Asia Road Racing Championship 2019

Round 7  Report – Chang International Circuit, Thailand

Images by TWMR Photo

The inaugural ASB1000 Superbike season came to a close with an explosive final showdown in Thailand on the weekend.  The seventh and final round featured two Superbike races to decide who would be crowned the first ever FIM Asian ASB1000 champion. The main contenders for the prize were Broc Parkes and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, while Zaqhwan Zaidi still remained an outside chance heading into the Chang International Circuit decider.

Asia Superbike 1000 Race 1

The drama in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship’s premiere class took an unprecedented turn when neither championship leader gained the psychological advantage of a pole position start. Instead, the coveted pole fell into the hands of Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang Zaidi
Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi

A solid start by Zaqhwan placed him nominally in control but he soon lost position to a rapidly charging Apiwat Wongthananon at the end of the first lap. The two riders swapped places at the front until Zaqhwan was able to gain full control on Lap 5.

On the same lap, the title chase was turned on its head when Broc Parkes crashed out at the infamous Buriram last corner. The Australian rider rejoined the race in last place, a minute down from the rest of the group.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang Parkes
Broc Parkes

By Lap 7, Azlan had muscled his way past Thitipong Warokorn and tucked into P3 behind Apiwat. While Broc gamely tried to make up for lost ground, Zaqhwan was riding smooth and steady at the front of the group. The riders looked to be locked in position with Zaqhwan leading Apiwat and Azlan until the last lap when Apiwat crashed out of P2.

Zaqhwan went on to win the race with 20’56.778s. Azlan in second and Thitipong third, to make it a Honda-BMW-Kawasaki podium in Race 1.

Further down the group, Broc kept his title hopes alive when he picked up four points from P12, leaving the Aussie with only a three-point lead into the final race of the season.

Asia Superbike 1000 Race 2

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman began the season as the first rider to win a ASB1000 race in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship and in Thailand he closed the year on a high note with an imperious win to enter the history books as the first Asian Superbike Champion.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang Kamaruzaman
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman

Zaqhwan Zaidi, who still had an outside chance of creating a monumental upset, led the 12-rider grid on pole position. Beside Zaqhwan, the man with the best chance for the title, Azlan Shah lined up on P2 while Broc Parkes, still the championship leader after a disastrous Saturday, was a menacing presence on the second row.

Since the start of the ASB1000 class this season, the Chang International Circuit has turned out to be a happy hunting ground for the BMW. A confident Azlan darted into the lead at the start of the 13-lap race. Azlan was stalked by Zaqhwan in the first lap but a series of quick laps saw Azlan pull ahead by 3.9 seconds by Lap 5. The Malaysian rider then produced a slew of inch-perfect defensive laps to keep his position at the front.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang Parkes
Broc Parkes

Behind Azlan, a bad start by Broc put his final campaign for the title on the back foot. On Lap 6, Broc was fifth on the track, trailing Azlan by a hefty 5.7 seconds, and it was becoming increasingly clear that Broc’s title hopes had evaporated.

Up in front, Azlan was in no mood to mess around. The BMW rider continued to plough through the remaining laps in perfect form until he stormed to his sixth win of the season with a 20’57.034s. Zaqhwan was second across the line, five seconds behind Azlan followed by Thitipong Warokorn in third.

In the final points tally, Azlan picked up his third Asian title with 238 points, adding a Superbike title to his 2013 and 2017 SuperSports 600cc titles. Broc ended the season in second with 225 points and Zaqhwan third with 211 points.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang Kamaruzaman
Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman

However, Broc’s determined racing had done enough to put Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN at the top of the team standings with 244 points. The nine-points Broc collected allowed the Japanese team to deny the ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team from taking yet another team title by three points.

It was a rough weekend for Lachlan Epis with a stone through the radiator causing issues in free practice, before a P10 result in Race 1 where brake fade was a major issue. Race 2 saw an unfortunate end to the season after a flat tyre ended his race prematurely with six laps to go. Epis finished the season with six championship points in 26th.

