BMW’s 2019 midsize adventurer prices

BMW Motorrad Australia has announced 2019 prices for its new midsize adventure bikes with a bigger 853cc parallel twin engine.

The extra power, engine capacity and new hi-tech features of the new F 850 GS and F 750 GS will obviously cost customers more.

The F 700 GS is now the F 750 GS, which will cost an extra $700, while the F800 GS goes from $16,490 to $17,990 for the F 850 GS.

BMW Motorrad Australia now offers a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty on all new models.

The warranty period also includes comprehensive roadside assistance, available 24/7 every single day of the year.

BMW F 750 GS  (plus on-road costs)

2018 BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS midsize
BMW F 750 GS
BMW F 750 GS $13,590
BMW F 750 GS Tour $17,305
BMW F 750 GS Low Suspension $13,840*
BMW F 750 GS Tour Low Suspension $17,005*

BMW F 850 GS (plus on-road costs)

2018 BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS midsize
2018 BMW F 850 GS
BMW F 850 GS $17,990*
BMW F 850 GS Rallye $18,390*
BMW F 850 GS Rallye X $22,305*
BMW F 850 GS Tour $21,805*
BMW F 850 GS Low Suspension $18,240*
BMW F 850 GS Rallye Low Suspension $18,640*
BMW F 850 GS Tour Low Suspension $21,505*

At the heart of the new midsize adventurers are the two new parallel-twin engines, both with a displacement of 853cc, but different output.

The F 850 GS has 70kW (95hp) of power at 8250rpm and 92Nm of torque at 6250rpm while the F 750 GS has 57kW (77hp) at 7500rpm and 83Nm at 6000rpm.

2018 BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS midsize
2018 BMW F 850 GS

BMW says the F 750 GS is “designed for all riders” with a low seat height and “all-round qualities”. It features mag wheels with a 19-inch front.

However, the F 850 GS not only has more power and torque, but BMW says it has more touring and off-road features. They include wire wheels and a 21-inch front.

2018 BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS midsize
2018 BMW F 850 GS

New F 850 GS and F 750 GS engine

BMW says the engine has a 90-degree crankshaft and a 270/450-degree firing interval with two counterbalance shafts to smooth it out.

A self-amplifying, anti-hopping clutch provides a lighter lever feel and the drop in engine drag torque prevents wheel lock-ups on downshifts.

The six-speed gearbox with secondary drive is now positioned on the left.

Rider aids include  ‘Rain’ and ‘Road’ riding modes, ABS and automatic stability control ensures a high level of safety.

The F 750 GS and F 850 GS can be fitted ex-works optional equipment such as Pro riding modes, dynamic traction control and banking-capable ABS Pro.

New midsize frame

The bridge frame of the new F models is made of deep-drawn, welded components and integrates the engine as a co-supporting element.

BMW claims this improves torsional rigidity and “robustness”.

The fuel tank is back in the traditional position for improved centre of gravity.2018 BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS midsize

The F 850 GS adds a Rallye style variant with emphasis on off-road capabilities.

There is also a range of optional equipment including different seat heights, windshields, full LED headlight, Connectivity equipment with TFT display, Keyless Ride, Gear shift assistant Pro, Dynamic ESA and eCall.2018 BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS midsize


BMW pricing for R 1250 models

BMW Motorrad Australia has announced pricing for the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS, GSA, R and RT models.

They feature hi-tech such as hill start, emergency call button and variable valve timing as well as 100kW of power.

The extra tech, engine capacity and power has added $1600 to the starting price of the GS (currently $21,850).

It adds $600 to the GSA prices, $860 more for the R, while the RS actually starts at $560 less. The RT also returns to the line-up in 2019.

BMW R 1250 pricing (plus on-road costs)

R 1250 GS 

BMW R 1250 GS and RT
2019 BMW R 1250 GS
BMW R 1250 GS $23,490
BMW R 1250 GS Rallye $24,940
BMW R 1250 GS Rallye X $29,890
BMW R 1250 GS Exclusive $28,140
BMW R 1250 GS Spezial $31,390

R 1250 GS Adventure

BMW boxer R models all get Shiftcam technology
BMW R 1250 GS Adventure HP
BMW R 1250 GSA $25,490
BMW R 1250 GSA Rallye $26,390
BMW R 1250 GSA Rallye X $31,590
BMW R 1250 GSA Exclusive $30,790
BMW R 1250 GSA Spezial $30,540

R 1250 R

BMW boxer R models all get Shiftcam technology
BMW R 1250 R
BMW R 1250 R $21,240
BMW R 1250 R HP $27,040
BMW R 1250 R Exclusive $26,065
BMW R 1250 R Spezial $26,765

R 1250 RS

BMW boxer R models all get Shiftcam technology
BMW R 1250 RS
BMW R 1250 RS $22,540
BMW R 1250 RS Sport $28,215
BMW R 1250 RS Exclusive $27,215
BMW R 1250 R Spezial $28,065

R 1250 RT 

BMW R 1250 GS and RT season
2019 BMW R 1250 RT
BMW R 1250 RT $32,290
BMW R 1250 RT Sport $33,190
BMW R 1250 RT Elegance $33,465
BMW R 1250 R Spezial $34,215

The BMW R 1250 range is covered by BMW Motorrad Australia’s three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. The warranty period also includes comprehensive roadside assistance, available 24/7 every single day of the year.

