Malaysian rider Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman cemented his status as one of the potential title contenders in the ASB1000 with a phenomenal hard-won double win at Round 3 of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship at the Chang International Circuit.

After winning Race 1 on Saturday, Azlan again started Race 2 from pole position. A great start from the ONEXOX TKR SAG Team rider gave him a strong lead, but Azlan was initially unable to get away from the Yamaha contingent led by Broc Parkes and local hero Apiwat Wongthananon.

Azlan lost the lead on Lap 2 to Broc. While racing wheel-to-wheel against his Australian rival, Azlan also had Apiwat to contend with. A daring pass by Azlan on Lap 10 came to nought when he ran wide on Turn 12 and found himself in the chase again.

The Malaysian rider stuck to Broc and Apiwat for the two penultimate rounds of the 13-lap race before making his move on the final lap. Azlan went from 3rd to first within that same lap to take the double. The BMW rider’s gutsy move at the last corner clearly took Broc by surprise. Azlan out-braked Broc into Turn 12, locked out his front wheel, extricated himself from a potentially sticky situation and raced to the finish line with 20’59.735s.

0.135s behind, Broc claimed his fourth ARRC podium of the season while Apiwat Wongthanon had no choice but to settle for third.

Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi ended his campaign in fourth place but special mention has to be made about Ahmad Yudhistira who defied the odds and took his near-standard R1 to fifth place ahead of Yuki Ito.

With this double win, Azlan closes in on Broc at the top of the standings. The Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN rider leads with 105 points. Azlan trails by 8 points with a total of 97 points. Zaqhwan Zaidi’s consistency kept him in third with 84 points.

Thailand’s best performing rider in the ASB1000, Apiwat Wongthananon, stays in fourth with 69 points.

The Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team’s replacement rider, Bryan Staring, survived a tough round in Buriram when he finished seventh in both Race 1 and Race 2. While Bryan stands sixth on the rider’s rankings, his points haul from Buriram, coupled with Chaiwichit Nisakul’s absence due to injury, was not enough to keep the team at the top of the team ladder. Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN now leads the team title chase with 110 points.