Lachlan Epis

“Well… that’s a punch in the guts. We’ve worked so hard all weekend and things out of everyone’s control has lead too a somewhat dissatisfying weekend. A stone in the radiator cost us half of FP2 and all of FP3 putting us even more on the back foot than we already were. But the team worked hard through the night to fix the engine and we were able to put in a strong Qualifying considering the lack Laps we had. Unlucky then in race 1 to have major brake fade that caused my team mate to pit and me to drop the group I felt I should be racing with, finishing in P10 thanks to some fallers. In the second race after another long night for the team fixing the brakes we were really competitive racing for P9 with my team mate. That’s where the good news stops however as presumably a stone, decided it wanted to put hole in my tyre thus ending my race with six laps to go. I’ve enjoyed my time in the paddock and with team and I think we’ve shown some good promise even if we couldn’t capitalise on it. Now it’s time to shift gears to the tri series in NZ next weekend. This time on a Suzuki.”

Asia Superbike 1000cc Results

Asia Superbike Race 1

1Md Zaqhwan Zaidi(MAS)HONDA13 laps
2Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman(MAS)BMW0.406
3Thitipong Warokorn(THA)KAWASAKI0.827
4Chaiwichit Nisakul(THA)KAWASAKI13.07
5Yuki Ito(JPN)YAMAHA14.561
6Ratthapong Wilairot(THA)YAMAHA16.993
7Federico Sandi(ITA)DUCATI20.096
8Apiwath Wongthananon(THA)YAMAHA28.486
9Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto(PHI)DUCATI29.471
10Lachlan Epis(AUS)YAMAHA36.012
11Ali Adriansyah Rusmiputro(INA)BMW41.032
12Broc Parkes(AUS)YAMAHA01:28.6

Asia Superbike Race 2

1Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman(MAS)BMW13 laps
2Md Zaqhwan Zaidi(MAS)HON5.175
3Thitipong Warokorn(THA)KAW6.109
4Apiwath Wongthananon(THA)YAM7.779
5Federico Sandi(ITA)DUC12.436
6Chaiwichit Nisakul(THA)KAW12.616
7Broc Parkes(AUS)YAM12.768
8Yuki Ito(JPN)YAM13.285
9Ahmad Yudhistira(INA)YAM24.669
10Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto(PHI)DUC34.472
11Ali Adriansyah Rusmiputro(INA)BMW39.585
Not Classified – Did not Finish
DNFRatthapong Wilairot(THA)YAM8 laps
DNFLachlan Epis(AUS)YAM7 laps

Asia Superbike 1000cc Standings

1Azlan Shah KamaruzamanMAS238
2Broc ParkesAUS225
3Md Zaqhwan ZaidiMAS211
4Apiwat WongthananonTHA161
5Yuki ItoJPN160
6Thitipong WarokornTHA139
7Ratthapong WilairotTHA116
8Ahmad YudhistiraINA83
9Bryan StaringAUS79
10Chaiwichit NisakulTHA79
11Timothy Joseph Cua AlbertoPHI69
12Federico SandiITA40
13Farid Badrul HishamMAS35
14Kazuma TsudaJPN35
15Shinichi NakatomiJPN32
16Ali Andriansyah RusmiputroINA30
17Jonathan SerrapicaSUI27
18Li Zheng PengCHN15
19Bastien MackelsBEL12
20Huang Zi ZhaoCHN12
21Mark AitchisonAUS10
22Shahrulnizam RamliMAS10
23Masahiro ShinjoJPN9
24Yannis ShawAUS8
25K. Rajini KrishnanIND8
26Lachlan EpisAUS6
27Stephanie RedmanAUS4
28Robert Daniel KrugerCAN4
29Koji TeramotoJPN2
30Chen Peng YuanCHN1

SuperSport 600

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang SS Start
SuperSport 600

Adam Norrodin foiled Kasma Daniel Kasmayuddin’s plans for a big finish in the second last SuperSports 600cc race of the season, after Kasma took pole and expressed his wish to gift a double win to the Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia team before he leaves for the Moto2 World Championships in 2020.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang SS Kasmayudin Norrodin
Kasma Daniel Kasmayuddin & Adam Norrodin

Kasma’s pole advantage did not last for long however,  as once the 12-lap race got underway, Peerapong was quick to wrest control at the front of the leading group. The Yamaha Thailand Racing Team rider put up a superb show of defensive racing against Kasma and Adam Norrodin. Despite numerous attempts, the two Malaysians found it almost impossible to overtake the imperious Thai rider. Yet at the same time, Peerapong found it equally impossible to shake the two Malaysians off his tail.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang SS Hakeem Anuar
Azroy Hakeem Anuar

Two laps before the end of the race, Adam began his campaign in earnest by forcing Kasma wide at the last corner to take P2. A lap later, Kasma responded in kind. As the two Malaysians dueled for P2, Peerapong at the front, was given a brief reprieve from the relentless pressure.