More powerBMW R 1250 GS and RT

The new 1254cc boxer engines, up from 1170cc, now feature BMW ShiftCam Technology which is a type of variable valve timing similar to the systems used by Ducati and Honda.

These systems, which have been used in cars for years, not only boost power, but also reduce emission and improve fuel economy.

BMW claims it also makes the bikes more refined and smoother, especially in lower rev ranges.

Bore and stroke is 102.5 to 76mm (previously 101 to 73mm) with output of 100kW (136hp) at 7750rpm and 143Nm off torque at 6250rpm (previously 92kW (125hp) at 7750 rpm and 125Nm at 6500 rpm).

The new boxer engine offers 14% more torque and 9% more output.BMW R 1250 GS and RT

BMW ShiftCam Technology enables variation of the valve timings and valve stroke on the intake side. The intake camshafts are also designed for asynchronous opening of the two intake valves, resulting in “enhanced swirl of the fresh, incoming mixture and therefore more effective combustion”.

The camshaft drive is run by a toothed chain (previously a roller chain), optimised oil supply, twin-jet injection valves and a new exhaust system.

They now have two knock sensors to allow fuels with a rating of less than RON 95.

Gearbox and clutch are integrated into the new engine housing to reduce weight and save, and increase torsional response.

Power transmission to the six-speed gearbox, which has been further optimised in terms of gear shifting, is via a multi-plate wet clutch with eight friction discs. The clutch system is fitted with an anti-hopping mechanism.

Click here for more info on the GS and RT models and click here for more info on the rest of the 1250 fleet.


Triumph Speed Twin a poor-man’s Thruxton

Triumph has unveiled their Speed Twin which is a poor-man’s Thruxton with the same engine tuning, but not quite the braking or handling spec of the sporty Thruxton R.

It also doesn’t have the dropped bars, but a more relaxed riding position like the T120.

Unlike the spy shots we saw last month, the Speed Twin comes with Kayaba conventional forks and shocks, not upside down forks and Ohlins piggyback suspension.Triumph Speed Twin a poor-man's Thruxton

Triumph Motorcycles Australia say the bikes will arrive in January/February with pricing closer to the release date.

We suspect they will retail for about $18,000 which is more than the T120 at $17,200.Triumph Speed Twin a poor-man's Thruxton

However, it should be under the Thruxton at $18,700 and well under the Ohlins-clad Thruxton R at $21,100.

The Speed Twin is basically a dual-seat Thruxton with straight bars, brushed metal and black dual exhausts, and seven-spoke mag wheels instead of wired-wheels.

It will come in three colour options: Silver Ice/Storm Grey, Korosi Red/Storm Grey, and Jet Black.


The unveiling of the Speed Twin lifts the number of 900 and 1200 Bonneville models to 12.

It follows the recent release of the Scrambler 1200 in XC and XE versions, T120 Ace and Diamond and updates to the Street Twin and Street Scrambler.

Triumph Speed Twin tech specsTriumph Speed Twin a poor-man's Thruxton

Type Liquid-cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin
Capacity 1200 cc
Bore 97.6 mm
Stroke 80 mm
Compression 11.0 :1
Max Power EC 97PS / 96bhp (72kW) @ 6,750rpm
Max Torque EC 112Nm @ 4,950 rpm
System Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust Brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with twin brushed silencers
Final Drive X ring chain
Clutch Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox 6-speed
Frame Tubular steel with aluminium cradle
Swingarm Twin-sided, aluminium
Front Wheel Cast aluminium alloy, 17 x 3.5 in
Rear Wheel Cast aluminium alloy, 17 x 5.0 in
Front Tyre 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tyre 160/60 ZR17
Front Suspension 41mm cartridge forks, 120mm travel
Rear Suspension Twin shocks with adjustable preload, 120mm rear wheel travel
Front Brakes Twin 305mm discs, Brembo 4-piston fixed calipers, ABS
Rear Brakes Single 220mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Instrument Display and Functions LCD multi-functional instrument pack with analogue speedometer, analogue tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, range to empty indication, service indicator, clock, trip computer, scroll and mode buttons on handlebars, heated grip ready, fuel consumption display, traction control status and throttle mode display. TPMS ready.
Width Handlebars 760 mm
Height Without Mirror 1110 mm
Seat Height 807 mm
Wheelbase 1430 mm
Rake 22.8 º
Trail 93.5 mm
Dry Weight 196 kg
Tank Capacity 14.5 L
Fuel Consumption 4.8 l/100km (59 MPG)
CO2 Figures EURO 4 Standard: 109g/km


US discussions developing positively for Ferris

Multiple Australian champion makes riding return.

Image: Foremost Media.

Three-time Pirelli MX Nationals MX1 champion Dean Ferris has declared his discussions with teams on the AMA pro circuit have been developing positively, with a selection of options on the table for his maiden Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross campaign in 2019.

Ferris has enlisted the help of sports agent Lucas Mirtl, a Western Australian native who currently represents the Lawrence brothers, Martin brothers, and Ryan Villopoto amongst a host of AMA regulars.

