The rivalry among the riders of the SuperSports 600cc has taken up a notch with boosted performance and agility. Significant to the change was Keito Abe of ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team who emerged victoriously at the chequered flag in Race 1 of Round 3, Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship this evening held at Sportsland Sugo International Racing Course.

Earlier this morning, Kengo Naga of Team KENKEN boasted an impressive lap time when he emerged fastest in the Qualifying session at 1’30:318s. That was one up for him, having a spot at the pole position. At the second spot was Muhammad Helmi Azman of Boon Siew Honda Racing Team with a lap time of 1’30:370s followed by Sho Nishimuara of ONEXOX TKKR Racing Team at the third spot on the grid at 1’30:382s.

It was raining when the race flagged off but Helmi embraced the challenge and raced to the lead position at the first turn shortly before Soichiro took over. At the last turn, Keito Abe moved into P2. Meanwhile, Galang was at P4 while Nakarin took P5. The weather condition was not very helpful but Japanese rider, Keito was confident as he overtook his fellow countrymen at the end of lap 2. Before the lap ended, Helmi took a quick slide ahead of Soichiro and into P2. By then, Nakarin worked on his moves and took over P4.

By the end of lap 4, Keito has drawn up a gap of 4.4s from Helmi. The wet circuit situation was a buzz- kill with a number of riders succumbing to falls. Nevertheless, Keito did not seem affected by the rainy

day. He went on, picking up speed over the laps. While Helmi tried to catch up, the gap only got wider. With 9 more laps to go, the red flag came up and the riders headed back to their pits.

As soon as the race resumed, Keito once again went on to take lead as Helmi trailed on. Soichiro was close by at P3. With the race cut down to 5 laps, it was all about strategizing and Nakarin did not waste a moment when he found the opportunity amidst casualty to move up into P2. Helmi lost focus for a moment and Soichiro took advantage of the situation to get ahead. Keito however was unaffected and went on with speed and stability at P1 with an impressive gap by the end of the lap.

With three more laps to go, Nakarin was pressured by Soichiro took a slide ahead but the Thai rider will not be defeated. He quickly found a loop-hole and grabbed P2 back. But Soichiro was relentlessly and struck Nakarin once again. As Keito rode to victory, the battle heated up between Soichiro and Nakarin. The Japanese rider played his cards well and succeeded at second spot.

Keito Abe made a stunning finish at 8’44:531s.

Commenting on the race, Keito said, “The race was very difficult. Even more so with the wet circuit condition. I was scared but right now, I had a good feeling about the situation. I kept pushing myself until the end. So, I am truly happy with my achievements for the day. There is another race tomorrow and I want to win it!”

Soichiro Minamimoto of YAMAHA GEN BLU Racing Team ASEAN clocked in his best at 8’47:313s.

Nakarin Atiratphuvapat of Honda Racing Thailand concluded at third with his best at 8’47:770s.

Connect with Us!

Latest news at