There is nothing more exhilarating than a good battle among contenders in a bid to be the best. It was exactly that among the SuperSports 600cc riders as they went for the jugular in their attempt to make the right cut in Race 1 of Round 5, FIM Asia Road Racing Championship held at Zhuhai International Circuit. Azroy Hakeem Anuar of Boon Siew Honda Racing Team made a fiery finish to claim victory.

During the qualifying sessions earlier today, the riders took a notch up to fight for the front row. But the trio who made it were teammates Helmi Azman and Azroy Hakeem of Boon Siew Honda Racing Team at the pole position and second spot on the grid with their fastest lap time at 1’36:751s and 1’36:858s as well as Adenanta Putra of ASTRA HONDA RACING TEAM who made it at the third spot on the grid when he scored 1’36:893s.

Helmi was off to a fantastic start, immediately taking lead at turn one followed by Soichiro at P2 and Azroy at P3. Adenanta who started off at P3 dropped one position down into P4 whereas, Khairul who started at P10 worked his way into P5. While the trio ahead kept their distance from the troop behind, Khairul charmed his way into P4. Adenanta was not about to give up as he furiously chased Khairul. Meanwhile, Yamaha rider, Soichiro moved ahead of the Helmi into P1 but lost his pace to Helmi at the end of lap 3. Into lap 4, Azroy went on to take charge.

By mid-race, Khairul was close to the trio ahead of him. Azroy took lead and his teammate, Helmi exchanged positions with Soichiro. Khairul was waiting to strike. Just as the battle heated up, the red flag was raised. As soon as the red flag was lifted, the riders went on to continue from where it was left. This time around, Soichiro from P3 moved into P1 with Azroy behind him. Khairul moved into P3 from P4 as Helmi trailed closely. With three laps to go, Helmi took a slide from the inside at turn 1 and moved ahead of Khairul. Within minutes, Helmi worked his way once again from the inside into P2. At the final lap, Azroy and Helmi exchanged positions at the few last turns. Khairul tried to close the gap with Soichiro but failed. Azroy and Helmi went on a neck and neck battle on the straight before the former clocked in first at 9’47:222s.

Commenting on the race, Azroy said, “I thank everyone for the hard work. It has been a long time since I made it to the podium. It has been quite unlucky for me this season with tire and machine issues. It is a mixed emotion for me. There is joy and sadness. But this victory is dedicated to my beloved mother who recently passed away. This time around, I had nothing to lose and I pushed beyond the limits. The championship is far-fetched but I hope to complete the season with more wins.”

Teammate, Md Helmi Azman took second spot at 9’47:487s.

Soichiro Minamimoto of YAMAHA GEN BLU Racing Team ASEAN clocked in third at 9’47:686s.