“It’s going good, I’ve got an agent on the ground over there and we’ve got a few options,” Ferris explained to “We’re just still going over some details, but it’s looking pretty good. Nothing is signed or done yet, it’s about assessing our options.”

Coming off his third-consecutive Australian motocross crown, which saw him capture 10 overall victories from 10 rounds, Ferris suffered a frightening crash at Jimboomba’s opening round of the Australian Supercross Championship in September, which ultimately ruled him out of the remainder of the short five-stop series.

Cleared to ride a number of weeks ago, the New South Welshman recommenced riding yesterday at his private facility in Kyogle aboard a relatively stock Yamaha YZ450F fitted with a handful of parts from his former team, CDR Yamaha Monster Energy.

“I’m fully recovered and was cleared to ride a few weeks ago, but I returned to riding yesterday after sorting out a bike to ride – everything feels really good,” he added.

“Yamaha gave me a bike, so thanks to them for getting me through – it’s pretty standard, but CDR has hooked me up with some suspension. So I’ve got something good enough to remain in shape and continue riding on.”


Allerton completes day one of ARRC test in Thailand

Next Gen Motorsport contender winds up seventh on the timesheets.

Image: Supplied.

Next Gen Motorsport’s Glenn Allerton has completed day one of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) test at Chang International Circuit in Thailand, as the series introduces a Superbike category for the first time.

The BMW squad revealed its intentions last month to potentially enter the series alongside its commitments in the YMF Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK), with this week’s tyre test its first step towards making it happen.

Adapting to the Dunlop control tyre and Buriram venue, Allerton wound up seventh on the timesheets on the opening day after recording 68 laps.

“The heavy braking areas are really big and were causing us some dramas today,” Allerton admitted. “It’s not the end of the world. The team and I will sit down tonight and work on our brake set-up and get the bike to work a little bit better in the big braking areas and accelerate out of slow corners. Once we get that sorted I believe we will be better off.

“It was very interesting to ride on the track, as it’s a very wide and open flowing type of track. It was just good to be able to get our bearings on which way the track went and of course get our heads around the Dunlop tyres.

“These Dunlop control tyres are a different spec tyres to what we use back in Australia, so it was always going to be a learning day. With a day under our belt, we can now start working on bike set-up tomorrow and hopefully push for faster lap times.

Next Gen Motorsports team manager Wayne Hepburn said he’s satisfied with how day one rolled out, explaining a number of tyre options were the key focus, while today’s second phase of testing will allow the outfit to develop their set-up.

“As a whole, I’m happy and the team are also very happy,” Hepburn commented. “Our testing program today saw us testing a bunch Dunlop tyres, which we got through. We had five different rears and three different front tyres we had to go through. At the completion of tyres, Glenn seemed to like the softer compound tyres, so we then focused on them and trying to make the tyres last a bit longer.”

“As we just focused on tyres today, we now have to work on the bike set-up for tomorrow. We have a lot of work to do to be competitive with the local riders. It’s great to see that the field is so competitive and the local riders are keeping us honest. We are now looking forward to tomorrow, where we know we will improve a lot.”


Yamaha ceases factory Finke Desert Race program

Official team of Yamaha Motor Australia won’t be entered in 2019 event.

Image: Supplied.

Yamaha Motor Australia won’t contest the 2019 Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory, opting out of the high-speed annual event to be hosted over the long weekend of 8-10 June.

The Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing team will focus upon the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC), Australian Four-Day Enduro (A4DE), Hattah Desert Race and select Transmoto events with the three-rider roster of Josh Green (pictured), Luke Styke and Michael Driscoll.

Following the late Daymon Stokie’s historic victory in 2017, which was the brand’s first Finke win in 30 years, Yamaha’s then defending event champion lost his life in January this year while competing in Alice Springs’ Deep Well event.

Representatives of the Yamaha Racing department chose not to comment on or detail the manufacturer’s decision to sit out Finke for next year, however did confirm that it won’t be campaigning an official entry in 2019.

Finke is widely understood to be one of the most costly single events on the domestic competition calendar, including an intense pre-running schedule required to be undertaken by top teams in the lead-up to the race weekend if they are to challenge for the elusive outright honours.


Shoulder surgery a success for champion Marquez

Repsol Honda rider set for six-week rehabilitation program.

Image: Supplied.

Seven-time world champion Marc Marquez has successfully undergone surgery on his left shoulder to repair damage and resolve its recurring dislocation.

The operation took place at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus on Tuesday, where the complex surgery was performed by Dr. Xavier Mir, Dr. Victor Marlet and Dr. Teresa Marlet, all members of the Catalan Institute of Traumatology and Sports Medicine.

The Repsol Honda ace will be discharged within the next 48 hours depending on his recovery, while next week he will begin a six-week rehabilitation program in his home town to recover from the operation before commencing his winter training in preparation for the Sepang test in February.

Marquez completed his final duties of 2018 last week at Jerez in Spain for the last official MotoGP test, where he wound up second on the timesheets.


2019 Triumph Speed Twin | 196kg | 112 Nm | 96 hp

Triumph’s Speed Triple formed a large part of the backbone that has grown the modern era of Hinckley Triumphs and for 2019 Triumph will add some more vertebrae to that spine with the introduction of a beautiful new 1200 cc Speed Twin.

