The Asia Superbike 1000cc has always been an awe-factor that awakens the nerves. This time around, taking on a full spirit on Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit was Markus Reiterberger of ONEXOX BMW TKKR Team who emerged victorious with a remarkable win in Race 1 of Round 4, Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.

During the qualifying session, Markus of ONEXOX BMW TKKR Team marked the fastest at 1’34:619s consequently claimed the pole position. Andi Farid of Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA made it to the second spot on the grid at 1’35:916s. Kasma Danial of YAMAHA GEN BLU Racing Team ASEAN who has been quiet in the FP sessions yesterday took the third spot on the grid at 1’36:200s.

The race flagged off to the heat of 47 degrees in temperature. As Markus took speed, Zaqhwan made a surprising move ahead at turn one. By the end of lap 2, Zaqhwan maintained his position with Azlan at P2 and Kasma at P3. The pole man seemed to be taking a relaxed position then at P4 while Haruki managed his pace at P5.

As the race picked up, so did Zaqhwan’s speed but Markus began making his moves at the end of the third lap. Haruki on the other hand bypassed Andi into P3 while Kasma lost his pace and fell behind into P5. With seven laps to go, it was all about managing the speed while maintaining the condition of the tires on the heated asphalt. Before the end of the lap 4, Markus made a slingshot move ahead of Zaqhwan. The Honda rider went on to inject pressure on Markus while his teammate, Andi made a slide from the inside into P3. By mid-race, Markus drew a 0.8s gap with Zaqhwan. With another four laps to go, the ONEXOX rider was far ahead.

Meanwhile at P6, Lachlan pushed further and superseded Yuki Ito. Kasma on the other hand played catch up and tried to close the gaps with Haruki. Azlan who lost his momentum in the beginning of the race quickly recovered as he took speed and closed the gaps with the riders ahead of him. With two laps to go, he worked his moves from P7 as he chased and squeezed Lachlan out furiously. Into the final lap, it was impossible for Zaqhwan at P2 to compete with Markus who was way ahead however, Andi began making his moves from the back waiting to strike.

At the last turn, Markus fled towards victory logging in at 16’05:242s while Andi swiped past Zaqhwan into P2.

Commenting on the race, Markus said, “My start was not so good. Anyway, it still arrived at the first position at the first corner. I braked at a latest possible point and suddenly and I saw the red Honda passing by from the inside and realised, oh, it was late and it definitely destroyed my rhythm a little bit. I nearly crashed at turn three but I tried to manage it as much as possible. I felt amazing on the machine and I didn’t push too much. I tried to do a constant smooth flow till the end. The machine was very fast and I thank my team for such an awesome machine. At the moment, it is easy to ride but like I said, the plans can change very quickly. We have to keep an eye open for the race tomorrow.”

Teammates, Andi Farid Izdihar and Zaqhwan Zaidi made it to the second and third spot on the podium at 16’10:150s and 16’10:228s respectively.

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