Qualifying lap record and Race 1 win for West at Chennai

ARRC Supersport championship leader, Anthony West, topped off a day of hard qualifying and race action by recording the fastest lap ever by a Supersport 600 machine with a well judged victory in Race 1 in Round 4 of the Asia Road Racing Championship. The Asia Production 250 and Underbone 150 classes also saw close fought, hard battles and served up a few surprises.

Supersport 600

Webike Ikazuchi’s Anthony West, on his first visit to Chennai, overcame his rivals in Qualifying with a late, record-breaking lap to claim pole position from the flying MuSASHI Boon Siew Hondas of Tomoyoshi Koyama and Zaqwan Zaidi. Those three were the only riders to break into the 1’40s, while Yamaha Thailand’s Decha Kraisart led row 2 from Astra Honda’s Andi Farid Izdihar and Taiga Hada, for Idemitsu Honda Team India.

With rain clouds spattering big drops of water onto the track, Hada got the hole shot, keeping the lead for most of the first 10 laps and looking determined to record a victory for the home team. Koyama, Zaqwan and West also took brief turns at the front as a group of seven potential winners formed behind the Japanese rider, including young guns, Andi Farid Izdihar, Azroy Anuar and Kasma Danie Kasmayudin jockeyed for position. Decha Kraisart made a good start, but fell back from the leaders before a coming together with Azlan Shah saw them both crash out of the race.

As the race went on the more likely it looked that West would record his third win of the season. He made a decisive move past Hada to get in front on the penultimate lap and pulled away. Zaqwan also got through, though was unable to close the gap on the Australian, leaving Hada to finish third.

After riding most of the race in fifth or sixth position, Andi Farid got past Koyama to take an impressive fourth, while fellow rookie, Azroy, was sixth, just ahead of Kasma Daniel, who had another excellent run for Hong Leong Yamaha, finishing just two seconds behind the winner. Yuki Ito was eleven seconds further back and the best of the rest. Full results here.

Asia Production 250

Rheza Danica Ahrens tightened his grip on the intermediate title by converting another pole position into his fifth win of the season.

The Astra Honda rider was pushed in practice by the Yamahas of Rey Ratukore and Anuparb Sarmoon, who edged Mario Suryo Aji onto the second row, where he was joined by Rafid Topan Sucipto and Anuparb’s Yamaha Thailand team-mate, Peerapong Boonlert.

A determined looking Anuparb took the lead from the start, moving clear of ONEXOX’s Ratukore and Rheza. His charge came to an end on lap two, when his engine let go, leaving him out of contention as he smoked his way back to pit lane. Meanwhile Ratukore pushed his way through to the lead, before being hounded down and passed by the Astra Hondas of Rheza and Mario. Also battling in the leading group were Anggi Setiawan, AP Honda’s debutant, Tatchakorn Busari, Rafid Topan Sucipto, Richard Taroreh and Awhin Sanjaya.

After half distance, Rheza, Mario and Ratukore had broken the tow and moved clear to fight over the rostrum steps. 15-year-old Mario showed little deference to his senior team-mate, holding the lead from Lap 9 until Rheza re-asserted himself with two laps remaining. The two Hondas got clear of Ratukore, crossing the line 12 hundredths of a second apart and eight seconds clear of the ONEXOX rider, who was more than happy to take his team’s first podium finish in the class. Rafid Topan took fourth, after Peerapong crashed on the last lap, while Awhin was fifth and Tatchakorn sixth. Full results here.

Underbone 150cc

2017 Race 1 winner, Fakhrusy Syakirin Rostam won the morning’s Superpole shoot-out for SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda from the three UMA Racing Yamahas of Akid Aziz, Haziq Fairues and Filipino wildcard, McKinley Kyle Paz. Peerapong Luiboonpeng qualified fifth from 14-year-old Australian wildcard, Travis Hall and championship leader, Helmi Azman.

McKinley Kyle Paz launched into the lead from the second row, challenged hard by Fakhrusy, as Haziq, Akid, Helmi, Peerapong, Affendi and Ahmad Fazli Sham kept themselves in contact. As this group broke away from the rest, Kyle Paz and Akid crashed out, leaving five fighting for the win.

Team One for All’s Peerapong improved as the race went on and was able to stay in contact when Fazli and Helmi made a break with two laps remaining. At the chequered flag, it was Team ONEXOX’s Fazli who triumphed by two tenths from Helmi, who was in turn a wheel rim clear of Peerapong, the first Thai rider to climb onto the Underbone podium for several seasons.

Fakhrusy finished fourth from HAziq, Adib, Hall, Izzat, Affendi, Miu Nakahara and Aiman Azman, who completed the list of just ten finishers. Full results here.

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