The Underbone 150cc (UB150) will still be the biggest race class as Season 25 of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship opens at the Sepang International Circuit this March 7 and 8.

At the time of writing, the provisional UB150 entry lists 27 riders from five Asian nations confirmed for Round 1.



Riders from the host country will make up 45% of the grid. However, as McKinley Kyle Paz and Fernando Masato proved in the opening leg of 2019, a numbers advantage does not guarantee race wins.

Indonesia will be represented by eight riders while Kyle’s success last year has boosted Filipino entry into the class. Masato and Kerwin Chang will race under the UMA Racing Yamaha PHILIPPINE team banner this year while debutant 4S1M YAMAHA Racing team brings John Emerson Inguito into the fray.

Thailand’s focus clearly remains on the full-frame classes. Until the championship visits the Chang International Circuit later in the year, Peerapong Luiboonpengwill be the sole Thai representative in the class.

No Defending Champion In Sight

Over the past two years, the Underbone 150 champion had consistently moved on to the SuperSports 600cc. As McKinley Kyle Paz joins Mohd Helmi Azman in the SS600, the 2020 UB150 title chase will start with no defending champion on the grid.

Former Underbone champions Ahmad Fazli Sham (2004, 2005), Mohd Affendi Rosli (2009), Gupita Kresna Wardhana (2014, 2015), Wahyu Aji Trilaksana (2016), and Mohd Akid Aziz (2017) are still the early favourites at the start of the season. Here’s a recap of their key stats to date:

Affendi Rosli 136 9 31 0 39 2 0
Ahmad Fazli Sham 112 15 26 4 32 5 2
Gupita Kresna 94 6 23 9 14 0 0
Wahyu Aji 60 6 21 5 4 0 0
Akid Aziz 38 5 13 3 4 2 2

Young Bucks To Look Out For

While the former champions hold a slight advantage by dint of their experience, the emergence of young riders able to buck the trend is a huge factor for the UB150’s popularity.

YAMAHA Racing Indonesia’s Aldi Satya Mahendra had given us a hint of prowess in 2019. Faiz Zekri from the ONEXOX TKKR SAG outfit had also popped up on the radar with his winning ways. Wawan Wello would have given Kyle a run for his money last year if not for a series of unfortunate incidences while Haziq Fairueswould be looking to step out of Akid’s shadows.