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

Pos. Rider Nat. Man. Gap
1 Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (MAS) HONDA 13 laps
2 Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS) BMW 0.406
3 Thitipong Warokorn (THA) KAWASAKI 0.827
4 Chaiwichit Nisakul (THA) KAWASAKI 13.07
5 Yuki Ito (JPN) YAMAHA 14.561
6 Ratthapong Wilairot (THA) YAMAHA 16.993
7 Federico Sandi (ITA) DUCATI 20.096
8 Apiwath Wongthananon (THA) YAMAHA 28.486
9 Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto (PHI) DUCATI 29.471
10 Lachlan Epis (AUS) YAMAHA 36.012
11 Ali Adriansyah Rusmiputro (INA) BMW 41.032
12 Broc Parkes (AUS) YAMAHA 01:28.6

Asia Superbike Race 2

Pos. Rider Nat. Man. Gap
1 Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS) BMW 13 laps
2 Md Zaqhwan Zaidi (MAS) HON 5.175
3 Thitipong Warokorn (THA) KAW 6.109
4 Apiwath Wongthananon (THA) YAM 7.779
5 Federico Sandi (ITA) DUC 12.436
6 Chaiwichit Nisakul (THA) KAW 12.616
7 Broc Parkes (AUS) YAM 12.768
8 Yuki Ito (JPN) YAM 13.285
9 Ahmad Yudhistira (INA) YAM 24.669
10 Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto (PHI) DUC 34.472
11 Ali Adriansyah Rusmiputro (INA) BMW 39.585
Not Classified – Did not Finish
DNF Ratthapong Wilairot (THA) YAM 8 laps
DNF Lachlan Epis (AUS) YAM 7 laps

Asia Superbike 1000cc Standings

Pos. Rider Nat. Points
1 Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman MAS 238
2 Broc Parkes AUS 225
3 Md Zaqhwan Zaidi MAS 211
4 Apiwat Wongthananon THA 161
5 Yuki Ito JPN 160
6 Thitipong Warokorn THA 139
7 Ratthapong Wilairot THA 116
8 Ahmad Yudhistira INA 83
9 Bryan Staring AUS 79
10 Chaiwichit Nisakul THA 79
11 Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto PHI 69
12 Federico Sandi ITA 40
13 Farid Badrul Hisham MAS 35
14 Kazuma Tsuda JPN 35
15 Shinichi Nakatomi JPN 32
16 Ali Andriansyah Rusmiputro INA 30
17 Jonathan Serrapica SUI 27
18 Li Zheng Peng CHN 15
19 Bastien Mackels BEL 12
20 Huang Zi Zhao CHN 12
21 Mark Aitchison AUS 10
22 Shahrulnizam Ramli MAS 10
23 Masahiro Shinjo JPN 9
24 Yannis Shaw AUS 8
25 K. Rajini Krishnan IND 8
26 Lachlan Epis AUS 6
27 Stephanie Redman AUS 4
28 Robert Daniel Kruger CAN 4
29 Koji Teramoto JPN 2
30 Chen Peng Yuan CHN 1

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

Pos. Rider Nat. Man. Gap
1 Muhamad Adam Mohd Norrodin (MAS) YAM 12 laps
2 Peerapong Boonlert (THA) YAM 0.305
3 Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin (MAS) YAM 0.52
4 Ahmad Afif Amran (MAS) YAM 9.126
5 Passawit Thitivararak (THA) HON 11.029
6 Andi Farid Izdihar (INA) HON 11.087
7 Azroy Hakeem Anuar (MAS) HON 11.508
8 Javier Orellana Malloy (ESP) YAM 22.737
9 Nazirul Izzat Md Bahaudin (MAS) YAM 22.887
10  Md Helmi Azman (MAS) HON 22.958
11 Liam Taylor MacDonald (NZL) YAM 41.663
12 Ma Sai (CHN) YAM 46.695
13 Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam (MAS) YAM 46.893
14 Rheza Danica Ahrens (INA) HON 01:16.5
Not Classified Did not Finish
DNF Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi (THA) HON -7 laps

