It was quite a scene during the Asia Superbike 1000cc race category at the Sepang International Circuit with riders hitting their top speed in an endeavour to surpass the ordinary. However, the title is but for one. Markus Reiterberger of ONEXOX BMW TKKR TEAM triumphed as winner in Race 1, Round 2 of the Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.

The morning saw the qualifying session with Markus taking the limelight at the speed of lightning, clocking in at 2’05:010s. Kasma Danial Kasmayuddin of YAMAHA GEN BLU RACING TEAM ASEAN came in second fastest at 2’05:576s. Third on the grid was Zaqhwan Zaidi of HONDA ASIA-DREAM RACING WITH SHOWA at 2’05:771s.

Markus went on a blistering speed as soon as the race flagged off. Zaqhwan who was trailing at P2 was superseded by Haruki mid lap 2. As Markus picked up speed steadily, Andi Farid took the opportunity to slide into P2 with Zaqhwan at P3 and Haruki at P4. Meanwhile, Azlan was seen trying to close the gaps however the four riders ahead of him kept him at bay. Nevertheless, persistence pays off and by the end of the fourth lap, Azlan broke into P3.

The BMW M1000 RR machine is definitely one step above the rest in its speed. Proving that were Markus who drew up a huge gap with Azlan who was already pacing at P2. Haruki who was at P3 by the end of lap 7 engaged in a chase and succeeded Azlan at the last turn of lap 8. Zaqhwan, a little left out began to work on his strategies and mid lap 9, he made a daring move past Haruki and into P2. Amidst that chaos, Azlan took a slide into P3. By then, German rider, Markus was unbeatable with a 6- second gap.

With 3 more laps to go, the pressure mounted as Zaqhwan, Haruki and Azlan entangled in a heated feat. The near miss and the close calls between Zaqhwan and Haruki only made them even more persistent. With one more lap to go, Azlan made it past Zaqhwan. Haruki dropped to P4. Markus was on his way to victory as Azlan and Zaqhwan went on one final push. At the final turn, the BMW machine took speed and bolted ahead as Honda succumbed at P3.

Commenting on the race, Markus said, “It was an excellent race with an 8-second gap. To be honest, I don’t feel as good as the qualifying session though as the machine was really perfect then. Now, we tried something different on the rear to improve further for the heat especially but it is normal in the heat for the tires to lose grip compared to in cooler temperatures. I am glad that I could still fight

although I was doubtful if I was fast enough. I kept pushing myself as much as I could. We have quite a good setup with the machine and I like Sepang a lot. To add on, it’s a 1-2 for the team. So, we can’t ask for more.”

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman marked his best at 25’37:402 while Zaqhwan made his fastest at 25’37:659s.

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