Team play was very much in evidence during the 30 minute AP250 qualifying for the season finale of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship at the Chang International Circuit.


AP Honda Racing Team’s Muklada Sarapuech led the team’s charge in an all-out bid to lock out the front row. Trailing the championship leaders by 49 points, Muklada needed the coveted pole position to boost her chances of creating an upset at the top of the championship ladder.


10 minutes in, Muklada logged 1’52.552s, cutting her best Friday time by half a second to gain control of the pole position. Soon after, Rafid Topan Sucipto (Bike Corner SYS KYT Racing Team) bettered his personal best by lapping 1’53.019s.


The main title contenders, Andy Muhammad Fadly and Irfan Ardiansyah, who are both riding under the second equalizer rules, managed to put in consistent laps within the top six.


10 minutes to the end of the qualifying, with the exception of Rafid Topan who was still pushing hard for the pole position, most of the front runners were back in their respective pits. The Astra Honda Racing Team trio were the first to break the lull. By working together, the three riders managed to bring Irfan’s qualifying time up to P6 with 1’53.279s.


Right on cue, Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki duo Aiki Iyoshi and Andy Muhammad Fadly responded by heading back out on track followed shortly by the AP Honda Racing Thailand riders intent on reclaiming the front row. But the high number of traffic on the track in the closing minutes throttled any chance of improving their qualifying times.


At four minutes to go, title contender Awhin Sanjaya suffered a big highside at the infamous Buriram last corner. Thankfully, the Astra Honda Racing Team rider walked away from the crash relatively unscathed.


As the chequered flag came down, Muklada Sarapuech will lead the 30-rider grid on pole position with 1’52.552s. Rafid Topan lodged himself on P2 between pole sitter Muklada and her team mate Piyawat Patoomyos in P3.


The title contenders will start the two final races from the second row – Andy Muhammad Fadly in P4 alongside Tatchakorn Buasri and Irfan Ardiansyah.