One race remaining on the call cards for the Underbone 130cc category, yet there is still no clear champion in sight for the South East Asian heritage class. The race did not go according to script for early title favourites Wahyu Aji Trilaksana and Ahmad Fazli Sham. Instead, it was newcomer Mohd Haziq Mohd Fairues, Indonesian rider Florianus Roy Brilyan and seasoned underbone campaigner Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa who made the appointment with the podium at the end of Race 1.

The excitement and tension for the Underbone race began even before the lights went off. Mohd Adib Rosley of team RCB KAGE Motobatt Yamaha YY Pang, himself a potential title contender, inadvertently stole the limelight when he couldn’t get his bike started during the warm-up lap. Frenzied work on the pitlane amidst Adib’s agonized pleas was finally rewarded when the bike started in time for Adib to start the race from the pitlane. The YY Pang rider was left to play catch up alone at the tail end of the swarm.

Wahyu and Fazli were dominant in the first half of the race. Up to Lap 4, the two main contenders had pushed ahead by 0.8 seconds. However, Fazli’s engine gave out on Lap 5. Racing without the benefit of the slipstream, Wahyu was unable to maintain his solo pace and was quickly engulfed by the group. Attacked from all directions in the final three laps, Wahyu lost out on the last-corner scramble, finishing only fifth behind Haziq, Florianus, Amirul and Mohd Shah Khairil Hisham.

Haziq took his first Underbone 130cc win with a time of 17’26.285s. 0.055 seconds behind, Florianus Roy crossed the finish line in second place. Mohd Amirul Ariff Musa clocked 17’26.480s in third place.

“I am enjoying a great weekend here. My first pole followed by my first win. I thank my team for an amazing bike set-up and I dedicate this win to my mother. It’s her birthday today,” said the dutiful son.

Haziq’s win has had multiple impact on the championship standings. Denied a chance to extend his championship lead, Wahyu will have to go all out during Race 2 in order to retain a shred of hope to win the title. The Indonesian BKMS rider now leads with 124 points, only 2 points ahead of Mohd Amirul Aziz Musa. Mohd Izzat Zaidi and Ahmad Fazli Sham also retain a mathematical chance of denying Wahyu’s hopes of becoming the last Underbone 130cc champion in the Asia Road Racing Championship.

Within the bigger picture, Haziq’s achievements at the Chang International Circuit has confirmed team UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor for the Team Award title in the Underbone 130cc category. The Malaysian outfit has amassed 163 points to date, 38 points ahead of T Pro Yuzy Honda NTS with 125 points. Indonesia’s Team BKMS is third overall with 124 points.