Markus Reiterberger may have been on a record breaking streak throughout the 2020 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship season opening weekend, but it was Yuki Ito who emerged triumphant as torrential rain swept through the Sepang International Circuit.


ONEXOX BMW TKKR SAG Team’s Markus Reiterberger continued on his record-breaking charge when he set another lap record, 2’04.762s in the ASB1000 qualifier. More than a second quicker than the rest of the field, Markus confirmed himself for pole in both Race 1 and Race 2.


However, the German rider’s race strategy was disrupted at the last minute when a torrential downpour broke over the Sepang International Circuit, just as the ASB1000 Race 1 was scheduled to start. The thunderstorm caused a delay of almost 45 minutes, but stopped long enough for the full race to take place.


Markus peeled off from pole position but soon lost the lead to Yuki Ito from YAMAHA Racing Team ASEAN. Supremely confident and silky smooth in the wet, Yuki carved up a 3 second lead within the span of a single lap.


Behind the Japanese rider, Markus lost P2 to Broc Parkes and then ran wide on Lap 3, dropping down to P5 as Apiwat Wongthananon and Anupab Sarmoon went racing past.


By the midpoint of the race, Ito was absolutely in his element, lapping almost a second quicker than the rest of the grid. As the chequered flag came down on Lap 12, Ito clinched the first ASB1000 win of his career with 28’16.971s.


The YAMAHA Racing Team ASEAN was on course for a 1-2 finish until Lap 11 when Broc Parkes high sided at Turn 12. The crash caused significant damage to the Australian rider’s handlebars and prevented him from returning to the track.


Broc’s crash left the field wide open for Apiwat Wongthananon and comeback kid Anupab Sarmoon to deliver two podium spots to the YAMAHA Thailand Racing Team. Apiwat Wongthananon finished second with 28’24.580s, 7.6 seconds behind marquee-mate Ito. Anupab enjoyed a successful ARRC comeback in third with 28’39.751s.


Markus Reiterberger missed out on the podium in fourth place (28’44.981s). With much of the team’s set up done in the dry, the BMW rider faced problems with his rear grip in the wet.  Lorenzo Zanetti took Access Plus Racing-Okada-Team’s Ducati to fifth with 28’49.555s.


Further down the field, Kawasaki’s Thitipong Warokorn would be glad to see the day come to an end. Thitipong crashed out during the qualifying session, caught off-guard by underground water seeping onto the tarmac at Turn 4. The KAWASAKI Thailand Racing Team raced the clock to get his bike back in race-shape but the rain brought more challenges. Thitipong finished in ninth ahead of his team mate Ryosuke Iwato.


ASB1000: Top 5 Qualifying Results


  1. Markus Reiterberger (GER) (BMW)                   2’04.762s
  2. Broc Parkes (AUS) (Yamaha)                               2’06.050s
  3. Apiwat Wongthananon (THA) (Yamaha)              2’06.075s
  4. Yuki Ito (JPN) (Yamaha)                                     2’06.254s
  5. Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) (Ducati)                            2’06.292s



ASB1000: Top 5 Race 1 Results


  1. Yuki Ito (JPN) (Yamaha)                                     28’16.971s
  2. Apiwat Wongthananon (THA) (Yamaha)              28’24.580s
  3. Anupab Sarmoon (THA) (Yamaha)                     28’39.751s
  4. Markus Reiterberger (GER) (BMW)                   28’44.981s
  5. Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) (Ducati)                            28’49.555s