Malaysian rider Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman successfully converted homeground advantage into his fourth ASB1000 win of the season at Race 1 in Round 6 of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship at the Sepang International Circuit.

Azlan started the race from second on the grid, sandwiched between poleman and championship leader Broc Parkes and Yamaha Racing Thailand Team’s Apiwat Wongthananon. A conservative start from Azlan saw Apiwat streaking into the holeshot for the early lead even as Broc went from pole to fifth as the lights went out.

Wildcard rider Federico Sandi demonstrated the competitive potential of the Ducati Panigale V4 when he muscled his way into the lead on Lap 3. Federico set a punishing pace in the mid-segment of the race but began to lose ground as tyre wear came into play.

Azlan easily slipped past the Italian wildcard on Lap 7 and held on to his leading position to take the win with 23’30.254s. Thitipong Warokorn finished second with 23’31.641s followed by Apiwat in third with 23’31.806s.

Meanwhile, championship leader Broc Parkes missed out on the podium when he came home in fourth place. The Australian rider representing the Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN is still the leader of the pack with 201 points, but Azlan is now second overall with 168 points.

Should Azlan win the three remaining races in the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship calendar, Broc must finish at least third to become the first Australian to win the Asian title. He cannot afford to miss another podium.

Earlier in the race, Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi low-sided out of the title chase on Lap 2. His second DNF of the season has dropped him down from second to third overall with 153 points.