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ARRC celebrated its return to Zhuhai International Circuit for 2019 round five by putting on a memorable and, at times, heart-stopping show for a big crowd that braved blazing air temperatures of 33 degrees. The riders, in addition, had to deal with track temperatures in the 60s.
ASB 1000: Faultless Zaqhwan out of reach in race one
Honda Asia Dream Racing by Showa’s Zaqhwan Zaidi treated us to a masterclass on how to win a race from the front.
After qualifying second to Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN’s Broc Parkes and with the ONEXOX TKKR SAG BMW of Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman to his outside, Zaqhwan got away cleanly at the start of the 13-lap race, while Parkes was slow off the line and got passed by Yuki Ito, Thitipong Warakorn, Azlan and Apiwat Wongthananon.
Ito stuck close to the leader in the early laps, but found himself increasingly under pressure from Thitipong Warakorn, who looked as strong as ever on his comeback from a career threatening injury and Azlan, who low-sided out of proceedings on lap seven. Just behind them, Parkes kept the pressure on Apiwat before moving through to fourth and tried to catch the front three.
Zaqhwan stretched his advantage at the front to around a second by mid-distance as Ito and Thitipong tussled over second. Another sequence of quick laps saw Zaqhwan open up the gap to 1.7 seconds. Parkes kept the three riders in front of him in his sights and got clear of Apiwat, but was unable to get close enough to pass Thitipong and settled for fourth, 2.35 seconds behind the winner.
Azlan’s mistake means that Zaqhwan moves into second in the standings, 23 points behind Parkes, who is now on 166. Azlan stays on 123 in third, while Ito moves up to fourth on 115.
Adam Norrodin snatches victory in Supersport thriller
Supersport 600 delivered the best race of the season with a race that seemed to signal that Peerapong Boonlert’s run of total dominance is at an end. The championship leader was put on a formidable display, but Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin, Adam Norrodin and, for a while, Ramdan Rosli delivered a clear message that the Thai rider can be matched and even beaten.
Kasma made the most of his pole position and looked like race one would be his. Peerapong stayed close and got in front briefly, while Ramdan stayed in the hunt on the ONEXOX TKKR SAG Yamaha. Adam Norrodin and Andi Farid Izdihar, on the best of the Hondas, disputed fourth place a few bike lengths further back.
The race changed shape after Ramdan stopped when his chain came off and Andi crashed. Adam caught up with the fight between Peerapong and Kasma and even surprised Kasma by taking the lead. The last two laps were breathtaking, as the lead changed hands between all three riders. One the final lap it came down to Kasma and Adam, who positioned himself perfectly for the final turn, getting inside Kasma at the exit and took the win by half a wheel. Peerapong was just a tenth behind. Ahmad Afif Amran had a another good race to finish fourth, seven seconds further back, who was almost ten seconds clear of Helmi Azman on the Musashi Boon Siew Honda. AP Honda’s Passawit Thitiwararak was sixth from Sha Juntong, the first wildcard home. Victor Racing’s Javier Orellana Malloy was eighth from Ma Sai and Rheza Danica Ahrens, who completed the top ten.
Peerapong’s third place today raises his points tally to 207, 89 clear of Kasma, on 118, while Adam is now third on 105.
Asia Production 250: First win for Rafid in race one.
Having taken pole position during the morning’s qualifying session, Rafid Topan Sucipto, on his second outing on the Bike Corner SYS KYT Honda, took a well judged victory in race one, which saw the first nine bikes cross the line within two seconds.
The 25-year-old Indonesian was hounded all the way by the three Astra Hondas of Awhin Sanjaya, Irfan Adriansiah and Lucky Hendriansyah, as well as by championship leader, Andy Fadly, Muklada Sarapuech and, for a while by ONEXOX TKKR SAG’s Rey Ratukore.
Never dropping below fourth position, Rafid grabbed and held the racing line through the final turn to win by just two hundredths from Awhin, with Irfan and Lucky just behind in third and fourth. Fadly lost touch with the leading Hondas in the later stages of the race and settled for fifth place, half a second ahead of Muklada, who is nursing a foot injury. Piyawat Patoomyos, Rey Ratukore, Tatchakorn Buasri and Nazirul Izzat Bahauddin completed the top ten.
Fadly retains the championship lead with 138 points, from Awhin’s 124, Irfan’s 120 and Muklada’s 107.
Underbone 150: Kyle Paz leads Philippine one-two to take championship lead
UMA Racing Yamaha Philippines’ McKinley Kyle Paz took his second win of 2019 in a thrilling race one that saw him lead team-mate, Fernando Masato, across the finish line by the narrowest of margins. Teenage sensation, Satya Aldi Mahendra followed up his win in Suzuka by finishing third after leading much of the race and showing that, at 13, he already has plenty of tactical savvy. He had earlier taken pole position on the morning’s superpole contest.
The first seven of eight laps were relatively incident free, but, with up to 20 riders in the leading group, the inevitable attrition came to pass on the final lap. Wawan Wello, who had looked like a potential winner, high-sided out in a nasty looking crash, while Gupita Kresna and Akid Aziz found themselves forced to slow down and lose places when they get caught in other people’s crashes. Haziq Fairues was fourth, leading home Wahyu Nugroho, Ahmad Fazli Sham, Richard Taroreh and Agung Fachrul. None of the fallers were injured.
Kyle Paz’s win and Wawan’s DNF mean that Paz jumps to the top of the standings with 84 points. Wawan, on 71, drops to second, Akid is third on 66 and Masato moves up to fourth on 62.