However, Peerapong’s smooth riding style suffered a hiccup when he almost locked up his front wheel in the closing corners of the final lap. Sensing an opportunity, Adam put the hammer down on Turn 9 and fought his way into the lead.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang SS Boonlert
Peerapong Boonlert

The SIC Junior ZK Racing Team rider kept the position for the remainder of the race to take the win with 19’58.355s, a magnificent swansong as the SIC Junior ZK Racing Team bows out of the Asian series. Peerapong raced home in second place with Kasma Daniel close behind him in third.

SuperSport 600 Race 2

It may have not worked out in Race 1, however Kasma Daniel Kasmayuddin delivered on his promise of a final gift to team Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia in the final race of the season.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang SS Boonlert
Peerapong Boonlert

The 19-year old traded opening-lap overtakes with polesitter Adam Norrodin before losing the top spot to 2019 SuperSports 600cc champion, Peerapong Boonlert. Having wrapped up the SS600 Asian title the last time out in Sepang, Peerapong was intent on finishing the 2019 season in style.

Behind Peerapong, Kasma was made to sweat over his second place by persistent attacks from Adam. The intensity of their battle narrowed the gap to Peerapong and Kasma managed to pull ahead of Adam on Lap 7.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang SS Helmi Azman
Md Helmi Azman

By Lap 8, Kasma was literally breathing down Peerapong’s neck, 0.2 seconds behind. The Malaysian rider made a successful pass on Lap 9, but Peerapong responded by pushing Kasma down to second on Lap 10.

While Peerapong was preoccupied by Kasma, Adam had arrived to make it a three-way battle. The three riders were neck to neck as they began the final lap of the race. Adam took the lead on Turn 3 but Kasma got onto the inside of Turn 4 and muscled his way into the front. A smart move by Kasma checked Adam’s advances into Turn 12 and Malaysia’s latest Moto2 debutant stormed into the win with 19’53.494s.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang SS Boonlert
Peerapong Boonlert

Adam pipped Peerapong to the finish line in second place while Ahmad Afif Amran completed a solo race in fourth. Astra Honda Racing Team’s Andi Farid Izdihar, was next to see the chequered flag in fifth.

While Peerapong did not manage to create a new championship record by taking the highest number of wins in a season, he did break the three-century point by scoring an even 300 at the top of the championship table. Kasma Daniel cemented his second overall position with 224 points while Adam settled for third with 170 points.

The Yamaha Thailand Racing Team was also confirmed as the team winner with 300 points.

SuperSport 600 Results

SuperSport 600 Race 1

1Muhamad Adam Mohd Norrodin(MAS)YAM12 laps
2Peerapong Boonlert(THA)YAM0.305
3Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin(MAS)YAM0.52
4Ahmad Afif Amran(MAS)YAM9.126
5Passawit Thitivararak(THA)HON11.029
6Andi Farid Izdihar(INA)HON11.087
7Azroy Hakeem Anuar(MAS)HON11.508
8Javier Orellana Malloy(ESP)YAM22.737
9Nazirul Izzat Md Bahaudin(MAS)YAM22.887
10 Md Helmi Azman(MAS)HON22.958
11Liam Taylor MacDonald(NZL)YAM41.663
12Ma Sai(CHN)YAM46.695
13Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam(MAS)YAM46.893
14Rheza Danica Ahrens(INA)HON01:16.5
Not Classified Did not Finish
DNFKritchaporn Kaewsonthi(THA)HON-7 laps