Triumph Speed Twin
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

Triumph Australia are expecting first stocks of the new machine to land in late January or early February, with final pricing to be set around the middle of January. 

Triumph Speed Twin
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

Re-introducing another legendary Triumph name, the British brand this time harks back to the 1938 Triumph Speed Twin for inspiration. This new era Speed Twin sets a new benchmark for retro roadster performance thanks to a 10 kg lighter dry weight than the highly successful Thruxton.

Triumph Speed Twin Action
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

The 196 kg (dry) Speed Twin also promises to deliver ergonomics and comfort levels somewhere between the Thruxton and the T 120 with a new bench seat only 807 mm from the ground, a figure that will light up the faces of those with short legs. 

Triumph Speed Twin Seat
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

While the Speed Twin is much lighter than the Thruxton it does share identical engine performance with its sibling, 96 hp at 6750 rpm and 112 Nm of torque peaking at a lowly 4950 rpm.

Triumph Speed Twin
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

The engine is 2.5 kg ligher than the Thruxton powerplant due to a magnesium cam cover and the trimming of other engine covers, along with other measures. 

Triumph Speed Twin Engine
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

While the Speed Twin’s frame is based on the Thruxton R it is unique for the new model and matched up with 41 mm cartridge forks and Brembo four-piston stoppers.

Triumph Speed Twin Tank
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

The KYB forks appear to be non-adjustable, no doubt that will come in a follow up R model at some stage.

Triumph Speed Twin Brakes
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

The twin rear shocks offer adjustable preload and match the 120 mm travel of the forks. 

Triumph Speed Twin Shocks
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

Twin upswept mufflers are finished in a satin black wrap with stainless steel end caps.

Triumph Speed Twin Rim Rear
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

The sculpted fuel tank, complete with locking Monza style filler, holds 14.5-litres of fuel which against the promised 4.8 litre per 100 km economy promises a touring range of almost 300 km. 

Triumph Speed Twin Monza Fuel Cap
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

As you would expect from a modern Triumph the Speed Twin is ride-by-wire and features the full gamut of electronic safety aids with riding modes, ABS and switchable traction control. A slip-assist clutch also adds some mechanical safety into the equation.

Triumph Speed Twin Action
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

The Speed Twin rolls on 120/70-17 and 160/60-17 hoops mounted on seven-spoke alloy rims. 

Triumph Speed Twin Jet Black
2019 Triumph Speed Twin – Jet Black

At first glance the twin clocks instrumentation might look old school but incorporates a digital menu system navigated by handlebar mounted buttons.

Triumph Speed Twin Switches
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

The display shows gear position, ride mode, range to empty and fuel level along with the other customary clock and tripmeters functionality. A USB charing socket is provided. The display also presents the information on the optional heated grips and tyre pressure monitoring system when fitted.

Triumph Speed Twin Instruments Modes
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

The mudguards are presented in brushed aluminium, as are the throttle body covers, side panel trims and head guards.

Triumph Speed Twin Side Panel
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

The headlight brackets are in an anodised forged aluminium while the bowl and bezel of the single headlight with LED daytime running light is painted. 

Triumph Speed Twin Headlight
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

LED indicators and stop lights along with bar-end mirrors round out the marriage of old and new in the Speed Twin. 

Triumph Speed Twin Korosi Red Rear
2019 Triumph Speed Twin

Three colour schemes will be available on the Speed Twin at launch comprising of the following;

  • Silver Ice & Storm Grey (with hand painted Graphite coach line and white stripe)
  • Korosi Red and Storm Grey (with hand painted Graphite coach line and white stripe)
  • Jet Black
Triumph Speed Twin Korosi Silver Ice RHS
2019 Triumph Speed Twin in Silver Ice
Triumph Speed Twin Korosi Red LHS
2019 Triumph Speed Twin – Korosi Red
Triumph Speed Twin Jet Black Top
2019 Triumph Speed Twin – Jet Black

As you would expect, a huge line of optional accessories will also accompany the release of the model and includes items such a Vance & Hines silencers, a quilted and various luggage options. 

2019 Triumph Speed Twin Specifications

  • Engine | 1200 cc, Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Bore/Stroke | 97.6 x 80 mm
  • Compression Ratio | 11.0 : 1
  • Maximum Power | 97 PS / 96 BHP (71.5 kW) @ 6,750 rpm
  • Maximum Torque | 112 Nm @ 4,950 rpm
  • Fuel system | Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
  • Exhaust | Brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with twin silencers
  • Final drive | Chain
  • Clutch | Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
  • Gearbox | 6-speed
  • Frame | Tubular steel with aluminium cradle
  • Swingarm | Twin-sided, aluminium
  • Front Wheel | Cast aluminium alloy 7-spoke 17 x 3.5in
  • Rear Wheel | Cast aluminium alloy 7-spoke 17 x 5in
  • Front Tyre | 120/70 ZR17
  • Rear Tyre | 160/60 ZR17
  • Front Suspension | 41mm cartridge forks, 120mm travel
  • Rear Suspension | Twin shocks with adjustable preload, 120mm rear wheel travel
  • Front Brake | Twin 305mm discs, Brembo 4-piston fixed calipers, ABS
  • Rear Brake | Single 220mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
  • Width (Handlebars) | 760 mm
  • Height Without Mirrors | 1110 mm
  • Seat Height | 807 mm
  • Wheelbase | 1430 mm
  • Rake | 22.8 º
  • Trail | 93.5 mm
  • Dry Weight | 196 Kg
  • Fuel Tank Capacity | 14.5 L
  • Fuel Consumption | 4.8 l/100km (59 mpg)
  • CO2 Emissions | 109.0 g/km
Triumph Speed Twin Heel Guard
2019 Triumph Speed Twin
Triumph Speed Twin Action
2019 Triumph Speed Twin
Triumph Speed Twin Exhaust
2019 Triumph Speed Twin


