UB150: UMA RACING DOMINATES AFTER TWO ROUNDS

The Malaysian-based UMA Racing crew has ramped up their efforts and came out with guns blazing in the Underbone 150 class of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship. The vaunted team experienced a mediocre season in 2018, with their best ranking coming from 2017 UB150 champion Mohd Akid Aziz who ended his campaign in fifth overall.

This season, however, the team runs not just one race outfit in the UB150, but two. The team’s partnership with Yamaha Philippines has effectively doubled Uma Racing’s presence in the class – UMA Racing Philippine Team and UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team.

The crew is obviously up for the challenge as both teams dominate the first half of the 2019 season.

A flying start in the season opener gave Uma Racing Yamaha Philippine Team an advantage. They lead the team’s rankings with 65 points. As the circus heads to Suzuka for Round 3, McKinley Kyle Paz is still at the top of the standings but is under increasing pressure to maintain and extend his lead. A disappointing outing in Buriram has cut McKinley’s lead to a 5-point margin against upcoming rider Wawan Wello.

UMA Racing Yamaha Maju Motor Asia Team is ranked second on the team’s ladder with 59 points. The bulk of the team’s points-haul has come from Akid Aziz who has picked up two podiums to date.

Third on the team’s standings is Team One For All who are back with two familiar riders – Mohd Affendi Rosli and Peerapong Luiboonpeng. Their season got off to a challenging start when the team’s assets were stolen a week before the opening round. Even so, the crew run by former MotoGP rider Youichi Ui were able to overcome the devastating loss. Affendi has managed two podium finishes after Round 2 and the team is ranked third with 57 points.

SND Factory Racing Rapido’s trio of Indonesian racing stars – Wawan Wello, Gupita Kresna Wardhana and Syahrul Amin – are still trying to get into the rhythm. Wawan Wello has been the team’s best performer so far. Wawan has consistently picked up points from the first two rounds. His second place finish in Buriram boosted him up to where he is now in the position to challenge McKinley Kyle Paz for the lead.

The ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team experienced a big boost at Buriram when seasoned campaigner Ahmad Fazli Sham picked up the team’s first UB150 win of the season. The team, which has a presence in all classes of the 2019 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, is ranked fifth with 51 points.

Meanwhile, Yamaha Racing Indonesia’s decision to go with young talents this season is beginning to gain momentum. 16-year-old Wahyu Nugroho, in particular, put in a stunning performance in Round 3 when he claimed fourth in Race 1 and second in Race 2.

Debutant team Pro-Liner 549 Kaboci Racing Team is currently ranked seventh on the team standings. The team is banking on experienced rider Richard Taroreh to maintain their presence in the limelight while the team continues to train 15-year-old Mohammad Murobbil Vitoni as their next generation of Indonesian talents.

2019 has been challenging for Yuzy Honda Racing this season. After a second-placed podium by Amirul Ariff Musa in Round 1, the team has not been raking in the points. Like many of the Underbone teams, the Yuzy Honda Racing partners an experienced campaigner with a rookie rider. In this case, the team is highly reliant on Amirul’s performance to bring home the championship points.

A 30-rider UB150 grid leaves little room for wildcards. At the upcoming Suzuka round, Hi Rev SCK Honda Racing Team’s Gun Mie will be the sole Japanese rider in the class. Ironically, Gun, who is racing in his first full UB150 season this year, has been the team’s best performer. The 13-year-old, one of the youngest riders in the class this season, has consistently picked up points in the first two rounds. Currently ranked 13th on the riders’ standings, Gun Mie would be looking forward to his home race this week.

Newcomer team Cardinals Racing Team has managed to break into the top 10. Coming into the ARRC as a new racing outfit, the crew were well aware that they would have their work cut out for them to get into the competitive rhythm. Working with experienced Malaysian riders Fitri Ashraf Razali, Rozaiman Said and Indonesian Chepy Armansyah, the team is ranked 10th to date.