SuperSport 600 Race 2

Pos. Rider Nat. Man. Gap
1 Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin (MAS) YAM 12 laps
2 Muhamad Adam Mohd Norrodin (MAS) YAM 0.268
3 Peerapong Boonlert (THA) YAM 0.425
4 Ahmad Afif Amran (MAS) YAM 7.643
5 Andi Farid Izdihar (INA) HO 14.379
6 Azroy Hakeem Anuar (MAS) HON 14.424
7 Passawit Thitivararak (THA) HON 15.291
8 Javier Orellana Malloy (ESP) YAM 15.374
9 Md Helmi Azman (MAS) HON 29.105
10 Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi (THA) HON 34.327
11 Rheza Danica Ahrens (INA) HONDA 41.635
12 Nazirul Izzat Md Bahaudin (MAS) YAM 44.548
13 Ma Sai (CHN) YAM 46.065
14 Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam (MAS) YAM 56.876
Not Classified Did not Finish
DNF Liam Taylor MacDonald (NZL) YAM -4 laps

SuperSport 600 Standings

Pos. Rider Nat. Points
1 Peerapong Boonlert THA 300
2 Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin MAS 224
3 Muhamad Adam Mohd Norrodin MAS 170
4 Azroy Hakeem Anuar MAS 125
5 Andi Farid Izdihar INA 115
6 Passawit Thitivararak THA 108
7 Md Helmi Azman MAS 105
8 Ahmad Afif Amran MAS 105
9 Md Ramdan Rosli MAS 90
10 Javier Orellana Malloy ESP 78
11 Rheza Danica Ahrens INA 78
12 Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi THA 68
13 Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam MAS 52
14 Soichiro Minamimoto JPN 41
15 Ma Sai CHN 36
16 Liam Taylor MacDonald NZL 34
17 Kyusuke Okude JPN 30
18 Md Ibrahim Md Norrodin MAS 29
19 Yuto Sano JPN 23
20 Muhammad Izam Ikmal MAS 20
21 Katsuto Sano JPN 12
22 Nazirul Izzat Md Bahaudin MAS 11
23 Md Akid Aziz MAS 11
24 Sha Juntong CHN 9
25 Ao Leong Fu MAC 8
26 Chen Hpng Yan CHN 8
27 Kota Arakawa JPN 7
28 Chen Yuan Hang CHN 5
29 Md Khairul Ikhwan Ajis MAS 4
30 Rei Toshima JPN 1

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

Pos. Rider Nat. Man. Gap
1 Andy Muhammad Fadly (INA) KAW 10 laps
2 Awhin Sanjaya (INA) HON 0.226
3 Muklada Sarapuech (THA) HON 0.214
4 Rafid Topan Sucipto (INA) HON 0.257
5 Irfan Ardiansyah (INA) HON 0.444
6 Tatchakorn Buasri (THA) HON 0.525
7 Aiki Iyoshi (JPN) KAW 0.645
8 Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratukore (INA) YAM 1.675
9 Lucky Hendriansya (INA) HON 2.703
10 Cao Viet Nam (VIE) HON 4.451
11 Shahrol Syazras Shahrol Yuzy (MAS) HON 12.182
12 Md Muzakkir Mohamed (MAS) YAM 12.231
13 Vorapong Malahuan (THA) YAM 12.422
14 Sethu Rajiv (IND) HON 12.658
15 Sawapol Nillapong (THA) YAM 12.872

Asia Production 250 Race 2 – Top 15

Pos. Rider Nat. Man. Gap
1 Piyawat Patoomyos (THA) HON 10 laps
2 Vorapong Malahuan (THA) YAM 0.183
3 Awhin Sanjaya (INA) HON 0.254
4 Andy Muhammad Fadly (INA) KAW 0.347
5 Tatchakorn Buasri (THA) HON 0.646
6 Md Muzakkir Mohamed (MAS) YAM 10 laps
7 Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratukore (INA) YAM 1.486
8 Shahrol Syazras Shahrol Yuzy (MAS) HON 1.656
9 Suttipat Patchaeetron (THA) YAM 1.736
10 Lucky Hendriansya (INA) HON 0.298
11 Rafid Topan Sucipto (INA) HON 2.165
12 Muhammad Faerozi Toreqottullah (INA) YAM 0.584
13 Sawapol Nillapong (THA) YAM 21.1
14 Md. Harith Haziq Zamri (MAS) KAW 38.284
15 Hikari Okubo (JPN) TVS 38.486

