The Chang International Circuit reverberated with the thunderous roar of engines as the Asia Superbike  1000cc category kicked off with Round 1 of the IDEMITSU FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. The  practice sessions provided a thrilling preview of the intense battles to come, with Markus Reiterberger  from TKKR BMW Racing Team back to top the Practice Session. 

In Practice 1, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman of TKKR BMW Racing Team set the pace with an impressive  lap time of 1:35.421s, closely followed by his teammate Markus at 1:35.560s and Nakarin  Atiratphuvapat from Honda Asia-Dream Racing with Astemo showcased his speed when he clocked in  at 1:35.601s, rounding out the top three. 

Practice 2 saw Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman maintain his dominance with the fastest lap time at  1:35.443s, while Yuki Kunii from SDG Team HARC-PRO Honda Ph. demonstrated his prowess with a  strong performance at 1:35.487s. Meanwhile, Markus secured the third spot at 1:35.589s. 

The race intensified in Practice 3 as Markus stormed to the top of the timesheets with the fastest lap  time at 1:35.411s, signaling his intent to defend his overall championship title. Despite facing challenges  with his bike, Markus found the right setup, setting the stage for an exciting Qualifying session tomorrow. 

The combined practice results revealed the top contenders in the field starting with Markus of at  1:35.411s followed by Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman at 1:35.421s and Andi Farid Izdihar of Honda Asia Dream Racing with Astemo at 1:35.456s. 

Markus said “I have to push harder to be on the top as all the riders are very fast and it will not be an  easy task for sure. Azlan is very strong, not forgetting Andi and other Honda riders, as well as Hafizh  Syahrin who displayed a drastic improvement with his Ducati bike. As for the machine, I am trying out  new engine and some parts, so hopefully will be able to adapt to it in shortest time possible.”