from Astra Honda’s Irfan Ardiansyah. Andy Fadly qualified third from Awhin Sanjaya, Lucky Hendriansia and Suttiporn Patchaeetron.

Race 1

Astra Honda’s Lucky Hendriansia won his first ever AP 250 race after a fierce battle with Manual Tech KYT’s Andy Fadly. With Muklada Sarapuech breaking down early in the race, the pace of these two was beyond what his team-mates or anyone else out there could manage.

ARRC Rnd Lucky Hendriansia Andy Fadly AP ARRC Sepang
Lucky Hendriansia leads Andy Fadly

Andy Fadly made the best of his outside front row position, pouncing on a mistake by Irfan Ardiansyah to lead out of turn one and maintain his position to the end of the opening lap, chased by Muklada and Irfan.

Lucky Hendriansia moved up and took the lead on lap two as Muklada and the other two Astra Hondas joined Fadly in a group of five that was well clear at the front. Moments later, Muklada’s Honda spluttered as she exited turn 14 and her race was over.

ARRC Rnd Muklada Sarapuech Eyes ARRC Sepang Race
Muklada Sarapuech suffered technical issues in Race 1

The pace of Lucky and Fadly was too much for Irfan and Awhin, who fell back and settled down to contest the third step of the podium, which eventually went to Irfan. A further ten seconds back, Faerozi Toreqotullah, Rey Ratukore, Aiki Iyoshi and Muzzakir Mohamed contested fifth position, finishing in that order.

With nothing between the Honda and the Kawasaki at the front as they started the last lap, the final corner was to prove decisive. Lucky had a wheel in front as they squeezed the brakes and held his line as Fadly tried to go around the outside, only to get out of shape as he found there was no space for him to cut back into. Lucky powered through to the chequered flag to take the win at the first time of asking.

ARRC Rnd Muklada Sarapuech Andy Fadly Lucky Hendriasia AP Race ARRC Sepang
Muklada Sarapuech, Andy Fadly, Lucky Hendriasia

Asia Production 250cc – Race 1

  1. Lucky Hendriansya INA HONDA 19:34.655
  2. Andy Muhammad Fadly INA KAWASAKI +0.184
  3. Irfan Ardiansyah INA HONDA +3.537
  4. Awhin Sanjaya INA HONDA +0.550
  5. Muhammad Faerozi Toreqottullah INA YAMAHA +11.688
  6. Aiki Iyoshi JPN KAWASAKI +0.002
  7. Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratukore INA YAMAHA +0.109
  8. Md Muzakkir Mohamed MAS YAMAHA +0.019
  9. Rafid Topan Sucipto INA HONDA +9.817
  10. Nazirul Izzat Md Bahauddin MAS YAMAHA +0.084

Race 2

AP Honda’s Muklada Sarapuech bounced back from the disappointment of her Race 1 DNF to overcome a determined Andy Fadly and win Race 2.

ARRC Rnd Sepang Pit Lane ARRC
Sepang Pit Lane

Starting from pole position, Muklada slotted in behind Astra Honda’s Lucky Hendriansia and the Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki of Fadly. Just behind them, Astra’s Irfan Ardiansyah crashed at turn one in a four-bike pile-up, while Awhin Sanjaya attempted to hang on to the front three, before falling back.

Some way behind Awhin, Rey Ratukore, Faerozi Toreqotutullah, Suttipat Patchaeetron and Izzat Bahauddin fought over fifth place.

ARRC Rnd Muklada Sarapuech Andy Fadly Chequered Flag Race ARRC Sepang
Muklada Sarapuech crosses the line from Andy Fadly

Fadly began to lose contact with the two Hondas on lap four, but on lap five Lucky ran wide at turn one. He recovered to stay in front of Fadly, who used his fellow Indonesian to tow him back up to within reach of Muklada.

Lucky got in front of the Thai rider on lap six, while Fadly vainly tried some wide, sweeping lines to keep himself in contention for the win. With two laps remaining Lucky got turn 15 wrong to let Muklada and Fadly through and the Thai set her sights on the clear track in front of her.

Fadly fought back and outbreaked Muklada into the last turn, as Lucky crashed out. Despite coming out of the corner behind the Indonesian, Muklada got the best drive and took the win by a wheel.

ARRC Rnd Muklada Sarapuech Makoto Tamada Hug Parc Ferme ARRC Race
Muklada Sarapuech

Awhin claimed third by a whisker from Aiki Iyoshi and Faerozi. Muzzakir was sixth from Izzat Bahauddin. Izam Ihmal was eighth, Angi Setiawan ninth and Cao Vietnam was tenth in front of a remounted Lucky.

