THAI-JAPANESE CONFRONTATION ON THE CARDS

The four day finale of the 2015 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship revs off with two free practice sessions for the open-make SuperSports 600cc, Asia Production 250cc, and Underbone 130cc classes. From the results of the first day of practice, the weekend is shaping up to a Thai-Japanese confrontation especially in the premiere SuperSports 600cc class.

MUSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing’s Yuki Takahashi is in strong form, clocking in fastest of the day with 1’39.820s. Behind Takahashi, Kawasaki rider Ahmad Yudhistira was the only Indonesian to make it into the top-10 when he posted the second fastest time of 1’40.086s. Returning former ARRC protege and current Moto2 rider Thitipong Warokorn was third fastest with 1’40.223s followed by Ratthapong Wilairot who was fourth fastest and wildcard rider Ryuiji Yokoe, fifth.

“The Thai riders seem to be in top form this weekend, even the wildcard riders are posting amazing results. We tried out a bunch of different settings during the morning session where I was second fastest. But ultimately, we decided to revert back to our Round 4 configurations as it had yielded the best results for this track. The surface of the tarmac is a little slippery, mainly due to the high number of car races that had been held at this popular circuit. Thanks to the expanded race programme, we now have one extra day in which to fine-tune the machine for the final battle,” said Takahashi.

Other Thai and Japanese riders in the top-10 during the free practice results included Anucha Narkcharoensri, Tomoyoshi Koyama, Decha Kraisart, Hikari Okubo, and Suhathai Chaemsup. The fastest Malaysian rider was Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi who posted 11the fastest with 1’40.999s.

In the Asia Production 250cc class, a similar Thai-Japanese battle seem to be on the cards as Takehiro Yamamoto and Apiwat Wongthananon take their title chase right down the wire to the final round. Needing to overcome the 24-point lead held by Yamamoto, Apiwat shot to the top of the timesheets during the second free practice session with 1’57.637s. Yamamoto was second fastest with 1’57.737s while Vorapong Malahuan and Nakarin Atiratphuvapat were third and fourth fastest respectively.

Finally, Indonesian riders Wahyu Aji Trilaksana and Ferlando Herdian tag-teamed their way to the leadership position during the second free practice session. Wahyu was fastest with 2’08.763s while Ferlando trailed with 2’09.451s. Malaysian rider Mohd Adib Rosley was third fastest with 2’09.471s. Anggi Permana Putera and Elly Idzlianizar Ilias made up the rest of the top-5.