Only a few days to go before the start of the 2018 season and the teams competing in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship are already at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand for two days of pre-season testing. 

In the premiere class, defending champion Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and team Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing are looking good for the new season as they dominated Day 1 at the pre-season test. Azlan topped the timesheets throughout the day, ending with the fastest time of the day 1’38.936s.

According to Azlan, critical improvements to the bike’s suspension system has the team well on the way towards taming the Chang International Circuit. While more developments will be implemented for the second day of pre-season test, the defending champion is bullish of his chances to win the first race of the season this weekend.

Decha Kraisart, always strong on his home track, was the second fastest rider on the grid with 1’39.132s followed by Zaqhwan Zaidi third with 1’39.190s and Ahmad Yudhistira fourth with 1’39.197s.

Ratthapong Wilairot caused quite a stir this week following an announcement that he will be moving from the AP Honda Racing Team to the Yamaha Thailand Racing Team. Ratthapong, who has been a Honda-rider throughout his career had quickly adapted to the Yamaha. He posted fifth fastest with 1’39.303s.

Tomoyoshi Koyama, back on the 600cc bike, was sixth fastest. Yuki Ito, out on track on the new model Yamaha R6, was only able to go out for the third practice session. He posted seventh fastest with 1’39.968s.

Taiga Hada, Andi Farid Izdihar and Azroy Hakeem Anuar rounded up the top 10.