Anthony West is on course to become the first Australian rider to lift the Asian crown. Four wins and a string of podium finishes had given him a 51-point advantage at the top of the SuperSports 600cc championship ladder. However, West’s 2018 Asian campaign took an unexpected turn when an FIM announcement in mid-September provisionally suspended him for possible doping violation.

According to the announcement, the 37-year-old failed an in-competition drug test administered during the Misano round of the World Supersport championship in July. The FIM statement explained that “an Adverse Analytical Finding of a non-specified substance under Section 6 (Stimulants) of the 2018 FIM Prohibited List” was found in West’s urine sample. The statement further explained that the rider, who is “barred from participating in any motorcycling competition or activity until further notice”, can request the analysis of a B sample.

While West sorts out his mess, team Webike IKAZUCHI Racing has provisionally named a new line-up for the Indonesian round – New Zealand rider Liam Taylor MacDonald and Sheridan Morais from South Africa.