2018 Asian Road Racing Championship finale blow by blow

2018 Asian Road Racing Championship

Wilairot claims Supersport 600 title

Anthony West forced to watch from sidelines

By Barry Russell

The ARRC’s Supersport 600 season reached a dramatic climax at Chang International Circuit on the weekend, as Yamaha Thailand’s Ratthapong Wilairot put it all on the line to convert what was a mathematical long shot on Friday, into the 2018 championship by the middle of Sunday afternoon.

ARRC Rnd Race Decha leads Ratthapong Yudhistira Kubo
Supersport 600 Race 1 Start

Anthony West, under provisional suspension by the sport’s governing body, the FIM, since mid-September, following positive results to an anti-doping test after the WSBK Misano on July 8, was again forced to watch from the sidelines. No explanation for the lengthy delay in resolving the 37-year-old Queenslander’s case has been forthcoming from the FIM, which has left both him and the ARRC in limbo for the past three months.

ARRC Rnd Girls Buriram
2018 ARRC Round 6

Despite having missed three of the championship’s six rounds, West took 136 points into the final weekend: a lead of 34 over his nearest challenger, 2017 champion, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman. Azlan’s Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki team-mate, Ahmad Yudhistira, Astra Honda protégé, and Farid Izdihar were tied in third position on 99, former champion Zaqwan Zaidi was next on 94, while Ratthapong had 91.

ARRC Rnd Randy Krummenacher
Randy Krummenacher

To help defend West’s championship lead, his Webike Ikazuchi team drafted in Randy Krummenacher, who had won the World Supersport round at Buriram in March. Krummenator’ joined South Africa’s Sheridan Morais, who was having a second run out for the team, following his debut at round five, in Indonesia.

In the end it was Ratthapong who stepped up, with the help of his mentor at Yamaha Thailand, Decha Kraisart, himself a former two-times ARRC Supersport champion. The 25-year-old Thai went to the top of the combined timing screens for Friday’s third free practice session, managing a lap of 1:38.939, almost three tenths quicker than Decha and half a second faster than Yudhistira and Krummenacher.

ARRC Rnd Ratthapong Leads Decha
Ratthapong leads Decha

The Yamaha Thailand pair stayed in formation for qualifying on Saturday morning, as Ratthapong brought his time down to 1:39.903 and Decha managing 1:39.219. Keminth Kubo, for Yamaha Racing ASEAN, completed a solid blue line at the front of the grid, while Yudhistira led row two from Krummenacher and Musashi Boon Siew Honda’s Tomoyoshi Koyama. Zaqwan, Azlan and Keisuke Kurihara made up row three.

Decha Kraisart made the best start in race one to lead the first lap from Ratthapong, Yudhistira and Kubo. Azlan Shah made a good start from the third row and slotted into fifth in turn one only to get forced into the run-off area at turn three as Zaqwan Zaidi low-sided into him. The 2017 champion stayed upright, but was in last place by the time he got himself back between the white lines.

With Decha and Ratthapong formation flying at the front, attention focused on the fight for third between Yudhistira and Kubo. The 19-year-old Thai got through on lap six, only to forfeit the place again to the Kawasaki. As they fought, Koyama began to reel them in.

ARRC Rnd Ratthapong Decha Celebrate Race
Ratthapong got past Decha and retained the lead

Ratthapong got past Decha on lap 10. Mindful of championship positions, Decha tucked in behind his team-mate and managed a gap of almost five seconds back to Yudhistira who, after half distance, had the pace to manage his margin over Kubo.

Azlan, meanwhile, charged his way through the field, working his way back up to seventh by lap 14, dragging Andi Farid Izdihar with him, who had started from 15th on the grid.

At the end, Ratthapong and Decha stayed in formation to cross the line 1.3 seconds apart and more than five seconds clear of Yudhistira. Keminth just got the better of Koyama to seal fourth and Keisuke Kurihara was sixth on the road, despite going off track at the last turn. Azlan was seventh from Andi Farid, Yuki Ito and Azroy Hakeen Anuar, who completed the top ten.

Webike IKAZUCHI’s World Supersport stars, Sheridan Morais and Randy Krummenacher finished 11th and 12th.

ARRC Rnd Ratthapong Race
Ratthapong Wilairot

Ratthapong’s 25 points brought his total to 116, 20 points behind West, while Yudhistira’s third place kept him in title contention with 115. Azlan, on 112, was also within a win of the championship.

