Yamaha Thailand Racing’s Apiwat Wongthananon is only six points shy of taking the Asia Production 250cc title. At the Buddh International Circuit for Round 5 of the 2016 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, Apiwat was very much in a league of his own.

Race 1 started with Apiwat diving into Turn 1 but was unable to make a quick getaway as the rest of the group quickly caught up. Four laps into the 9-lap race, there were still 10 riders fighting for elbow space in the front group. While the lead changed hands numerous times, Apiwat stayed hunkered down in the middle of the pack. The action was hot and furious for the remainder of the race as first Takehiro Yamamoto, Anupab Sarmoon, and Ayumu Tanaka all made a bid for the win. But it was Apiwat who took a last minute win when he broke out of Tanaka’s slipstream at the last corner and dashed to his seventh victory out of nine races with a time of 20’35.958s. Apiwat’s team mate Anupab Sarmoon finished second with 20’36.163s and Takehiro Yamamoto third with 20’37.473s.

Apiwat now holds 196 points while defending champion Yamamoto is second with 151 points. A top ten finish in Race 2 will see the title falling into Apiwat’s hands.