Thailand’s Anupab Sarmoon is under intense pressure this season, fighting to keep his title lead in the Asia Production 250cc.


As one of the most experienced rider in the sophomore class of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, the 25-year-old Yamaha Thailand Racing Team rider is expected to be a shoo-in for the 250cc title in 2018. However, the results from the season opener at the Chang International Circuit has indicated that Anupab will need to be on his toes all season long to avoid being swamped by the rising tide of young talents eager to make their mark in the 250cc class.


With only a 5-point lead under his belt, Anupab’s main competition is expected to come from Muklada Sarapuech, Rafid Topan Sucipto, Peerapong Boonlert, Mario Suryo Aji and Kanatat Jaiman.


Over the past four seasons, the 2017 Suzuka 4 Hours Champion has watched many of his peers depart for the talent developmental circuits in Europe. 2016 winner Apiwat Wongthananon and 2017 champion Gerry Salim are both racing in the CEV this year. Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama has also been moved to the World Supersport 300cc.


The Australian Round 2 will be Anupab’s best chance to extend his title lead. By the time the Asian series moves to Suzuka for its mid-season round, 2015 champion Takehiro Yamamoto will be crafting a comeback with the Trickstar team.