Super Sport 600 Race 1 Results

  1. Ratthapong Wilairot (THA) Yamaha 29:56.061
  2. Decha Kraisart (THA) Yamaha +1.370
  3. Ahmad Yudhistira (INA) Kawasaki +5.372
  4. Keminth Kubo (THA) Yamaha +5.919
  5. Tomoyoshi Koyama (JPN) Honda +6.107
  6. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS) Kawasaki +17.511
  7. Andi Farid Izdihar (INA) Honda +24.252
  8. Sheridan Morais (RSA) Yamaha +24.746
  9. Randy Krummenacher*** (SUI) Yamaha +25.026
  10. Passawit Thitivararak (THA) Honda +25.103

Race Two

It was rinse and repeat at the start of race two, as Decha got another perfect launch from the middle of the front row, initially stretching away from title protagonists, Ratthapong and Yudhistira. A determined Azlan also made his way into contention, slotting into fifth, behind Keminth Kubo.

ARRC Rnd SS Race Start
Supersport 600 Race 2 Start

Yudhistira briefly got ahead of Ratthapong, before the Thai rider reasserted himself to get back in front and open up a gap on the Kawasaki. Yudhistira subsequently fell into the clutches of Kubo, who engaged him while Ratthapong moved closer to Decha.

Azlan, chased by Koyama, closed in on the battle for third, passing Kubo, who fought back, only to low-side out of the contest on lap eight. Meanwhile, Decha gave way to his team-mate at the front to put him five points clear in the live standings and Yudhistira began to consolidate third place. Koyama passed Azlan for fourth.

ARRC Rnd Krummenacher Meets Kubo
Krummenacher meets Kubo

At the end of lap 12 and with one third of the race distance remaining, the gap between the blue duo at the front and Yudhistira was four seconds, as Koyama moved closer the back of the Indonesian’s Kawasaki. Decha looked as though he had the pace to win, but the more important job of helping Ratthapong become the first Thai to win the title since he himself last claimed it in 2010, prevailed.

Yudhistira finished three seconds back from Decha, just holding off Koyama for third, while Azlan was fifth, a further 3.5 seconds in arrears. Krummenacher was 11th, 13 seconds behind the winner and Morais was another two seconds and two places further behind.

ARRC Rnd Ratthapong ARRC Champion
Ratthapong Wilairot

Ratthapong’s win brought his points total to 141, five clear of the sidelined Anthony West. Yudhistira’s third place brought his total to 135 and therefore placed him third in the final standings.

Emotion spilled over as Ratthapong was greeted not only by his team, but by his brother, Ratthapark, and his mother, who held a memorial photo of his late father, Christmas Wilarot. It was the eighth anniversary of the Thai racing legend’s passing, as well as Ratthapong’s 26th birthday.

ARRC Rnd Ratthapong Decha
Ratthapong Wilairot

Super Sport 600 Race 2 Results

  1. Ratthapong Wilairot (THA) Yamaha 30:00.360
  2. Decha Kraisart (THA) Yamaha +0.341
  3. Ahmad Yudhistira (INA) Kawasaki +2.972
  4. Tomoyoshi Koyama (JPN) Honda +3.052
  5. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (MAS) Kawasaki +6.567
  6. Keisuke Kurihara (JPN) Honda +9.619
  7. Andi Farid Izdihar (INA) Honda +12.211
  8. Yuki Ito (JPN) Yamaha +12.239
  9. Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairudin (MAS) Kawasaki +12.487
  10. Passawit Thitivararak (THA) Honda +12.633
ARRC Rnd Ratthapong ARRC Champion
2018 Supersport 600 champion Ratthapong Wilairot

Super Sport 600 Final Standings

  1. Ratthapong Wilairot THA Yamaha 141
  2. Anthony West AUS Yamaha 136
  3. Ahmad Yudhistira INA Kawasaki 131
  4. Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman MAS Kawasaki 123
  5. Andi Farid Izdihar INA Honda 117
  6. Tomoyoshi Koyama JPN Honda 107
  7. Decha Kraisart THA YAMAHA 96
  8. Md Zaqhwan Zaidi MAS Honda 94
  9. Yuki Ito JPN Yamaha 86
  10. Keminth Kubo THA Yamaha 83
    …28 Liam Taylor MacDonald NZL Yamaha 2
    …29 Scott Nicholson AUS Suzuki 2
    …30 Patrick Li AUS Yamaha 0

Asia Production 250cc
Wins for Rafid and Fadly and sin bin for Muklada

Both AP 250 races featured up to 15 bikes battling for podium positions and penalties from race direction that changed the on-track results. The fact that Astra Honda’s Rheza Danica Ahrens had already put the intermediate class title out of reach in round five did not prevent two of the most dramatic races of 2018 unfolding at Chang International.

With four riders within close reach of the runner-up spot and another eight capable of winning on any given Sunday, official eyes were glued to the 38 CCTV TV screens in race control.

ARRC Rnd Rafid Topan Sucipto ARRC AP
Rafid Topan Sucipto

AP Honda Racing Thailand’s Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi won the qualifying battle decisively a lap of 1:52.339 that was almost fourth tenths faster than Anuparb Sarmoon, with the Manual Tech KYT Ninja 250 of Andy Muhammad Fadly close behind and completing the front row.

