The great news brought by Asia Road Racing Championship for 2019 is the creation of ASB1000. The main manufacturers pushed very hard for brand new Superbike class to be created and finally ASB1000 will be part of ARRC as well as SuperSports 600cc (whose age limit has been lowered till 25 years), AP250 (a sort of Asian Supersport 300 Championship) and Underbone 150 (“tuned-up” scooters), which have been part of the championship for ages.
ASB1000 is going to become a benchmark in Asia and Oceania, as many manufacturers have already been supporting this class. Clear rules, a single tyre brand (Dunlop, who are preparing specific tyres to defeat the high temperatures found in some A.R.R.C. circuits) and crucial stages in Suzuka and Australia make ASB1000 even more important for the future. Many teams have already confirmed their participation in the first ASB1000 season, including some from SuperSports 600cc.
The first ASB1000 Test took place on 4-5th December 2018 at Buriram’s Chang International Circuit and then some teams confirmed their presence in the inaugural season of the class. Yamaha Thailand, for example, will line up reigning ARRC SuperSports 600cc Champion Ratthapong Wilairot and Anupab Sarmoon, the latter being the fastest at Buriram Test. Kawasaki Thailand will put their trust in Thitipong Warokorn and Chaiwichit Nisakul, while Honda Asia Dream Racing will give a Honda CBR 1000RR Fireblade SP2 to former ARRC SuperSports 600cc Champion Zaqhwan Zaidi. Zaidi couldn’t take part in Buriram Test due to an injury and then he was replaced by Andi Farid Izdihar.
One of the first riders announced for 2019 ASB1000 season is Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, who will ride a BMW S1000RR for ONEXOX TKKR Racing. One more S1000RR machine may be fielded by Glenn Allerton and Next Gen Motorsports, if they find the budget needed to contest both Australian Superbike Championship and ARRC.
One more rider confirmed for the new championship is TJ Alberto. The Filipino spent the past two years racing in Italy and Europe with Motocorsa Racing, but 2019 will see him back in Asia, as he’ll compete in ASB1000 class on the Ducati Panigale V4 R fielded by Access Plus Ducati Philippines.
Translated by Alessandro Palma