Japanese Yuki Takahashi’s hopes of wrapping up the title was given a timely boost on Friday after the Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing rider topped the SuperSports 600cc qualifying session in style at the final round of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.

Yuki had already set the benchmark after going quickest in the third and final practice on Friday morning with his best effort of 1:39.603s, which was a tenth faster than his closest rival, Ahmad Yudhistira (Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki) who came in with a 1:39.699s on his Kawasaki.

With the stage set for an epic qualifying showdown, it was Yuki who set the pace with a series of quick lap times to top the time sheet in the earlier half of the 30-minutes session. However, Thailand’s Decha Kraisart (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team), who is participating in the weekend’s race as a wildcard forced the Japanese to work much harder after the Yamaha Thailand Racing team rider clocked in with a 1:39.563s to claim the top spot.

Upping the ante in the latter stages of the session and swapping to a new set of tyres it did not take long before Yuki responded with a stunning 1:39.194s and obliterating the circuit’s qualifying lap record enough to seal the deal with the pole position start for the first race on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Decha’s best effort was unmatched earning the Thai a second position start ahead of Ahmad Yudhistira with his best effort of 1:39.609s ensuring a front row start from third on the grid.
A last minute push by Tomoyoshi Koyama (T.Pro Yuzy Honda NTS) saw the Japanese register a fourth place grid start with his best effort of 1:39.615s just ahead of another wildcard Ryuji Yokoe (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) who impressed with his time of 1:39.665s.

Clearly delighted with his pace, Yuki has his sights focused on a securing a win on Saturday in his quest to seal his championship bid having already amassed a total haul of 177 points after five rounds and a 44-point advantage over his closest contender, Tomoyoshi Koyama.

“I am very happy with the overall pace so far. Also the conditions was not too bad today and I am very happy with the set-up, which is crucial considering that tomorrow’s race will be at the same time as when we had the session today,” notes Yuki.

With the tile due to the decided, the first race in the category will take place on Saturday with the second due to take place on Sundayafternoon.