Despite an unconvincing start in the Underbone 150cc category of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, April King Mascardo of UMA Racing MMR YAMAHA Philippines strongly believes in taking defence of the UB150 title taken by his fellow countryman McKinley Kyle Paz in year 2020.

Back during pre-COVID 2019, McKinley Kyle Paz made history when he became the first Pilipino rider to clinch the defending champion title in the highly anticipated race category, UB150. Kyle or fondly known as “The Wonderboy” was about to make a transition into the SuperSports 600cc category in 2020 however the plans were redirected when the global pandemic took dominance. He was then groomed for bigger endeavours outside of the Asia Championship and is currently taking strides at the Moto2 Championship.

The success story of Yamaha Philippines goes far and beyond as they relentlessly present young talented riders to compete in the prestigious realm of motorsports. Now, with Kyle away, the responsibilities of defending the team’s Underbone 150cc within the Asian domain falls upon the shoulders of April King Mascardo and Gian Carlo Mauricio.

It never shakes him down even the slightest bit as April King believes that the hard work that his team and himself put in this season will eventually pay off. While hard work and willpower are substantial in revisiting a success story, some circumstances are unavoidable. April King said, “Our team work tirelessly to ensure that all essentials for the race are up to make however some things are unpredictable. For three rounds, I was not able to perform my best due to mechanical issues with the machine. These things are unforeseeable until on ground and then it is too late to make amends. But Race 2 of Round 3 was definitely a boost to our performances when I took a step on the podium for the first time this season.”

Speaking about his predecessor, Kyle, April King said, “It is a tough task to take the duties of defending the championship title but I am not one to give up easily. I have been exposed to motorsports since I was 9 years old. It is a dream come true for me to be here in ARRC competing in the rather interesting yet highly unpredictable race category. This is a golden opportunity for me and I will use it to my advantage to scale higher in my professional endeavours.”

April King took ninth in Round 1, seventh in Round 2 this season. During that time, it struck him that there needs to be a bigger push in his performances and even more so competing with robust riders. He then went on to make adjustments to his riding style, re-strategized his moves and worked on his physical and mental strength to make sure that the following round would be a more impactful one. Round 3 turned out to be much in his favour.

Shedding light to his glory days, April King won five consecutive championships since 2017 in the Super Underbone category back in his homeland and he owes his victories to the team that has successfully moulded him into a professional rider.

“As I mentioned earlier, I was given the opportunity with bikes since I was 9 by Sir Manuel and his team, Kuya Glen Agkol Rico who taught me to not only ride bikes but also the mechanics of making a bike work in its more distinguishing ways. They even made me a bicycle to start off with before I went on to bigger machines. That inspired me. They triggered the innate abilities in me. Without them, I would not have known such interest and I would not have had the opening to explore what I desired. I am very much grateful to them because they are indeed the reason why I am here today and I hope that I have made them proud!”

Every rider has their own unique way of making themselves feel better prior to a race. For April King, he talks to his machine.

“Communication is key,” he said, giggling.

“I always have a chat with my machine before I ride. And I also take very good care of it. If the machine is not in a good condition, no matter how much of an expert you are, you can never finish the race. Also, I play by rules that has been set by the team and I always communicate whatever issues that I face with my mechanics.” “For the upcoming race, for sure I am looking forward to the podium but first of all, I would like to complete the race without any issues. I will work with my team to collect maximum points to strengthen my overall standings. I pray that everything will go smoothly and that everyone will be safe during the race.”

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