SuperSport 600 Race 2

1Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin(MAS)YAM12 laps
2Muhamad Adam Mohd Norrodin(MAS)YAM0.268
3Peerapong Boonlert(THA)YAM0.425
4Ahmad Afif Amran(MAS)YAM7.643
5Andi Farid Izdihar(INA)HO14.379
6Azroy Hakeem Anuar(MAS)HON14.424
7Passawit Thitivararak(THA)HON15.291
8Javier Orellana Malloy(ESP)YAM15.374
9Md Helmi Azman(MAS)HON29.105
10Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi(THA)HON34.327
11Rheza Danica Ahrens(INA)HONDA41.635
12Nazirul Izzat Md Bahaudin(MAS)YAM44.548
13Ma Sai(CHN)YAM46.065
14Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam(MAS)YAM56.876
Not Classified Did not Finish
DNFLiam Taylor MacDonald(NZL)YAM-4 laps

SuperSport 600 Standings

1Peerapong BoonlertTHA300
2Kasma Daniel KasmayudinMAS224
3Muhamad Adam Mohd NorrodinMAS170
4Azroy Hakeem AnuarMAS125
5Andi Farid IzdiharINA115
6Passawit ThitivararakTHA108
7Md Helmi AzmanMAS105
8Ahmad Afif AmranMAS105
9Md Ramdan RosliMAS90
10Javier Orellana MalloyESP78
11Rheza Danica AhrensINA78
12Kritchaporn KaewsonthiTHA68
13Fakhrusy Syakirin RostamMAS52
14Soichiro MinamimotoJPN41
15Ma SaiCHN36
16Liam Taylor MacDonaldNZL34
17Kyusuke OkudeJPN30
18Md Ibrahim Md NorrodinMAS29
19Yuto SanoJPN23
20Muhammad Izam IkmalMAS20
21Katsuto SanoJPN12
22Nazirul Izzat Md BahaudinMAS11
23Md Akid AzizMAS11
24Sha JuntongCHN9
25Ao Leong FuMAC8
26Chen Hpng YanCHN8
27Kota ArakawaJPN7
28Chen Yuan HangCHN5
29Md Khairul Ikhwan AjisMAS4
30Rei ToshimaJPN1

Asia Production 250

A mere 1000rpm cut handicap in the AP250 class was not going to stop Andy Muhammad Fadly and Irfan Ardiansyah from putting up a fantastic performance in Race 1 at the season final.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang AP field
Asia Production 250

As the 10-lap race flagged off, a brilliant start by Muklada gave her full control of the first lap. As the group swept around the hairpin at Turn 3, Muhammad Faerozi Toreqottullah crashed out, very nearly taking Irfan along with him. The Astra Honda Racing Team rider lost a full five seconds as he narrowly avoided a catastrophic outcome in Race 1, dropping down to P20 at the end of the first lap.

Back in front, Andy Muhammad Fadly was careful to stay within the top group even as Muklada and team mate Piyawat Patoomyos tried to pull ahead on Lap 3. However, the two Thai riders were unable to hold the rest of the riders at bay for long. As of Lap 6, Fadly, Piyawat, Muklada, Rafid Topan, Tatchakorn Buasri, Awhin Sanjaya and Rey Ratukore were still all tangled up in the 7-bike lead group.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang AP Rafid Topan Sucipto
Rafid Topan Sucipto

By this point, Irfan had managed to get himself back into the points, but was still trailing the front runners by a hefty five-seconds. Just when it looked like Irfan’s title hopes are fizzling out, the Astra Honda Racing Team rider began a series of quick laps that halved the gap to 2.3 seconds within the space of two laps.

Irfan caught up to the tail end of the leading group on the final lap which was being led by his team mate Awhin Sanjaya and compatriots Rafid Topan Sucipto and Andy Muhammad Fadly. The three frontrunners, soon lost the lead to an audacious move by Muklada Sarapuech. The AP Honda Racing Team rider led the group into the last corner but ran wide, almost crashing into Awhin Sanjaya.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang AP Muhammad Fadly
Andy Muhammad Fadly

Andy Muhammad Fadly took full advantage of the situation and darted into the inside line and successful held the lead to the finish line. Andy scored his third win of the season with 19’03.763s Awhin Sanjaya recovered from the incident in time to take second place while Muklada claimed third place.