In race one, more than half the grid managed to stay within one camera shot for the full ten lap distance. In the early stages Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi, Anuparb Sarmoon, Andy Mohammad Fadly, Awhin Sanjaya and Muklada Sarapuech spent most time at the front until Anuparb seemed to lose his cutting edge and Fadly pulled into the pits with a nasty top-end rattle coming from his Kawasaki’s engine. Rafid Topan Sucipto, who had started from the fourth row, moved up to join the list of potential winners and Rheza Danica also decided to get himself involved.

Muklada, clearly determined to make up for a season marred by race direction penalties and injury, increased an already formidable effort on the last two laps, swapping the first four places with Awhin, Rheza, Krithchaporn and Rafid, who led into Chang’s notorious final turn.

ARRC Rnd Rafid Topan Sucipto ARRC Chang
Rafid Topan Sucipto took the Race 1 win

As they braked, Muklada hit Kritchaporn’s rear wheel, causing both bikes to go offline. They made contact again, and this time Kritchporn was unable to recover and crashed. Muklada lurched upright, across the track and clattered into Mario to make it a fourth successive DNF for the young Indonesian.

Race Direction took a dim view of Muklada’s last corner pinball performance, disqualifying her and dishing out a one race suspension that would keep her in the garage for race two. That elevated Anuparb to third, making a three-way fight for second place in the championship, with Anuparb on 142 points, Rafid on 138 and Awhin on 137.

Asia Production 250cc Race 1 Result

  1. Rafid Topan Sucipto (INA) Yamaha 19:03.592
  2. Awhin Sanjaya (INA) Honda +0.223
  3. Anupab Sarmoon (THA) Yamaha +0.734
  4. Rheza Danica Ahrens (INA) Honda +1.050
  5. Piyawat Patoomyos** (THA) Honda +1.211
  6. Kanatat Jaiman (THA) Yamaha +1.416
  7. Galang Hendra Pratama*** (INA) Yamaha +1.536
  8. Peerapong Boonlert (THA) Yamaha +1.896
  9. Ahmad Afif Amran (MAS) Yamaha +19.972
  10. Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratukore (INA) Yamaha +23.392

Race Two

The usual suspects, minus Muklada, put a similar show on for Sunday. As the last lap lottery began Mario, Fadly, Awhin and Anuparb had a small gap back to Rheza, Kritchporn and Peerapong Boonlert, who helped each other to close back in by the time they reached turn five.

ARRC Rnd Buriram Grid Girls
2018 ARRC Round 6

As they braked for the final corner, Anuparb was forced onto the grass and lost just enough momentum for Awhin, Fadly and Kritchaporn to beat him to the line. Mario, Peerapong and Rheza were all within six tenths of the winner to complete the top seven positions. Five seconds further back, race one winner, Rafid Topan Sucipto, held off Galang Hendra Pratama and Kanatat Jaiman for eighth place.

Race Direction subsequently intervened to penalise Awhin, Kritchaporn, Peerapong and Mario by dropping them five places each for exceeding track limits. That handed Fadly his first AP250 win and brought Rheza and Anuparb up to second and third places.

ARRC Rnd Buriram Grid Girls
2018 ARRC Round 6

Rheza’s total points haul for the year increased to 226 and Anuparb held onto second place with 158 points from Rafid, who finished with 151.

Asia Production 250cc Race 2 Result

  1. Andy Muhammad Fadly (INA) Kawasaki 19:01.944
  2. Rheza Danica Ahrens (INA) Honda +0.539
  3. Anupab Sarmoon (THA) Yamaha +0.105
  4. Rafid Topan Sucipto (INA) Yamaha +5.581
  5. Galang Hendra Pratama*** (INA) Yamaha +5.780
  6. Awhin Sanjaya (INA) Honda — 10 laps —
  7. Kanatat Jaiman (THA) Yamaha +5.793
  8. Kritchaporn Kaewsonthi (THA) Honda +0.087
  9. Piyawat Patoomyos** (THA) Honda +6.220
  10. Mario Suryo Aji (INA) Honda +0.168

Asia Production 250cc Standings

  1. Rheza Danica Ahren INA Astra Honda 226
  2. Anupab Sarmoon THA YAMAHA 158
  3. Rafid Topan Sucipto INA Yamaha 151
  4. Awhin Sanjaya INA Honda 147
  5. Andy Muhammad Fadly INA Kawasaki 130
  6. Mario Suryo Aji INA Honda 128
  7. Muklada Sarapuech THA Honda 86
  8. Peerapong Boonlert THA Yamaha 82
  9. Reynaldo Chrisantho Ratukore***INA Yamaha 64
  10. Anggi Setiawan INA Yamaha 64

Underbone 150cc
Wawan and Gupita win and Helmi takes the title

With 27 entries, the mono class served up two of the best races of the season, despite SCK Rapido Hi Rev Honda’s Helmi Azman beginning the final round needing just one eighth place finish to seal 2018 title.