Fadly’s 40 points gives him a 10 point lead over Lucky, while Awhin is third on 29.

Asia Production 250cc – Race 2

  1. Muklada Sarapuech THA HONDA 19:36.510
  2. Andy Muhammad Fadly INA KAWASAKI +0.068
  3. Awhin Sanjaya INA HONDA +8.267
  4. Aiki Iyoshi JPN KAWASAKI +0.073
  5. Muhammad Faerozi Toreqottullah INA YAMAHA +0.078
  6. Md Muzakkir Mohamed MAS YAMAHA +2.374
  7. Nazirul Izzat Md Bahauddin MAS YAMAHA +0.129
  8. Muhammad Izam Ikmal MAS KAWASAKI +11.540
  9. Anggi Setiawan INA YAMAHA +2.824
  10. Cao Viet Nam VIE HONDA +6.105
ARRC Rnd AP Race Podium ARRC Sepang
Asia Production Race 2 Podium – 1) Muklada Sarapuech, 2) Andy Muhammad Fadly, 3) Awhin Sanjaya

Asia Production 250cc Standings

  1. A Fadly – 40
  2. L Hendriansya – 30
  3. A Sanjaya – 29
  4. M Sarapuech – 25
  5. A Iyoshi – 23
  6. M Toreqquot – 22
  7. Md Mohamed – 18
  8. R Ardiansyah – 16
  9. N Bahauddin – 15
  10. A Setiawan – 10

Underbone 150 – Round 1

There were 34 machines on track for UB 150 practice and qualifying on Friday, with riders that ranged from wily old hands like Ahmad Fazli Sham and Affendi Rosli to early teenagers like Gun Mie and Travis Hall.

ARRC Rnd UB Leaders Race ARRC Sepang
Underbone 150cc

2017 champion, UMA Racing Malaysia’s Akid Aziz, carried his form through from testing. Despite mechanical problems in FP1, he took back the top slot in the second session with a best lap of 2:32.738, just six hundredths clear of his Filipino UMA counterpart, McKinley Kyle Paz.

Other riders to distinguish themselves included Aldi  Satya Mahandra, Affendi, Fazli Sham, Fernando Masato, Haziq Fairues, Wahyu Aji Trilaksana, Izzat Zaidi and Aiman Azman.

Friday also featured qualifying for the monos, in order to set up Saturday morning’s Superpole showdown for the first 15 places on the starting grid. With the aforementioned riders all featuring on the first page of the timing screens, it was the wily Fazli Sham who came out on top for ONEXOX TKKR SAG, clocking 2:32.984, which was 0.229 faster than Aldi, who was next best.

ARRC Rnd Marshall Sepang ARRC
2019 ARRC Round 1 – Sepang

Wahyu Aji was third ahead of Fernando Masato, Akid and Kyle Paz. SND Factory Racing’s two-times champion, Gupita Kresna, qualified 15th thereby setting himself up to be first away for Superpole. Travis Hall scored a lap of 2:34.474, which missed the cut for Superpole and placed him 28th on the grid.

Qualifying

The whole point of Superpole for the underbone class is to isolate rider and machine performance from the effects of slipstreaming. Akid Aziz showed exactly how to do it with an inch-perfect lap of2:33.216 that was almost six tenths faster than his slipstream assisted qualifying time.

His UMA Yamaha Philippines counterpart, McKinley Kyle Paz was second, more than half a second slower and there was a similar gap back to Yamaha Racing Indonesia’s Aldi Satya Mahendra. Fernando Masato, Fazli Sham and Peerapong Luiboonpeng made up row three.

Race 1

Saturday afternoon’s racing began with a sensory assault by 34 highly tuned, evenly matched, 150 singles. Taking on Malaysia’s best underbone riders on their home turf, popular Filipino, McKinley Kyle Paz, snatched the Race 1 win from under their noses..

ARRC Rnd McKinley Kyle Paz Winner UB ARRC Sepang
Kyle Paz

Akid made a clean start to convert pole into P1, leading a pack of nine bikes that got away from the rest of the field on the opening lap. Kyle Paz took turns in the lead with Peerapong, Masato, Aldi Satya Mahendra Wahyu Nugroho, Affendi and Wawan Wello. Hi Rev SCK’s 13-year-old Japanese rookie, Gun Mie, was also in the group with Haziq Fairues and Fazli Sham.

