Muklada Sarapuech celebrated International Women’s Day in a big way last weekend with a comeback victory in Race 2 for Round 1 of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship.

The Asia Production 250cc Race 1 had been a disappointment for Muklada when mechanical gremlins haunted her back into the pits but a better outing in Race 2 more than made up for the setbacks from the earlier race.

The polesitter got off to a strong start but lost the early lead to Lucky Hendriansya who was in the hunt for his double win of the weekend. Lucky led Muklada and Andy Muhammad Fadly at the front while the rest of the 25-bike grid strung out behind them.

By Lap 3, the front runners had pulled a 1-second gap ahead of Awhin Sanjaya who was struggling to maintain a strong pace despite an injured shoulder.

Lucky began to show signs of trouble on Lap 5. The Astra Honda Racing Team rider ran wide several times while Muklada continued to put on a silky smooth performance around the 5.5km Sepang Circuit.

Andy Muhammad Fadly also almost lost touch with the group several times, but was always able to make up for lost ground.

The 44.541km race came to a dramatic climax when Lucky ran wide again at Turn 14 of the final lap. Muklada and Andy dove past the Astra Honda rider and ran shoulder-to-shoulder down the back straight with Muklada in the front. Fadly broke out of the slipstream and led into the final T15 hairpin but Muklada piled on the power at the exit, sprinted past a hapless Fadly to win the chequered flag with 19’36.510s.

Andy won a double podium in second place with 19’36.578s. The Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing rider leads the Asia Production 250cc class with 40 points.

Lucky Hendriansya was not so lucky in Race 2. His bike stalled at the last corner. After a battle well fought, Lucky was denied a second podium for the weekend. His team mate Awhin Sanjaya took P3 with 19’44.845s.