ARRC Rnd Underbone Race Wawan leads Helmi outside
Underbone 150cc

Indonesian wildcard, Wawan Wello, wowed underbone fans again, in just his second ARRC outing and his first trip to Buriram. After finding his way round in the first Friday session, he shot to the top of the timing screens in FP2 and recorded the quickest qualifying time – the only sub-two minute lap of the weekend – at the end of the afternoon to lead the fastest fifteen into Saturday’s Superpole shootout. Helmi had an engine problem in qualifying and found himself dropped 16 places to 19th when his team pushed his bike into the pit box during the session.

ARRC Rnd Grid Girls Buriram
2018 ARRC Round 6

Helmi’s Australian team-mate, Travis Hall, got through to superpole by clocking 2:03.545, putting himself into the thick of a field of race winners and former champions and subsequently improved by four places from qualifying to start tenth.

In race one, attention inevitably focused on Helmi, who treated his challenge as a normal day’s work. Wawan and Affendi Rosli led the swarm into turn one, as Helmi sliced his way through to the top ten. Ahmad Fazli Sham showed well throughout the race, while two times former champion, Gupita Kresna, threatened and Reza Fahlevi, another Indonesian wildcard, had an impressive outing. Izzat Zaidi’s long-shot challenge for the championship didn’t materialise and he wasn’t able to get close to the front of 15-bike leading group.

ARRC Rnd Race Underbone Grid Travis Hall
Travis Hall

As the last lap bare knuckle fight ensued, Wawan got clear to take the win from Helmi, Affendi Fazli Sham, Gupita and Reza, who completed the first six. With Izzat finishing 14th, Helmi’s title winning margin stood at 60 points. Travis finished 12th, just two seconds behind the race winner.

Underbone 150cc Race 1 Results

  1. Wawan Wello** (INA) Yamaha 16:18.788
  2. Md Helmi Azman (MAS) Honda +0.574
  3. Md Affendi Rosli (MAS) Yamaha +0.756
  4. Ahmad Fazli Sham (MAS) Yamaha +0.774
  5. Gupita Kresna (INA) Yamaha +0.775
  6. Reza Fahlevi** (INA) Yamaha +0.899
  7. Md Amirul Ariff Musa (MAS) Honda +1.055
  8. Md Akid Aziz (MAS) Yamaha +1.131
  9. Md. Aiman Azman (MAS) Honda +1.313
  10. Syahrul Amin (INA) Yamaha +1.439
    …12. Travis Hall (AUS) Honda +2.110

Race Two

Wawan out-dragged the rest of the field into turn one again on Sunday and briefly opened a gap until the chasing peloton sucked him back in on the long straight between turns three and four. Helmi Azman, along with Syahrul Amin, Ahmad Fazli Sham, Peerapong Luiboonpeng and Akid Aziz hounded the Indonesian upstart, forcing him back into the middle of the leading group by lap three.

ARRC Rnd Wawan Wello Head Down Ass Up
Wawan Wello

Clearly believing in his right to lead the race, Wawan had charged back to the front one lap later, as his SND team-mates, Gupita and Syahrul, along with Helmi, Akid and Fazli Sham stayed close, trying to work out a way past the wild card.

As is often the case at the Thai circuit, the last corner and race direction played a major role in the finishing order. After leading much of the final lap, Wawan got caught in a melee as the leaders fanned out under braking for turn 12.

ARRC Rnd Muklada Sarapuech Incident
Underbone 150cc

A total of seven bikes, including Travis Hall’s, went down and Syahrul scrambled through to the chequered flag first, one tenth ahead of Gupita who was chased across the line by Aiman Azman and Fazli Sham. After Race Direction had handed out a sheaf of five place drop penalties for exceeding track limits, Gupita was elevated to first position from Aiman, McKinley Kyle Paz, Helmi and Wawan.

Underbone 150cc Race 2 Results

  1. Gupita Kresna (INA) Yamaha 16:22.140
  2. Md. Aiman Azman (MAS) Honda +0.972
  3. McKinley Kyle Paz*** (PHI) Yamaha +1.018
  4. Md Helmi Azman (MAS) Honda +1.347
  5. Wawan Wello** (INA) Yamaha +1.398
  6. Syahrul Amin (INA) Yamaha — 8 laps —
  7. Md Amirul Ariff Musa (MAS) Honda +1.422
  8. Ahmad Fazli Sham (MAS) Yamaha +0.473
  9. Reza Fahlevi** (INA) Yamaha +1.485
  10. Md Izzat Zaidi (MAS) Yamaha +2.794
    …DNF. Travis Hall
ARRC Rnd Helmi Azman Underbone Champion ARRC
Md Helmi Azman – Underbone 150cc champion

Underbone 150cc Standings

  1. Md Helmi Azman MAS Honda 197
  2. Md Izzat Zaidi MAS Yamaha 130
  3. Ahmad Fazli Sham MAS Yamaha 117
  4. Gupita Kresna Wardhana INA Yamaha Yamaha 110
  5. Md Akid Aziz MAS UMA Yamaha 95
  6. Md Amirul Ariff Musa MAS Honda 87
  7. Md Affendi Rosli MAS Yamaha 84
  8. Wahyu Aji Trilaksana INA Yamaha 83
  9. Syahrul Amin INA Yamaha 83
  10. Md Haziq Md Fairues MAS Yamaha 77
    …14. Travis Hall AUS Honda 50

Images by FIM Asia Road Racing Championship


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