It was a fast and fury ride among the SuperSports 600cc race category’s rising stars in the recent race which left an unsettled ambiguity in its rivalry. Who will become the next champion? Could it be the long-standing leader Khairul Idham Pawi of Boon Siew Honda Racing Team, the equally competitive Nakarin Atiratphuvapat of Honda Racing Thailand or Soichiro Minamimoto of YAMAHA GEN BLU Racing Team ASEAN who has been raking up the chart very quickly? Round 6 of the Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship which will be held at Chang International Circuit will say it all.

Season 2023 has blurred the lines of the best especially with the likes of extraordinary riders who have successfully pulled a stunner throughout five rounds. But, among them, the intensity spiked among KIP, Chip Nakarin and Soichiro who blazed the trails for newfound benchmarks in the SS600 race category. The trio made it onto the podium six times and has presented a unique disposition in the art of manoeuvring the high-powered machine – all of which sums up to their advantages and disadvantages on the circuit ground. What would Chang circuit hold for them? Both KIP and Chip’s performances on the circuit speak a volume of their mastery but with Soichiro’s formidable progress over the last few rounds, the duo has to belt and brace at all cost.

Commenting on the race, KIP said, “The coming round is definitely going to be a tough one. The championship points are very close to each other therefore the pressure is going to be mounting. But again, we are all in the game together hence I believe the anxiety is pretty much the same for everyone. We will do our best for sure. In Zhuhai, I made a mistake during qualifying and that impacted my overall result for the weekend. It is undoubtedly tough to start a race from the back. But I made a good finish in Race 1. I learnt my mistakes which is good so that I don’t repeat that in the coming round. My main contender would be Chip because it is his home-ground and he is strong there. This season, overall, has been really good for me. I have managed to maintain my consistency throughout. Although there were I did not finish the race or didn’t finish podium but I have improved a lot this season compared to the last. It takes time and I think I can do more. The machine is similar to the other teams but of course, there are some advantages and disadvantages in each machine that makes up for an equal fight. The goal is to fight for the championship title. It is definitely also the goal of the team. But I will not stress myself too much instead just focus on doing my best and give my 100% to the race.”

Hearing it from Chip, he said, “The coming round would probably be the most exciting one throughout the season because I stand a chance to take the champion title on my home-ground. I have prepared myself both physically and mentally and I think I am much stronger now. No matter what happens, I will make sure that I try my best to make the most of it. The race at Zhuhai was quite unpredictable. For example, the red flag in Race 1 saved the day as it gave me an opportunity to finish fourth. In Race 2, I made a mistake but I was able to recover and win. I was very lucky that weekend. My greatest rival is definitely the leader, Super KIP. He rode very well in Round 1 and not the mention his preciseness in each corner. The most valuable lesson for me was in Round 3 when I made a mistake that resulted in a DSQ. I lost my points there. In terms of the machine, there is barely any disadvantage. Equally important would be the rider’s adaptation towards the machine and so far, it has been good. I aim to

the champion in the SS600 race category this season and if I do, I would like to step up in my game and move to a higher cc race category. My goal is to continuously strive and become better wherever I am.”