Asia Production 250 Standings – Top 15

Pos. Rider Nat. Points
1 Andy Muhammad Fadly INA 214
2 Awhin Sanjaya INA 198
3 Irfan Ardiansyah INA 187
4 Muklada Sarapuech THA 143
5 Lucky Hendriansya INA 133
6 Reynaldo Christiano Ratukore INA 126
7 Tatchakorn Buasri THA 118
8 Rafid Topan INA 112
9 Piyawat Patoomyos THA 108
10 Aiki Iyoshi JPN 104
11 Muhammad Faerozy Toreqqotullah INA 86
12 Md Muzakkir Mohamed MAS 75
13 Nazirul Izzat Mohd Bahauddin MAS 52
14 Cao Viet Nam VIE 50
15 Anggi Setiawan INA 44

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

Pos. Rider Nat. Man. Gap
1 Ahmad Fazli Sham (MAS) YAM 8 laps
2 Wahyu Aji Trilaksana (INA) YAM 0.425
3 Fernando Masato (PHI) YAM 0.515
4 Md Hafiza Rofa (MAS) YAM 0.52
5 Aldi Satya (INA) YAM 0.563
6 McKinley Kyle Paz (PHI) YAM 0.671
7 Md Haziq Md Fairues (MAS) YAM 0.674
8 Md Amirul Ariff Musa (MAS) HON 0.871
9 Rozaiman Md Said (MAS) YAM 0.89
10 Wahyu Nugroho (INA) YAM 1.199
11 Md Faiz Zekri Sabri (MAS) YAM 1.292
12 Aditya Fauzi (INA) YAM 1.413
13 Md Affendi Rosli (MAS) YAM 1.592
14 Md Adib Rosley (MAS) YAM 1.986
15 Nurjabad Fahnisyar (INA) YAM 1.991

Underbone 150 Race 2 – Top 15

Pos. Rider Nat. Man. Gap
1 Richard Richie Taroreh (INA) YAM 8 laps
2 Wawan Wello (INA) HON 0.026
3 Wahyu Aji Trilaksana (INA) YAM 0.028
4 Md Fitri Ashraff Razali (MAS) YAM 0.219
5 Md Affendi Rosli (MAS) YAM 0.305
6 Izzat Zaidi (MAS) YAM 8 laps
7 Faiz Zekri Sabri (MAS) YAM 0.67
8 Rizal Ferayadi (INA) HON 0.826
9 Mohammad Murobbil Vitoni (INA) YAM 1.101
10 Md Haziq Md Fairues (MAS) YAM 0.102
11 Md Adib Rosley (MAS) YAM 1.931
12 Muhamad Iqbal Abdul Malek (MAS) YAM 5.052
13 Wahyu Nugroho (INA) YAM 0.445
14 Md Amirul Ariff Musa (MAS) HON 8.833
15 Rozaiman Md Said (MAS) YAM 14.99

Underbone 150 Standings – Top 15

Pos. Rider Nat. Points
1 McKinley Kyle Paz PHI 121
2 Md Akid Aziz MAS 119
3 Md Haziq Md Fairues MAS 113
4 Wahyu Aji Trilaksana INA 110
5 Ahmad Fazli Sham MAS 106
6 Aldi Satya Mahendra INA 96
7 Wawan Wello INA 94
8 Fernando Masato PHI 93
9 Richard Richie Taroreh INA 78
10 Md Affendi Rosli MAS 72
11 Peerapong Luiboonpeng THA 71
12 Wahyu Nugroho INA 69
13 Md Amirul Ariff Musa MAS 65
14 Md Faiz Zekri Sabri MAS 60
15 Rozaiman Md Said MAS 54
…31 Travis Hall AUS 5