Fadly took a 14-point lead at the top of the championship standings. Irfan Ardiansyah finished fifth to keep his title hopes alive. Awhin Sanjaya, trailing Fadly by 19 points, also has a strong mathematical chance to lift the crown. However, the second rpm equalizer will now also be applied to Awhin for Race 2, leading to a scenario where all three title hunters will be racing on a level playing field.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang AP Podium
Asia Production 250 Race 1 podium

Asia Production Race 2

Andy Muhammad Fadly has once again proven that the Indonesian riders are still in a league of their own in the Asia Production 250cc class. After a phenomenal win on Saturday, Fadly had to finish ahead of rivals Irfan Ardiansyah and Awhin Sanjaya in the final race of the season at the Chang International Circuit to end Kawasaki’s three-year title drought in the AP250 class.

The 10-lap race started with Fadly tucked into the leading group behind a charging Muklada Sarapuech. Muklada, freed from the pressures of a title hunt, was intent on winning the race in front of her home crowd. Three successive quick laps from Muklada saw her pull ahead by 2.6 seconds. But Muklada’s rampage came to a premature end on Lap 4 when mechanical failure forced her out of the race.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang AP Muklada Sarapuech
Muklada Sarapuech

Muklada’s departure left the three title contenders, Irfan, Awhin and Andy in charge of the top 15-rider group. It wasn’t long before Tatchakorn Buasri and Rafid Topan Sucipto decided to try for the leading position.

While the battle raged on to the final lap, Andy was working hard to stay out of trouble. The Kawasaki rider tried to lead into Turn 3 but ran wide and dropped to P5 from P3. Rapidly running out of time, Andy used the superior grunt of his Kawasaki to get back into the lead at Turn 5. The Kawasaki rider led the group up to Turn 11 but was out-braked by Irfan at the entry into Turn 12. While Andy was trying to get his momentum back for a final sprint to the finish line, Rafid Topan ran wide at the apex and bulldozed into Irfan.

As the two riders skidded out onto the sidelines, Mohd Muzakkir Mohamed was quick to sprint to the finish line in first place with Piyawat Patoomyos and wildcard Vorapong Malahuan in tow. Andy was initially sixth across the line.

ARRC Rnd Thailand Chang AP Haziq Zamri
Asia Production 250

However, the Malaysian rider was later penalized for exceeding the track limit at Turn 12. Piyawat Patoomyos was eventually declared the winner of the 10-lap Race 2 with 19’11.373s. Vorapong Malahuan went up to second place and Awhin Sanjaya was third.

Lucky Hendriansya was also penalized for exceeding the track limit. Andy moved up from P6 to P4 on the official timesheets to add 13 more points to this year’s points haul. With 214 points, Andy became the third successive Indonesian to bring home the Asia Production 250cc title.

Irfan and Awhin had to concede the title win to Andy, but Astra Honda Racing Team is still the team to beat in the AP250 class. The Honda team has picked up 274 points out of 14 races and emerged at the top of the team standings, beating Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing by 35 points.

Asia Production 250 Results

Asia Production 250 Race 1 – Top 15

1Andy Muhammad Fadly(INA)KAW10 laps
2Awhin Sanjaya(INA)HON0.226
3Muklada Sarapuech(THA)HON0.214
4Rafid Topan Sucipto(INA)HON0.257
5Irfan Ardiansyah(INA)HON0.444
6Tatchakorn Buasri(THA)HON0.525
7Aiki Iyoshi(JPN)KAW0.645
8Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratukore(INA)YAM1.675
9Lucky Hendriansya(INA)HON2.703
10Cao Viet Nam(VIE)HON4.451
11Shahrol Syazras Shahrol Yuzy(MAS)HON12.182
12Md Muzakkir Mohamed(MAS)YAM12.231
13Vorapong Malahuan(THA)YAM12.422
14Sethu Rajiv(IND)HON12.658
15Sawapol Nillapong(THA)YAM12.872

Asia Production 250 Race 2 – Top 15

1Piyawat Patoomyos(THA)HON10 laps
2Vorapong Malahuan(THA)YAM0.183
3Awhin Sanjaya(INA)HON0.254
4Andy Muhammad Fadly(INA)KAW0.347
5Tatchakorn Buasri(THA)HON0.646
6Md Muzakkir Mohamed(MAS)YAM10 laps
7Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratukore(INA)YAM1.486
8Shahrol Syazras Shahrol Yuzy(MAS)HON1.656
9Suttipat Patchaeetron(THA)YAM1.736
10Lucky Hendriansya(INA)HON0.298
11Rafid Topan Sucipto(INA)HON2.165
12Muhammad Faerozi Toreqottullah(INA)YAM0.584
13Sawapol Nillapong(THA)YAM21.1
14Md. Harith Haziq Zamri(MAS)KAW38.284
15Hikari Okubo(JPN)TVS38.486

