The final day of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) official tyre test came to a close yesterday evening at the Chang International Circuit.
25-year-old Yamaha Thailand ace Anupab Sarmoon knocked Kawasaki’s Thitipong Warokorn out of top spot in the penultimate session on Wednesday afternoon with a 1m36.003.
Glenn Allerton improved his pace markedly to end the two-day test fifth quickest on 1m36.713.
The hot Thailand conditions were once again hard to deal with, Allerton finding the temperature and humidity so oppressive and physically draining, that his stints were not as long as otherwise he would have preferred.
“To end up as close as we did to the fastest time was good work by everyone and a credit to them.”
Allerton’s goal for test was to produce a 1m36s lap time around the 4.554km circuit, which he was happy to achieve, but the 37-year-old also suffered a low-side crash at turn eight.
“I managed to pick the bike up and get it back to the pits and the guys got the bike fixed. I was back on track in the same session and we went faster again in that same session, when we managed to produce a 1min37.227 on our thirteenth and final lap of that session.”
Wednesday also saw the team eliminate the braking issues which Allerton suffered on the opening day of testing.
“The team did a fantastic job to dial out the issues we had on Tuesday, which made my job so much easier. This was proven by the stopwatch.”
The primary task for Allerton in making the Thai trip was to familiariase himself with the Chang International Circuit, and secondly, to help test the tyres being evaluated by Dunlop that will be used in the new FIM Asia Road Racing Championship ASB1000 Superbike category that will debut in 2019.
Previously the premier category for the ARRC was 600cc Supersport, but with the increasing importance of road racing throughout Asia, to both Dorna and motorcycle manufacturers, organisers have chosen 2019 as the ripe moment to add a full litre sportsbike class to the series.
The 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship will feature four main classes – the ASB1000 (Asia Superbike), SuperSports 600cc, Asia Production 250cc, and the Underbone 150cc.
With the FIM AARC again adding an Australian round to their 2019 calendar, it made the moment ripe for Australian Superbike competitors to investigate joining the burgeoning series.
Of course, it is a massive financial commitment in order to try and compete successfully across both the ASBK and ARRC Championships, as such Next Gen Motorsports are open to potential partnerships which would be keen to join a growing Superbike team.
“It was good fun and I’m really excited for what the future holds for both myself and the team. I was really amazed by the level of competition amongst the ASB1000 riders. They were all super-fast and I can’t wait to be able to race against them in 2019.”
The next time Next Gen Motorsports team will be on track in Asia will be for the official test at the Sepang International Circuit on 5-6 March, ahead of the curtain raiser round, which is scheduled for 8-10 March.
South Australia’s The Bend Motorsport Park will host ARRC round two on the Anzac Day long weekend.
2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Calendar
Official Test – Sepang – March 5–6
Round 1 – Sepang – March 8–10
Round 2 – The Bend Motorsport Park – April 25–28
Round 3 – Chang International Circuit – May 31–Jun 2
Round 4 – Suzuka – June 28–30
Round 5 – Korea International Circuit – Aug 9–11
Round 6 – Sepang – Sept’ 19–22
Round 7 – Chang International Circuit – Nov 29–Dec 1
FIM ARRC ASB 1000 Test Times
Anupad Sarmoon Yamaha Thailand 1:36.003
Thitipong Warokorn Kawasaki Thailand 1:36.167
Andi Farid Izdihar Honda Asia Dream Racing 1:36.329
Chaiwichit Nisakul Kawasaki Thailand 1:36.460
Glenn Allerton NextGen BMW S 1000RR 1:36.713
Ratthapong Wilairot Yamaha Thailand 1’36.774
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman ONEXO X TKKR 1:37.060
TJ Alberto Access Plus Ducati Philippines 1’37.246
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