AP250 TITLE FIGHT HEADS TO TIE-BREAKER IN THAILAND

The AP250 title fight will be heading into a tie-breaker at the final round of the ARRC in Thailand with Indonesian riders Andy Muhammad Fadly and Irfan Ardiansyah tied on points at the top of the championship ladder.

The start of the 2019 season brought the implementation of the equalizer rule in the AP250 class which made it increasingly difficult for one individual rider to dominate the championship. Even so, Andy Muhammad Fadly and team Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing have expertly navigated the shifting sands at the top of the championship ladder.

Fadly was the first to receive the equalizer but even so, the Kawasaki rider had been able to stay nominally in charge up to Round 5. In trying to avoid a second equalizer, Fadly deliberately stayed off the podium in Round 5. This may have been a strategic error. When Astra Honda Racing Team’s Irfan Ardiansyah won Race 1 in Round 6 and subsequently finished P5 in Race 2, the two compatriots tied on points at 176 points apiece.

Five of the top eight riders are riding under the equalizer rule. Awhin Sanjaya, Muklada Sarapuech and Aiki Iyoshi have all had 500 rpm cut from their rpm limit.

Ironically, a second equalizer, representing a 1000 rpm cut will be applied to the top runners Irfan and Andy in the season finale. In this instance, the battle for thetitle may happen off the podium.

Given AP Honda Racing Team’s homeground advantage at the Chang International Circuit, Muklada Sarapuech is expected to be a strong podium contender. However, Muklada’s chances of winning the 2019 title is slim. She will need to win both races and hope that neither Andy nor Irfan pick up any points from the entire weekend.

Irfan’s team mate, Awhin Sanjaya will stand a better chance. Should Awhin manage to win both Race 1 and Race 2, the two current championship leaders must finish second to be crowned the 2019 AP250 FIM Asian Champion.