Asia Production 250 Standings – Top 15

1Andy Muhammad FadlyINA214
2Awhin SanjayaINA198
3Irfan ArdiansyahINA187
4Muklada SarapuechTHA143
5Lucky HendriansyaINA133
6Reynaldo Christiano RatukoreINA126
7Tatchakorn BuasriTHA118
8Rafid TopanINA112
9Piyawat PatoomyosTHA108
10Aiki IyoshiJPN104
11Muhammad Faerozy ToreqqotullahINA86
12Md Muzakkir MohamedMAS75
13Nazirul Izzat Mohd BahauddinMAS52
14Cao Viet NamVIE50
15Anggi SetiawanINA44

Underbone 150

As the 31 riders assembled on the congested grid for the start of Race 1, a clean start brought polesitter Haziq into the lead at Turn 1 with the rest of the grid in hot pursuit. The intensity of the title chase had ramped up the action in the Underbone 150cc Race 1. At the end of the first lap, the top 11 riders came across the finish line within the same second.

Unfortunately for championship leader Mohd Akid Aziz, mechanical failure forced him out of the race on Lap 2. More carnage ensued on the same lap when Mohammad Murobbil Vitoni, Syahrul Amin, Richard Taroreh and Muhamad Iqbal Abdul Malek got involved in a big pile-up at Turn 4. Thankfully, all the riders were able to walk away from the crash.

Seasoned campaigner Ahmad Fazli Sham used every bit of skill in his arsenal to lead the group across the finish line for most of the eight-lap race. Three laps to go, Fazli continued to mix things up at the front, championship hopeful McKinley Kyle Paz was meanwhile tucked into the front group on P6.

McKinley’s team mate Fernando Masato sprung a surprise on the last lap when he stormed past Fazli and into the lead. The Filipino rider held on to his advantage for two more corners but lost the lead to Fazli as they exited Turn 3. Team tactics came into play at this point when the ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team riders bunched up together to squeeze Masato out of the front. Fazli got onto the lead with the aid of their slipstream.

Another crash at the same corner gave Fazli the space he needed to pull ahead of the group. The Malaysian rider kept his momentum for the rest of the final lap and notched his second win of the season. Wahyu Aji Trilaksana made it a ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team 1-2 when he crossed the line in second place. Fernando Masato settled for third place.

McKinley Kyle Paz took control of the title chase when he finished tenth in Race 1. McKinley leading Akid by only two-points. The Underbone 150 title chase now down to five riders including Haziq Fairues, Ahmad Fazli Sham and Aldi Satya Mahendra ahead of the final race on Sunday.

Underbone 150 Race 2

McKinley Kyle Paz was disappointed not to qualify on the front row but in the Underbone class, the UMA Racing Yamaha Philippine Team rider knew that grid position is not everything. The 18-year-old, who was one of five riders still in the running for the 2019 title, knew that all he had to do was hunker down within the front group and bide his time for a last lap, last corner attack.

However, in the sheer unpredictability that is so characteristic of Underbone racing, pre-drawn plans and strategy went flying out the window the moment the 8-lap race was flagged off. Haziq Fairues and Akid Aziz were among the early leaders at the start of Race 2. At the end of Lap 1, 28 out of 31 were still bunched up in one big group, attacking the corners six abreast.

The first title contender to drop out of the race was Aldi Satya Mahendra. Aldi crashed out of the last turn along with Mohd Rozaiman Said. Haziq Fairues was very nearly swept along by the incident and lost eight positions to drop down to the back of the group.

On Lap 4, championship leader Akid Aziz retired from the race, his title hunt derailed again by mechanical failure. This left 20 riders in the leading charge, among them, McKinley Kyle Paz, Ahmad Fazli Sham, and Haziq Fairues.

