The race to become the 2017 SuperSports 600cc champion intensified after an interesting first day of practice as Round 6 of the Idemitsu FIM Asia Road Racing Championship gets underway at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.


After clocking fastest in the first practice session with 1’39.957, championship leader Mohd Zaqhwan Zaidi crashed on his first lap out in the afternoon practice session. The damage to the bike resulted in Zaqhwan sitting out FP2. The Malaysian was certified fit to race by the track doctors and will be back on track for the qualifier.


In Zaqhwan’s absence, wildcard Apiwat Wongthananon stole the show astride his 2017 model Yamaha R6 when he posted quickest with 1’39.294s. Apiwat’s team mate, Chalermpol Polamai was second fastest with 1’39.707s and Anthony West third with 1’39.827s.


The results from Day 1 so far had lived up to expectations that the title race will take place off the podium. Yuki Ito was the fastest among the five title contenders. The Yamaha Racing rider was fourth fastest with 1’39.836s.


Zaqhwan’s time from FP1 placed him sixth on the combined timesheets. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman was seventh fastest with 1’39.965s followed by his team mate Ahmad Yudhistira ninth with 1’40.146s.


SuperSports 600cc – Title Contenders Round 2 and Round 6 Laptimes Comparison:


Rd 2 FP1 Rd 6 FP1 Rd 2 FP2 Rd 6 FP2
Zaqhwan 1’42.173 1’39.957 1’40.059
Ito 1’41.366 1’40.588 1’40.927 1’39.836
Hada 1’41.327 1’40.791 1’40.829 1’40.537
Azlan 1’40.644 1’40.158 1’40.415 1’39.965
Yudhis 1’40.440 1’40.666 1’41.003 1’40.146


In general, most of the riders had improved on their laptimes from Round 2 but the lap record set by Decha Kraisart, 1’38.641s, remains unbroken.