Akid let Kyle Paz through to the lead on the last lap, but immediately found himself in the clutches of Affendi, Fazli and others. The Filipino got cleanly through the last corner to take the win ahead of Team One for All’s Affendi Rosli, who led a tightly packed chasing group across the line consisting of Akid Aziz, Peerapong Luiboonpeng and Fernando Masato. Fazli crashed on the exit to the last corner and failed to score.

ARRC Rnd McKinley Kyle Paz Look Behind ARRC UB Race Sepang
McKinley Kyle Paz would claim the top UB150 honours overall

Underbone 150cc – Race 1

  1. McKinley Kyle Paz PHI YAMAHA 15:28.658
  2. Md Affendi Rosli MAS YAMAHA +0.212
  3. Md Akid Aziz MAS YAMAHA +0.016
  4. Peerapong Luiboonpeng THA YAMAHA +0.044
  5. Fernando Masato PHI YAMAHA +0.001
  6. Wawan Wello INA HONDA +0.350
  7. Aldi Satya Mahendra INA YAMAHA Racing Indonesia YAMAHA +6.211
  8. Md Haziq Md Fairues MAS YAMAHA +3.261
  9. Md. Amirul Ariff Musa MAS HONDA +0.257
  10. Gun Mie JPN HONDA +5.471
    …11. Travis Hall – DNF

Race 2

It was all smiles in the UMA Yamaha Racing Philippines garage, as they celebrated their second win of the weekend, after Fernando Masata took his turn on the top step of the UB 150 podium after another incident-packed six lap contest.

ARRC Rnd Akid Aziz UB Race ARRC Sepang Copy
Akid Aziz

Aldi Satya Mahendra got the best start to lead for most of lap 1, threatened mostly by Wawan Wello, until he ran wide and dropped back, albeit briefly. Mckinley Kyle Paz, Masato, Akid Aziz, Peerapong Luisboonpeng, Amirul Ariff Musa and a bunch of the usual suspects bumped and weaved their way close behind. Fazli Sham’s unhappy race weekend continued when he pulled into the pits at the end of lap two.

ARRC Rnd ARRC UB Race Action Sepang
ARRC Round 1 – Underbone 150cc Race 2

An attempt by the UMA Philippines duo to break away on lap 3 was foiled by the chasing peloton and, at the end of lap four, there were eight bikes in the leading group. Wawan had another moment when he almost highsided, but he scrambled straight back into contention. A last corner tangle at the end of lap five took out Aldi, leaving the Filipinos, Akid, Peerapong, Haziq Fairues, and Wawan to the final lap fight.

As the went into the final turn, Akid went down and it was Masato who came through to take the win from Ariff Musa, Kyle Paz, Wawan, Peerapong and Haziq.

ARRC Rnd Fernando Masato Chequered Flag UB Race ARRC Sepang
Fernando Masato won the drag over the line

Kyle Paz took 41 points and the championship lead away from Sepang, while Masato is second on 36.

Underbone 150cc – Race 2

  1. Fernando Masato PHI YAMAHA 15:32.583
  2. Md. Amirul Ariff Musa MAS HONDA +0.108
  3. McKinley Kyle Paz PHI YAMAHA +0.017
  4. Wawan Wello INA HONDA +0.635
  5. Peerapong Luiboonpeng THA +3.017
  6. Md Haziq Md Fairues MAS YAMAHA +0.018
  7. Wahyu Aji Trilaksana INA YAMAHA +0.359
  8. Md Affendi Rosli MAS YAMAHA +0.037
  9. Gun Mie JPN HONDA +6.580
  10. Gupita Kresna INA YAMAHA +0.136
  11. Travis Hall AUS HONDA +1.809

Underbone 150cc Standings

  1. M Paz – 41
  2. F Masatao – 36
  3. Md Rosli – 28
  4. Md Musa – 27
  5. P Luiboonpeng – 24
  6. W Wello – 23
  7. Md Fairues – 18
  8. Md Aziz – 16
  9. G Mie – 13
  10. W Trilaksana – 9
    …13. Travis Hall – 5

Asia Road Racing Championship 2019

  • Round 2 – The Bend Motorsport Park – Australia – 25-28 April 2019
  • Round 3 – Chang International Circuit – Thailand – 31 May-2 June 2019
  • Round 4 – Suzuka Circuit – Japan – 28–30 June 2019
  • Round 5 – Korea International Circuit – South – Korea 9–11 Aug 2019
  • Round 6 – Sepang International Circuit – Malaysia – 19–22 Sep 2019
  • Round 7 – Chang International Circuit – Thailand – 29 Nov–1 Dec 2019