McKinley’s bid for the title faltered when he crashed in the mid-section of the 4.554km circuit. Refusing to give up, the young Filipino rider was back on his bike in a flash even though he had lost touch with the front pack.

The leading group had not shrunk noticeably by the final lap. With the notorious Buriram Turn 12 looming, Ahmad Fazli Sham began to slipstream his way past Richie Taroreh, Mohd Izzat Zaidi and Wawan Wello. The seasoned campaigner was all set to take control of the final corner until he got skittled by Syahrul Amin.

Mohd Izzat Zaidi led the group across the finish line but was later penalised for exceeding the track limit at the last corner. Izzat’s penalty handed the win to Richie Taroreh who claimed his first win of the season with 16’23.670s. Wawan Wello and Wahyu Aji Trilaksana made it an all-Indonesian clean sweep in the Underbone 150 Race 2.

15 seconds behind, McKinley Kyle Paz finished just outside of the points in 16th place. Clueless about what had happened in front of him, the disappointed young rider had no idea that his title contenders had been taken out one by one in the intensity of the race. It was only when he returned, dejected, to the pits that he found out he had officially entered the history books as the first Filipino rider to become the FIM Asian Underbone 150cc champion with 121 points to his name.

Akid Aziz, despite two DNF finishes in the final round, stayed in second overall with 119 points while his team mate Haziq Fairues closed the season in third with 113 points.

While the UMA Racing Yamaha riders were busy celebrating their personal achievements, the ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team had quietly triumphed over UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team in the UB150 Team Awards.

Thanks to Wahyu’s steady performance, the Malaysian-based team won the team award by 190 points. UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team dropped to second with 178 points while UMA Racing Yamaha Philippine Team was ranked third with 139 points.

Underbone 150 Results

Underbone 150 Race 1 – Top 15

1Ahmad Fazli Sham(MAS)YAM8 laps
2Wahyu Aji Trilaksana(INA)YAM0.425
3Fernando Masato(PHI)YAM0.515
4Md Hafiza Rofa(MAS)YAM0.52
5Aldi Satya(INA)YAM0.563
6McKinley Kyle Paz(PHI)YAM0.671
7Md Haziq Md Fairues(MAS)YAM0.674
8Md Amirul Ariff Musa(MAS)HON0.871
9Rozaiman Md Said(MAS)YAM0.89
10Wahyu Nugroho(INA)YAM1.199
11Md Faiz Zekri Sabri(MAS)YAM1.292
12Aditya Fauzi(INA)YAM1.413
13Md Affendi Rosli(MAS)YAM1.592
14Md Adib Rosley(MAS)YAM1.986
15Nurjabad Fahnisyar(INA)YAM1.991

Underbone 150 Race 2 – Top 15

1Richard Richie Taroreh(INA)YAM8 laps
2Wawan Wello(INA)HON0.026
3Wahyu Aji Trilaksana(INA)YAM0.028
4Md Fitri Ashraff Razali(MAS)YAM0.219
5Md Affendi Rosli(MAS)YAM0.305
6Izzat Zaidi(MAS)YAM8 laps
7Faiz Zekri Sabri(MAS)YAM0.67
8Rizal Ferayadi(INA)HON0.826
9Mohammad Murobbil Vitoni(INA)YAM1.101
10Md Haziq Md Fairues(MAS)YAM0.102
11Md Adib Rosley(MAS)YAM1.931
12Muhamad Iqbal Abdul Malek(MAS)YAM5.052
13Wahyu Nugroho(INA)YAM0.445
14Md Amirul Ariff Musa(MAS)HON8.833
15Rozaiman Md Said(MAS)YAM14.99

Underbone 150 Standings – Top 15

1McKinley Kyle PazPHI121
2Md Akid AzizMAS119
3Md Haziq Md FairuesMAS113
4Wahyu Aji TrilaksanaINA110
5Ahmad Fazli ShamMAS106
6Aldi Satya MahendraINA96
7Wawan WelloINA94
8Fernando MasatoPHI93
9Richard Richie TarorehINA78
10Md Affendi RosliMAS72
11Peerapong LuiboonpengTHA71
12Wahyu NugrohoINA69
13Md Amirul Ariff MusaMAS65
14Md Faiz Zekri SabriMAS60
15Rozaiman Md SaidMAS54
…31Travis HallAUS5