The battle for supremacy in the spanking new ASB1000 class heads to the 5.8km Suzuka Circuit in Japan for the fourth leg of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. The two hugely experienced riders will be locked in a battle for control over the title chase.

Only eight points separate the two with the more consistent Australian rider holding the advantage at the top of the standings. While Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN’s Broc has picked up four podiums and one win on his Yamaha R1 to date, the more mercurial Azlan have been experiencing his typical roller-coaster of a season astride his BMW S1000RR. The ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team rider has clinched three wins to date, the highest number of wins in the season so far, yet trails Broc due to a costly DNF in Round 1.


Zaqhwan Zaidi Will Need To Amp Up To Stay In The Game

Meanwhile, Honda’s sole representative in the ASB1000 will need to amp up his game if he hopes to stay in the title chase. Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi won Race 2 in the season opener and logged a second place finish in Buriram. Apart from those high points, Zaqhwan had been consistently fourth in three out of the six races to date.

Currently third in the standings, Zaqhwan trails championship leader Broc by 21 points, while he is only eight points ahead of Apiwat Wongthananon.

At Suzuka, the home of Honda, the pressure mounts on Zaqhwan.


Homeground Advantage For Ito

The threat posed by Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN’s Yuki Ito cannot be taken lightly at this point. Yuki had time and again proven his ability to win races at the Suzuka circuit. Currently fifth overall in the standings, Yuki will need a good outing in Suzuka to improve his ranking in the ASB1000 class.


Nakatomi Could Be The Spoiler

The addition of three wildcard riders will bring the Suzuka ASB1000 grid up to 16 bikes. The trio will be led by Shinichi Nakatomi. The last time the former WSBK rider entered as a wildcard in the ARRC, he scored a double-win in the SuperSports 600cc class and disrupted the title chase in the process.

Given Nakatomi’s years of expertise at the Suzuka Circuit, adding to that his in-depth knowledge of the ASB1000 slicks as the test rider during the development of the rubbers, Nakatomi could be the spoiler at Broc and Azlan’s party yet again.