Thai Superbike rider Thitipong Warokorn is finally back in action and is set to re-join the ASB1000 at Round 5 of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship in Zhuhai, China.

The Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team rider who started the inaugural ASB1000 campaign with a double podium at Round 1, had been out of commission for the better part of the year. Soon after the ARRC 2019 season opener in Sepang, Thitipong put in a wildcard stint at the Thai round of the WSBK. A high side crash resulted in back injuries.

Thitipong was expected to be out for the rest of the season, but the Thai rider was determined to beat the odds. Months of intense physical therapy has Thitipong back in racing form again. He has missed three rounds of the ARRC this year, and has dropped to 10th overall in the rankings.

As Thitipong resumes his partnership with Chaiwichit Nisakul, Australian rider Bryan Staring will not be heading to China for Round 5. Bryan has done a sterling job playing stopgap for Thitipong. Thanks to the Aussie’s efforts, the Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team is still in the running for the ASB1000 Team Awards, currently standings third overall with 120 points.

Meanwhile, up at the top of the standings, four of the top ASB1000 contenders will be flying to China amped up after a stint in the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours. Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN’s Broc Parkes, who also races for YART Yamaha in the World Endurance Championships, looks to be well on his way to becoming the first Australian rider to win the Asian title.

Broc has netted 150 points after four rounds, and leads the ASB1000 by 27 points. Malaysian riders Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and Zaqhwan Zaidi are second and third on the ladder with 123 points and 115 points respectively. The two Malaysians are expected to be strong contenders for the Zhuhai podium.

Apiwat Wongthananon, fourth overall in the ASB1000, had also completed his first ride in the Suzuka 8 Hours.

The Zhuhai leg of the season will have 19 bikes on the ASB1000 grid. Six wildcards have been confirmed including Canadian Robert Daniel Kruger with Titanic Kawasaki; Chinese riders Li Zheng Peng (Yamaha Man Lee Tat Racing Team), Huang Shi Zao (China Yamaha Maxpeedingrods Racing Team) and Chen Peng Yuan (DML 97 Racing Team); Japanese Masahiro Shinjo from Speedmaster Racing & RS-Itoh; as well as Australian Mark Aitchison from team YSS China.